2020-05-18 - Uminari Matsuri: Crepe Boots!

From Battle Fantasia MUSH
Jump to: navigation, search
Uminari Matsuri: Crepe Boots! ...Crepe Booth?

Come by and get some delicious crepes, sponsored by Tanaka Custom Footwear and Polish! Definitely delicious, definitely crepes. Service with a smile by Anthy, Utena, and Kasagami.


Anthy Himemiya, Kasagami Araki, Utena Tenjou, Kozue Kaoru, Shizuru Fujino, Mikoto Minagi, Fuu Hououji


Uminari Matsuri

OOC - IC Date:

5/18/2020 - 08-29-15

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Wherever one wanders the park grounds during Uminari Matsuri, the festival food stalls are not hard to find. Just follow the delicious scents of grilling eel and frying squid, of sweet melon and bitter tea, and there it is. Orderly rows line the paths, each stall distinguished by the way it decorates its front.

One of the crepe stands (one of many, because they virtually dot the park) features a white picket fence painted across its front, and along the top edge of the stall opening there's a dangling fringe cut into vaguely leaflike shapes. ...It's mostly that cartoonish greenery in view now, because hungry pastry aficionados are queueing up. The booth has an open design, allowing customers to see almost the entire crepe process -- with some clear plastic shielding to keep hot stuff in and hands out.

The sign is almost unnecessary, but it's up there in the painted branches:


sponsored by

Tanaka Custom Footwear And Polish

Ideally the sponsorship doesn't directly flavor the pastries... Will the students behind that disappearing counter be enough hands to meet this sort of demand? Maybe... maybe, if all three of them work very hard and very fast at filling crepes and plating them.

One of them... well...

Anthy Himemiya's got her frilly apron on over her Ohtori uniform, and that's a solid start. Her back is turned to the customers -- she must be hard at work on something, and there's an odd clanking going on. "I'll be right with you!" she calls cheerily over her shoulder, and an emphatic "Chu!" echoes her, so whatever she's doing, she's not alone.

It's taking a while, though.

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

It is not her favorite food, but Kasagami Araki might just rank it at least number twelve on her list of things she likes. What she can definitely count as pretty high on her list though is people, a little chaos, and part of the pair that's joined her in this delicious pastry based endeavor.

The Crimson Rose has clad herself in the armor of outside cooks all over the world: jeans, a t-shirt, and of course an apron. This apron in fact has the sponsor of the crepes booth on it, along with pictures of little boot-shaped crepes. Someone has been trying very hard for this vendor, for reasons she has not spoken about outside the booth. This has extended to taking orders and delivering them with the sort of enthusiasm one might not expect of an Ohtori girl performing serving duty. Rather than snivel at such things, the ambitious Would-Be King has been going at this for a while with her compatriots in a smiling fury.

"Two blueberry crepes, for the most beautiful couple I've seen at this booth in ages! Go on, enjoy a hot fresh snack, and the festival. True love and beauty both bloom tonight! If you believe and put your whole being into love." She barks out at the last couple to receive and pay for their treat. This is by no means the first time she's said something similar amongst the parade of pastry-getters. There have been several 'most beautiful couples'.

"And don't forget to check out Tanaka's! Best footwear company in all of Tokyo!" That one has been said many, many more times. She knows who's flipping her pastry for this booth.

Then she gives a flick and flutter of her beautiful hair, which she makes sure to keep away from the cooking area. Even in this getup she manages to shine with her raven locks and exuding aura of someone with far too much personality wrapped into a teenage package. Her gaze slides to Anthy. She even manages to almost smile in that direction.

"Don't hurt yourself over there! ...Seriously, don't be afraid to ask for help, okay?" Kasagami is definitely invested in success, that's for sure. Then she's yanked back for a second to try to wrangle the crowd.

"Single file everyone! Or at least double! We don't want the line to stretch too far!" Grin! An utterly unnecessary lean, dramatically so as is her habit, towards her other booth-runners.

"How's the griddle going?" Asides the Duelist.

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Shine Days - GirlDeMo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEvNAOVier0

Utena is manning the grill. Girling the grill. Whatever.

Like Anthy, it's questionable whether or not she even owns any clothes other than her uniform. But she's shucked the heavy black jacket -- the heat of the evening, and the heat of the range, are too much in combination. This is no great bane to the crowd of festival-goers; the frilly apron (also matching Anthy's, and suggestive of its source) is the only thing protecting the long and lean board of her torso from the spattering oil, as the gray sports bra and red gym shorts don't do much on that front. Even then, every time she turns to one side to deliver a crepe down the production line, that particular profile is on full display.

She's got her hair pulled up and back and partially under a white headcloth, a housewifeish touch that does not suit her at all but IS probably successful at keeping everyone from receiving extra, sakura pink seasoning in their batter. They might be eating a little sweat, though. Glittering beads of raw determination gradually accumulate at her temple, her shoulders, her clavicle... then rolllll downwards, sometimes down her bare arms. If there isn't a crepe below, it sublimates instantly into steam. If there is, well, it's a good thing the recipe calls for unsalted butter.

And, for what it's worth, every other booth with a hot grill also has at least one person slaving over it, sweating buckets. Consider it part of the festival experience.

Utena herself is too focused on her (technically challenging, at least to an amateur) task to notice, let alone worry. Her forehead is all wrinkled with concentration, and her eyes are often overfocused to the point of dullness, though never entirely grim. She always takes a second to reply to anyone who comes up to her third of the front of the booth to chat, too.

...but is that really a good idea?

She kind of sucks at this, in fact; her layer of batter is often uneven, leading to some parts charred and some parts a bit runny. But that doesn't stop her from doing it again... and again and again and again.

And it hasn't stopped those of certain tastes from coming back for seconds... and thirds...

Still, sometimes she just has to give up on one, scrape her Lump Of Shame off the grill and into the garbage, and start over.

"<Hey, don' mine, don' mine!>" she tells her companions in the broken sportsfield English of a dedicated jock, the exact same way she has every time this has happened in the last hour, whether Kasagami asks her how it's going or not. But her goofy smile is the same every time too, and the cheerfully flashed V-symbol its equal in sparkling, earnest enthusiasm. "Love is the secret ingredient!"

She wipes her forehead with the back of her forearm, huffs a breath, and begins again.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Kozue Kaoru appears in high spirits as she approaches the booth. Something good must have happened to her. She's here tonight mostly incognito, though that doesn't mean she's unrecognizable. It's simply that she doesn't wear traditional clothing often enough that it's possible that people might rethink that she's the model for Aohime.

Her Yukata is cyan in color with pink and white floral imagery, the sleeves have a gradient of blue drifting into vibrant pink that never quite becomes red. On the right side of her hair is a traditional hairpin, that looks... well it isn't brand new. A string of beads that drifts down from a pearlescent turtle dove.

As Kozue steps up, with a smile behind the next couple. "Kasagami - is that you? What a progressive view you have of the divine right - bringing yourself to work at a festival so that you can learn to better empathize with the people you'll inevitably rule. It's so praiseworthy. What's next on this quest of learning how the other half lives? Retail? Fast food?"

Making a small cough, delicately into a hand. Then suddenly she stands on her tip toes, leaning to the side to peer past her at the grill. Alerted by the voice.

"And... my... Utena is manning the grill? No wonder it's so..." Kozue fans herself with a fan, as if simply that gesture is enough to get the idea, "... bringing love into the equation is going to give me the wrong idea."

She offers a dramatic sigh, before simply turning to Kasagami and firing off an order.

"One Raspberry Crepes - Extra Love - Not too Sweet." She's hedging her betters here on purpose, just in case its made exactly the opposite of what she requests. "And one Strawberry Crepes - Extra Whipped Cream."

Two orders is a lot of food, perhaps this model is simply cheating on her diet on a little sweets binge? But it's notable that the orders are so different...

"Hold the boot leather." She says with a smirk at Kasagami.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

Snacks, snacks, always snacks...

Shizuru Fujino, naturally, is in a yukata--hers is done up in a lovely purple-dominated dahlia pattern, a flower one might see in bloom elsewhere even today. Overall the effect is quite sunset in color.

And she is on her way... to a crepe stand. It's all part of the festival experience, and this is far from Shizuru's first. Just at the moment, though, rather than being spotted well back in line, right along the way--

"My," she comments, there at the counter before Utena in particular of all the others. "You're working awfully hard, aren't you?"

She doesn't appear to have noticed Kozue. But she probably has, being realistic.

"Crepes with love... No wonder this booth is popular."

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

Down the path and across the way, Linden Baum's Western Dining Booth is frying up bacon and eggs and pretty much anything else Japan has deemed 'western', which, let's be frank here, casts a pretty wide net. The booth, in good humour, has leant into this perception quite fully. Just because the restaurant is German - doesn't mean they can't have fun now and then.

Is that why Mikoto, taking a break from cracking eggs (or else THE ENTIRE BOOTH would just be fried eggs, because Mikoto is very good at cracking eggs, a thing previously known to her roommate and now known to all the waitresses volunteering there), is wearing a Stetson over the black braids which frame her face..?

It's an especially funny image because she is still in her yukata, light blue with white detailing - clouds, not flowers, unlike so many people here - a cat-faced purse over one shoulder and a black case over the other, zori sandals on her feet. She has since stashed her WONDERFUL PRIZES at her own booth, so her hands are free again. Free... to grasp snacks.

One might ask: why would Mikoto, coming from a food booth where she has no doubt been sneaking Mai's food at every opportunity, go out and get more food now she's having a break?

One could ask that question, but the answer is right there in the name. This is Mikoto. Mikoto wants to eat all the festival food, all of it, and to the Stygian pits with the consequences.

And Mikoto... loves... crepes.

There are of course a dozen crepe stalls to choose from, but when Mikoto hears one distinct voice barking out in the crowd, she knows precisely which booth to visit. She might very well turn a full ninety degrees at the sound of Kasagami's voice, such that for a moment her braids curl around her cheeks rather than settling about her neck, but that's just the power of familiarity at work.

Somehow, her hat does not go flying, though it slips to a jaunty angle.

Kasagami bids them to approach single file but Mikoto, who has never been terribly good at the social contract of the queue, hears her friends and immediately ambles up to the stall without a single care for the proper method of approach. She pulls herself up to her full height (which is not very high) to try and see over to where Utena is working, because...

"Love's the most tasty!" Mikoto insists, she heard that, oh no. Waving to Kasagami, she calls out: "I want love blueberries! And cream!"

Though she can't help but return her attention to the booth, after that. In Mikoto's case, this is because... their clothing looks a lot more sensible for cooking hot things in this weather! She's learning important lessons about how to manage cooking in a booth in summer!

(Did she hear a 'chu', back there..? No, surely not.)

She does double-take when she hears Kozue - that is Kozue, surely, even if she's in a yukata for once - ask Kasagami to hold the boot leather. "... does leather go in crepes...?" Her mouth scrunches in deep thought, as her hands reach up to adjust the hat on her head. Mikoto has never heard of leather in crepes. It seems a little outlandish.

If she pulls her hat a little further down her head when she looks Shizuru's way, well, that's probably coincidence. It's a big hat and she's a small girl.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Volunteering at a festival booth can be surprisingly hard work, even when you're *not* preoccupied over a hot griddle or other implement of cooking. Fuu is in her yukata, but her sleeves are still tied back in that traditional style of a cord about the front of her shoulders and cinched back where she can, with an effort, reach to untie it unaided. But loose sleeves can be a potential liability when eating, and she doesn't mind the 'working' look that much, so her yukata's sleeves stay tied.

She's been looking for *one* familiar face especially since she started this break, but in his absence, she's lined up to get a crepe for herself. Utena's struggle to properly cook the crepes themselves elicits a delicate wince of sympathy - *normal* pancakes take a certain practiced finesse, and crepes are considerably thinner, thereby requiring much more precise timing. Still, it's not Utena she's going to wind up in front of; nor is it Anthy.

"Good evening, Kasagami-san," Fuu says with a genuinely friendly smile. "You've put in a lot of work today, I see. - Do you have mixed berry crepes, perchance?"

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

When Kasagami speaks to her, Anthy replies in that same cheery tone. "It's okay, my friend is helping."

Clank. Clank. Rattle... Clank!

"Chu CHU!"

It doesn't get more declarative than that, and Anthy confirms with a bobbing nod and an, "It's working again!"

She turns her head to the girl working so hard at the grill, who contributes her glittering sweat both figuratively and literally (as well befits an Ohtori student), just in time to see the latest charred casualty hit the trash. Anthy tilts her head and offers Utena a brief, bright smile, smaller than the one she uses when she turns to the crowd. Her eyes are as large as ever behind the glasses, and ever so much more verdant than the fake leaves above.

"Maybe the birds will like that one," she says, and... well, honestly, probably not. Don't poison the birds. Anthy sounds so positive about it, though. "Two blueberry, okay!"

The crowd isn't getting any smaller while the girl with the purple curls works with her back to them, but then she's finally turning and handing two... what are those...? to the couple up next, and there was definitely a flash of blue, but whatever it is isn't on a plate. "Here you are!"

"What's... is this some kind of joke?"

"Well they are blueberry... come on, dear. They're students."


Anthy smiles biiiig at them, and they move on in something approximating defeat. She calls to Kasagami, "We're ready for the next one!" and turns those big fluttering forest jewels back to her grill-bound Engaged and all the comely glistening she's doing.

"Are you sure you're not too hot, Utena-sama?"

She's not the only one whose eyes land on Utena. "Hello, Fujino-senpai! Oh, do you like dahlias?"

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

Kasagami might feel bad about Utena's place in the Mines of Morigriddle, slaving away in the heat. On the other hand that means it's not her job, and she is entirely okay with that, thanks. She has long ago made a silent pact with herself to do something nice for Utena.

Here, in this perfectly normal Crepes Booth, things like Dueling seem so far away. How long has it been since she's tried to do something nice for the girl she wants to be a true friend? Kassie almost loses someone's order from her hands, briefly taken away from her Utena-flavored thoughts.

Firstly by the pink haired young woman herself. She throws a quick, firm nod to Utena in approval. "Absolutely! Love keeps the heart pumping, or something like that! Cooking, filing paperwork, or..." She eyes Anthy briefly.

"Being good friends with large-eared animals, it all takes the love of others and the self! Part of the batter, ladies and gentlemen!" She turns, from her cooking compatriot to the crowd as she tries to play them like they were constituents and her a politician. The crepe politician!

The Duelist is in the middle of putting up change for a customer and snagging a drink from a water bottle from her protesting throat (she's been barker-slash-order-taker for a while now!), when she spies a certain Kozue. Or more accurately hears her!

"Kozue-chan! How's my fourth-favorite delinquent doing? As you say, a King must know well the toils of her subjects if she's to ease their burdens! Oh, I don't know. Maybe I'll try my hand at a higher education next. You know, the kind of thing you tend to get when you graduate from a place like Ohtori?" Her smile now is utterly smug no matter how much graduating and the life beyond is terrifying her right now.

Kassie leans back. "Two crepes, one raspberry, one strawberry. Raspberry with all the love so maybe it's recipient can find some in her life. And extra whipped cream and boot leather in the strawberry!"

With Mikoto there's a lot less dislike and a lot more genuine love poured into her smile as she spies her fellow sword-blessed warrior. "And you're going to get Blueberries with cream. I wish I had some ice cream. You should try it with a crepe like that, Mikoto! See, love can be hot and passionate, but it can also be calming, cooling when it feels like there's so much inside you that it's going to burst your heart. Let's get some sweet love for one of my best friends here!"

Pause. She leeeeans in to stage-whisper to Mikoto this time. "It's not real leather in the crepes!" Conspiracy! A sham of boot-crepe! "It's fake leather. Much chewier and crepe-ier than the real thing."

Wink! "It's a cute hat Mikoto."

Every sound in the back doesn't do much for Kasagami's confidence! She fears those sounds, of rampaging monkies. She knows it's that purple monster! She knew she should've brought a tiny griddle for the mischievious thing! Cursing her lack of foresight, she smiles to Fuu.

"Me? Please. I have the easy part! I just run my mouth and take money." She loves doing the former and could really use the latter right now.

"You look beautiful in that Fuu-chan! So many people wearing their finest. I can't wait to show off later!" Her grin goes fiercer. "...Bring a date to the festival?" Teases the young woman!

Chu-chu fixed something. Fixed something. "Make sure you test that, Anthy!" She vaguely asides, and then, more orders! Fuu's goes in, and she's bringing it out, when there's a small commotion.

A young girl in a Yukata trips! Her delicious spun sugary confection goes flying. Cotton candy...it aiming right for Kasagami! It's a perfect through-line. Disaster is about to strike! Can someone save her from a delicious fate!?

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"Kozue!" Utena chirps happily, her eyes lighting up with a possibly-a-little-bit-manic glow, as though the grill's heat has spread through her infectiously. Saying her friend's name makes her suddenly aware of a moustache of sweat just barely above her upper lip. She brushes it off with the back of her hand, the same hand holding a spatula, which gleams silver in the light as it is briefly allowed to bisect her chin from the rest of her head.

Then her smile reappears. Clearly it never really left.

"You never know," she replies, somehow, impossibly, innocent without being cloying, while also inadvertantly steamrolling right over Kasagami's attempts to incite Aohime, "It might give you the RIGHT idea--"

As established, she's easily distractible.

"--Yooo, Shizuru-senpai! And dang right it is, Mikoto... whoa, everyone's here!!

She fails to appreciate any efforts at disguise on anyone's part. She's just happy to be here. And happy to see them. This fires her up even further.

"Working hard or hardly working, amirite?" she quips back at Shizuru with comical overcasualness (under the circumstances), before sneaking a glance down at her twin round grills. Their crepes are a LITTLE overbrown, but not... fatally so. So, with a sudden and possibly unwise twirl of her spatula, now that she has an audience of friends rather than strangers, she cancels her thin pancakes' summary execution by fiery doom and sends them onto plates instead, then flicks the plates down the line towards the next station.

"We got lots of sweet love for everyone, coming as fast as we can!" she announces happily, tossing her hair with a flex of her shoulder rather than with her own sticky fingers.

Then she gives her griddles a puzzled look, as though she doesn't recognize their empty surfaces. Or... no, that's her thoughtful look, which is somewhat indistinguishable, on Utena Tenjou's face, from bewilderment.

Finally the idea dawns brightly upon her expression, and, clearly pleased with her own cleverness, she (very sloppily, and very badly) draws the kanji for 'love' on the right-hand surface. Somewhat dissatisfied, she settles for a smiley face (squirt, squirt, swish) on the other. They get a couple second head start before she pours more batter over both.

Crepe art might be a little... AMBITIOUS... right now, but no one can say she isn't giving it her all.

One person has the greatest power of all to distract her, though, which may doom this effort before it even begins, and CERTAINLY destroys any chance of her spotting the cotton candy crisis in time to do anything about it: that will fall to another.

"Himemiya..." she pauses what she's doing to regard her boothmate with another sweaty smile, this one slightly different than the rest. The heat is finally starting to reach her cheeks, it seems, and she has to clear her throat all of a sudden. Must be the smoke. "I-I'm okay, promise! The birds... yeah..."

Must be the smoke...! Utena lunges back to her station.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Kozue gives Kasagami a cruel look, "Yes I suppose I'll have to console myself with my modelling career..."

There's a gesture - like she's about to cross a line with a dire insult. Yet the moment Utena chirps up, she cheers up instead, putting her hand on the side of Kasagami's head as if to gently assert she should step aside. "Oh - by enjoying your crepes you mean?" She indicates, "It's my luck~y day that I could even get to the front of the line - given that its you."

Perhaps referencing the scores of admirers that she'd typically expect on campus with Utena doing...

... anything. Though it's not like she's saying she couldn't draw a crowd on her own if she tweeted it out.

Kozue's eyes pass over Shizuru and she tries pointedly not to look in her direction again. It's well known that Shizuru Fujino can only see movement. ... No that's not true, she just wishes it were. As it stands she's just looking to get her crepes and head back to where she came from. Whereas upon Mikoto's question, Kozue simply suggests. "Perhaps... if I upset her enough." She indicates with a light smirk. "It's traditional to spit in the food, but with her - who could say?"

Kozue simply steps to the side, as if waiting for her order, eyeing the Kanji for 'love' with an amused look. Though then she eyes the people that Anthy served.

It doesn't draw her attention for long. She simply figures they're a couple of crepe elitists.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

Shizuru smiles at Anthy. It's a very pleasant smile that betrays a lot of nothing, one of those perfectly pleasant looks of Shizuru's. "Oh, yes," Shizuru answers of the flower, "I appreciate the variation within their blooms," she says. "At least, from what I've been able to go and see. I know of a particularly good place to view them that should last a little longer, if you're interested," Shizuru floats amiably, though for some reason she only looks briefly to Anthy and keeps focusing on Utena. Some reason.

"I'm glad you're having fun," she comments. Does she know anything about making crepes? That's a mystery. But Utena speaks of sweet love for everyone, and Shizuru smiles. "I'm quite looking forward to it," she answers her. She doesn't look away at Kozue at all, instead lounging around somehow despite standing and having good posture--it's just sort of the ideal of lazing that she manages to exude all at once. "Aaah, but what should I get...? Hmmm. It's terribly hard to decide."

Shizuru sees the cotton candy sailing for Kasagami, naturally. Just as naturally she does not rescue her dear, dear friend Kasagami Araki, instead helpfully giving her the chance to stand on her own two feet. Helpfully.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fact: There is a large stick of cotton candy currently on a ballistic trajectory in the general direction of one Kasagami Araki, stationed at the crepes stall.

Fact: A certain Fuu Hououji is currently standing in front of Kasagami, in transition between the actions of 'talking to Kasagami' and 'trying not to blush at being teased about her boyfriend.'

Fact: As a magical girl and specifically as a Magic Knight, Fuu is sadly not a stranger to sudden ambushes out of nowhere.

Result: Whether by catching glimpse of the cotton candy's reflection or simply by the instincts honed by occasionally getting attacked with no warning, Fuu flinches to the side, one hand snapping up - and she winds up with the cotton candy in a peculiarly-angled sort of reverse grip, and none too secure at that. "What - ?"

Not much of a threat there, probably. Especially when the cotton candy winds up on the ground instead. Fuu just winces - that's sure to be *somebody's* loss - and looks at the Ohtori high-school junior. "He *should* be around somewhere. I think he still has trouble with text messages or something ..." She shrugs, trying not to look too put out by her date's current absence.

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

"Yup!" Mikoto chirps, just as chipper, as Utena notices that everyone is here. Cheerful and smiling and with nothing hidden around her neck, it seems she's much happier than she was a while back. She doesn't much mind being recognised: Mikoto has never been terribly good at deception.

(The last people who ordered blueberries don't sound terribly happy with their order, but Mikoto doesn't let that phase her.)

Mikoto thinks of bitter dark chocolate, and makes a face, mouth all ascrunch. "I don't like crepes when they're too cold..." Still, her head goes tilt as she slots Kasagami's perspective in, and she wonders.

She doesn't wonder for long, though, because Kozue and Kasagami both have perspective on boot filling. Her nose wrinkles at Kozue's statement, and Mikoto exclaims, scandalised: "That's bad food safety!"

Did Mikoto Minagi get a patient explanation on how to handle food for other people at some point..?

... yeah, that definitely happened.

"You're supposed to be too busy to help them if they're being bad," Mikoto folds her arms and proceeds to drop more purloined waitstaff wisdom, with all the certainty of someone talking about things falling over when they're knocked off the table. She doesn't think about whether she should drop that wisdom, of course.

Luckily, Kasagami is here to clarify: it's not real boot leather. "Ohhhh," Mikoto says, illumination spreading over her stubborn features, and she smiles again. "'Kay!"

And she beams, at the compliment to her hat. It's a nice hat!

Just then, cotton candy flies in...!!!

And Fuu deftly catches it, before disaster can strike. (Did Mikoto expect Kasagami to just eat it in midair or something..?) "Yeah! Good catch!" Mikoto says, enthused, a fist pumping in the air. This might be unwise when Shizuru tracks via movement, but luckily, Shizuru seems to be content to leave Mikoto totally alone, so it's fine. "Cotton candy for Fuu!"

In complete seriousness, she proceeds to interject between Kasagami and Fuu: "Text messages are really hard." Mikoto's recent efforts with her phone suggest she is being entirely genuine there. It's a good thing her phone has autocorrect. Until autocorrect betrays her.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Plates laden with uncharred (if... slightly overtanned, like several summer festival-goers) pancakes are inbound, and here come more orders...! "Raspberry and strawberry," Anthy echoes back with her usual agreeableness. "Chu-Chu, I think the bluer one is the raspberry." She takes custody of the plates, and they disappear into her ~mysterious~ workspace.

There are some mechanical sounds: Rattlerattleclinkityclink. And there are some decidedly less mechanical sounds, closer to... gobbling?? "Oh, the whipped cream!" Anthy tilts this way and that, and each time the angle of her back somehow perfectly obscures any view of what she's doing.

"Two sweet loves coming up!" And she twirls, one in each dainty hand, extending Kozue Kaoru's order across the counter to the other girl.

The paper wrapping on the cones reads


in the same lettering as the sign overhead, but what's within...

Well, it all sparkles in a way precisely opposite the heat-coaxed jewels beading the chef: ground-up little diamonds of cold shaped into mounds, soaked red-violet and bright pink respectively. The pink one has a curl of whipped cream atop it, just as requested.

What was that Kasagami was saying about cooling love? That does appear to be the order of the day... "Please enjoy!" Anthy tells her once-classmate after handing over the shave ices.

How did that big glass-and-red-metal ice machine behind her go unnoticed? Perhaps the shadows at the back of the booth shifted; there's no way that Anthy Himemiya's birdboned frame could have hidden it.

All the talk of flowers has the weird girl nodding in a polite and friendly fashion Shizuru's way. "Is it on Southern Cross Island? The soil there can be very good for flowers, even so late in the summer." Then she's turning back to the machine, reaching for the next plate her dazed roommate is passing -- the one with the secret decorations.

"These are perfect. Thank you, Utena-sama!" she says with extra sincerity sparkling in her voice, and turns back to the shave ice machine. "Here you go~"

Love and a smile and delicious, delicious crepes: all for Chu-Chu, shave ice mechanic. He's in white overalls and a matching cap, perched atop the machine with a growing stack of empty plates for a backdrop. Those overalls are beginning to strain around his mousemonkey belly.

"Blueberries and cream next, right, Araki-san?" The Stetson on Mikoto Minagi's head earns a staccato of long-lashed blinking from Anthy before she gets back to work. "Oh my. That looks like a very good hat for summer."

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

"They can't help themselves, Utena-chan! Our beauty and..." Skill? Vague ability to make pastries that at least aren't actually lethal? "Passion for the way of the crepe draws in all whom look and smell upon this booth!" She tells herself inwardly that it was a nice save.

Kassie is neatly road-roller'd by her friend and-or one sided rival, only to suddenly have a hand on her head. She lets herself be shoved away by the model, with only a slight frown at all of this. Her beautiful face goes 'blargh' at being shoved so like she were a cheap date tossed aside.

"Good luck with your modeling career! May it last as long as beauty is eternal!" Smile. Smiiiile! There's just a little venom in her eyes. A smidge, even.

Kasagami also can't help but inwardly celebrate a certain Wind Knight's catch here too! There's an actual sigh of relief as she spies that cotton candy in hand, yanked from the air. Hands have gone protectively to her locks, so prone to sparkling and swaying and helping with that boastful charm! As far as she's concerned losing any of it would be a tragedy that Ohtori could not recover from.

"My hero! That might have...ruined one of our dear customer's crepes! Good catch." Shoo! There's a big smile at Fuu, disaster avoided. For now. Kassie every now and then is looking at the skyline of booths for incoming hair-destroying candybombs.

"...Well! What a layabout of a boyfriend! Listen, Fuu-chan, every second that your significant other is staying away from you is one second that they've lost forever. Because anyone would be absolutely lucky to have someone as smart, talented, and most of all, almost excessively kind as you at their arm. So! Make sure you keep that delicious cotton candy and either share it with him..." Kassie grins furiously, even as she ducks aside to lay out a kid-sized crepe to a Mother and son duo.

Then she makes face-to-object motions with her hands. WHACK! "Smash his face right into it. The smiting of those who don't realize that romance is a precious thing, every sand of it dribbling away untaken an utter defeat!"

Kassie happily lets Mikoto interject though and handle the conversation, because Anthy has more crepe for her! Explaination of boot-crepe done, and maybe a little happiness at the joyful smiles of one Mikoto Minagi, she absolutely burns as Anthy Himemiya pipes up. Is she ordering her to do something? Is this a taunt? The innocuous sheath that is Anthy Himemiya nevertheless manages to still make Kasagami at points paranoid and doubting. She's felt the bite of Anthy's venom. Her bad arm aches.

And then she manages to catch some writing on a passed cone. Did...?

"Right, right!" She tries not to sound a little heated here. Keep your composure. You're not at the grill, Kassie!

Out comes the order for Mikoto! "Enjoy, Miko-chan! You need to hurry up and find a date so I can tease you and whoever it is! I need more targets of opportunity!"

An aside to Anthy, and by extension, Chu-chu. "Did you really make that?" Referring to the writing. It's...

It hurts to say this. "Not bad."

Non-raptor and very much alternating-eyed Kassie finds Shizuru. "Well! We're graced with an alumni! Shizuru-san, how's life been? How are...events in life?" She vaguely motions to the engagement-ring-finger. She tilts her head, and unconsciously fingers a far different band on hers.

"I could always use more of your advice! Such as, what's your most ambitiously flavored crepe, hmm? Strawberries and cherry, maybe? With a dash of chocolate?"

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

She doesn't know.

There's NO WAY she knows.

Utena is way too focused, and way too desperate, to keep the grill line going -- she's all but killing herself to produce these flapjacks, and for all her sweat has only mixed success -- to notice their eventual fate, their inevitable demise.

This hypothesis is bourne out further by her happy reaction to her successful flip of the two crepes. The smiley face looks somewhat demented, with unlevel eyes and a too-wobbly mouth, but it's visible. And somehow -- miraculously -- it's a bit brown on brown, but the kanji is visible too.

But her little thrill quickly turns into dismay, as her eyes flit across the crowd of her favorite people. It's transparently easy to tell what she's thinking, as usual:

Who should receive her crepe of Love? And she's... desperately unsure. Hesitation is quickly turning into panic.

Finally she whisks it off its griddle, along with the other, and just... surrenders her choice, and her feelings, into the steadier hands of another.

"Lucky, wherever you go find a way to talk flowers, Himemiya," Utena comments, admiringly, and obviously only half-following the conversation. "And I mean, Kozue, Kasagami and I, we're nothing special, but we'd NEVER spit in the food!"

She wipes off another palmful of sweat, some of which spatters on the grill with a hiss.

"Yosh yosh, two more, two more," she mutters. This time she draws a heart on each griddle before applying the rest of the batter.

Then she has a second to relax, and streeeeeetches, one arm towards the night sky, the other passing behind her head and to grasp the opposite shoulder. "Hnnnnnnn." She catches her breath actively, by heaving a few big ones.

"I got a second, you need any help, Himemiya?"

She's starting to turn around fully -- just seconds away from taking in the panorama laid out alongside her...

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Isn't it?" Kozue indicates to Mikoto.

"Oh but it is - when you work with Tsuru-san." Kozue says sweetly to Kasagami in response. She might have said something more there, but Utena thoroughly distracts her, "Oh I wouldn't think you would Utena." Before her gaze sweeps across Kasagami's eyes, "Not everyone though has your standards..."

She certainly remembers Kasagami rubbing it in when she was half-drowned. Compared to that, spitting in her food would be...

Kozue takes both bundles from Anthy with a smile, "Thank you." Apparently she was very eager to get these, because there's no quip, no tease. Just a simple delight at receiving them. Yet it's the moment they touch her hands that Kozue's expression changes, "Cold...?"

Consider the math.




Kozue looks down into her hands and her eyelashes twitch.

Glancing up at Anthy, her eyes then follow along over to the Shaved Ice Machine. And there... is Chu-Chu.

The gluttonous little maybe rodent with plate after plate of what was intended for her.

Staring for a long while, it's like she's deciding whether to fight the madness or not. Ultimately deciding. "Well... it'll be an amusing story at least."

Kozue takes a step back, though she doesn't turn and leave just yet.

Notably she does not complain to management. Instead she simply balances both cups of shaved ice, takes up a wooden spoon, and...

Spoons a bite of the raspberry one into her mouth as Utena stretches. No sense squandering a cold treat when she's near a heat source.

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

Shizuru does keep her attention largely with Utena, as if having a simple conversation with her primarily; it's a fairly easygoing way of going about it, though it might happen to feel a little cold shouldery to certain people she isn't addressing (Like Mikoto. For now. But she does get a small smile in passing. "Food safety! My, important."

"Ah, eternal beauty... What a nice thought," she says to Kasagami and Kozue both. "Would that all of it could be so, hm?"

Who should receive the crepe of Love?? Conveniently at that particular moment Shizuru happens to be smiling warmly Utena's way. ...She also doesn't KNow, because she hasn't actually been paying that much attention to the matter of the crepes just yet. Her attention has been thoroughly on Utena's hard work!

"The one I'm thinking is closer to Mount Fuji, though of course I'm looking forward to the cosmos to start autumn, in proper time of course. We should enjoy each season as it comes, shouldn't we?" Shizuru smiles, and laughs politely. "Yes, Himemiya-san has quite the talent for flowers; I'm sure any variety would love to receive the attention of her roses."

So what's cold?? Nothing here is cold. It's quite warm out actually.

But Kasagami does briefly call her attention. "The most ambitious?" Shizuru considers. "Well, you know that I would not overreach. But if I were to think of the most ambitios I could consider... I would suggest you try durian. It is the king of fruits, they say."

"As for me, that strawberry and cherry with chocolate sounds more than sufficient." A beat, "But events are well, of course. Things are proceeding all in their proper time. I'm having to be patient, myself, but I think what I'm waiting for will be quite worth it."

She smiles, and flexes the fingers on her left hand. She happens to pass it in front of Kasagami as she does. "I so appreciate that you remembered to ask me of it!"

Nothing cold at all!!

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

Shizuru finally seems to realise that Mikoto exists, and Mikoto hums uncertainty in response to her passing remark, as if she's not entirely sure precisely how to respond. She eventually seems to settle on not responding at all, though the way her gaze flicks to Kozue instead might be its own reply, really.

"Mm-hmm," she grunts in response to her question, with a nod.

Don't worry, though, she does still remember how to say actual words. "Yup!" Mikoto smiles to Anthy, as a moment passes, and then a moment longer, before she remembers: "... howdii!"

Mikoto is good at western customs.

She doesn't pay much attention to what Anthy is doing behind that booth, really, until she hears Kozue's exclamation. "Cold..?" Mikoto queries her, as she finally peers over and into the booth, to where Anthy is working. Blink, blink. Stare...

Kasagami hands over her very own shaved ice, with whipped cream, except it's clearly labelled as a delicious crepe. Mikoto's head cants one way. Mikoto's head cants the other way.

Mikoto is summarily distracted by Kasagami's trademark declarative statements. "Nope," she says, with confidence, as she grabs a spoonful of shaved ice. "Dates are for later. I'm working on me!" HOMPH, the cool treat disappears into her mouth.

"This is good cold," Mikoto decides. "But ..." Where did Utena's crepes go? Sure, she might not have been perfect at making them, but Mikoto wanted to see what they tasted like...

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (10)] has posed.

Fuu didn't line up in front of the crepe stand to get cotton candy, she lined up for a *crepe*. The cotton candy was just an impromptu catch, and if she knew where the mass of spun sugar came from, she'd be happy to return it to its rightful owner.

Technically she didn't line up for Madame Araki's Love Advice, either, but she listens to Kasagami, nodding as if in agreement. And maybe, on some level, part of her *is* agreeing; she'd love to spend more time with Ferio ...

She clears her throat quietly, re-centering herself. "Anyway. How much for the crepe?" Fuu asks, her smile possibly a little bit more *deliberately* sweet than it was upon first addressing the Duelist.

<Pose Tracker> Anthy Himemiya [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

"These?" Anthy has one of the DELICIOUS CREPES papers in hand as she answers Kasagami's inquiry about the lettering. "They were in a stack when I got here, so I used them. Aren't they funny?"

As a reward for being such a good customer, Kozue gets the exact same smile Anthy gave the complaining couple. That's service!

Anthy is, as ever, gracefully placed and ready to receive what Utena extends to her, and in what she would consider a perfectly normal way the three housemates share their meals, she conveys that food-based affection to their friend Chu-Chu in turn. Nothing weird about any of this, nope.

"Of course, Fujino-senpai. Even in the greenhouse, the roses know." And she's back to her work, taking her sweet time with the sweets while the others talk.

She flavors a cone of a shave ice with strawberry and cherry syrup, and.... "Wasn't there a topping?" And she pauses and takes in the crowd, and those big green eyes get owlishly round. She looks about, and with her free hand she flutters uncertain fingers over parted lips.

"...oh. I'm sorry, I don't... remember which topping..." she murmurs, mostly to herself, but she's clearly the one holding everything up at this point. Someone further back in line scoffs in impatience. She could speak up -- she could ask Kasagami.

Instead, Anthy finds herself looking at Utena Tenjou -- no, to Utena Tenjou, instead, and the timing is like a dance -- she looks, and the other looks her way, and the offer comes just as it is needed. The wide-eyed girl is so clearly, vividly in need of rescue. She gives a little gasp, and then a littler nod, and both are full of gratitude. "Please..."

And that's when the shave ice debacle becomes unavoidably apparent to even the likes of Utena Tenjou, when a bright red one is held out to her, wrapped in its crepe label. "Does this get whipped cream too? And... oh, there are more orders waiting..." Impossibly, those eyes round further, challenging the glasses lenses they peer through.

Chu-Chu belches. This is also unavoidable. It echoes.

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

Kasagami is briefly swamped by a trio of salarymen and their weird mixture of big bills and small change they're trying to pay with. The Duelist manages to not nosebleed at the sight of so much delicioius money. The money her bank account would supp on like a vampire-dog tossed a meaty freshly butchered hunk of lamb.

It hurts a little inside for a second, to once more be reminded as every yen is counted back that she is poor and yet has so much at stake, and how is she going to come up with the cash...she accidentally gives the wrong change back. Cue a few seconds of arguing.

Thus it is she can only offer a glare rather than a retort at Kozue nor a rejoinder at being called 'nothing special'. That hurts too, in her oft-skybound ego. Of course she's special! She's going to be a King one day!

The Duelist is also working on a receipt for Shizuru even as she keeps a sharp ear out for the order and reply. Durin, huh? She has no doubt it's absurdly expensive. Her stomach rumbles a little. Kassie hasn't actually eaten yet, too ensconsed in cutting down wave after wave of money-waving hungry customers. She glances back at crepes, to their pink-haired creator, then the creator of delicious shave ice! Almost jealously!

Shizuru's order goes in, Kassie pointedly ignoring the black hole of crepes and foodstuffs that is Chu-chu! At least there's cool treats now. She has half a mind to tack on a 'And ice' to their booth!

Of course the young woman also has to deal with the chill radiating off of one Shizuru. Smile. Smiiiile oh-so-warmly!

"How could I not check in on my very favorite mentor? We should have tea some time. Catch up! I'm still dizzy from...my rise to status again. I'd love to leverage myself higher." Her gaze flits from Shizuru, to Utena, back to Anthy. Lips purse. She aches a little more.

Then she's leaning on the front of the booth as a wave of exhaustion hits her. One hand runs through her hair, which she flicks out, settling her ponytail to swaying. There's a brief respite.

She has to force out a less-real sigh this time. One of sadness for Mikoto! "One day, Mikoto! I will equally fawn and embarrass your significant other, whomever they turn out to be. And I will absolutely thrash them if they make you sad! You deserve someone who appreciates you for who you are Mikoto, my most unique of all friends! But enough romance, enjoy that crepe, Mikoto-chan!" Yes, she is going to insist on it's a crepe. Icecrepe!

"Our crepes are reasonably priced Fuu-chan." It's festival food after all! She takes the offered money, changes out, and gives a vague salute to her good Infinity friend. Then her gaze is back to the crowd. It's locked up a bit. But then she's peering at the two that helped her make this all possible. No.

With how tired she feels all of a sudden, Kasagami realizes that she wouldn't have made it this far with her strength alone. Even something so normal and simple as a crepe booth. And really, would she have enjoyed working and sweating alone as much as she has with Utena here? Maybe even Chu-chu and Anthy too.

To work together for something not directed inward. It feels really, really good.

And so just before she's swallowed by another oncoming wave of shave ice and crepe-seeking customers, Kasagami Araki does a half-turn, crosses one leg, and leans in to beam a smile to Utena and Anthy even amidst Anthy's mixup. She doesn't interrupt the potential saving by one Prince of Ohtori. Instead the pair get a far softer look that she's often given them, so intense. Her voice is a stage-one, but almost rumbly-pleased.

"Hey. I really think we make a good team. We've gathered, and demolished a crowd! ...Let's do this more often. I think maybe I have been too busy looking up to stop and acknowledge the people right beside me. I want to get to know you more!" Grin! She doesn't explicitly state whom amongst the trio of Chu, Prince, and Rose Bride. But she looks at all three. Only the last gets a dip away in her expression.

And then she glances back to the line, where there's a whole gaggle of yukata-wearing kids wanting treats. Coming right up to them! The Duelist slumps, letting her hair be a shield for a second.

"Yeah...King in my heart, give me the strength to serve six year olds!"

<Pose Tracker> Utena Tenjou [Ohtori Academy (10)] has posed.

Utena, of course, knows nothing of The Pool Incident. A more unpleasant observation of her character is that if she were told, she might not believe it. She wouldn't DISBELIEVE anyone, but... that kind of cruelty, especially among people she counts as friends, is unfathomable to her. Even after everything that happened.

Especially after, really. After all, that long dark teatime she spent at Shizuru's mostly taught her that she was the one most at fault -- the one who failed everyone. Kasagami, Himemiya, herself.

So -- she shrugs out of her stretch in Kozue's general direction, a silent disagreement about standards but not a defense she feels inclined to leap to verbally, and in so doing, prolong the unpleasantness. Besides which, her friend is now lip-deep in her treat, so... things are cool, right? Cool...

She is never entirely unaware of Shizuru whenever her senpai is around; circumstances have developed a preternatural instinct for the actions and reactions of the older girl. And so it is that when Anthy starts mumbling toppings, and finally turns to her for help, Utena ACTUALLY KNOWS THE ANSWER.

That doesn't happen often in situations requiring the memorization of facts!

"Choco," she says instantly, grasping the cone without fully appreciating what it is she's handling. Those two hearts on the grill are going to become Lumps Of Shame for sure, but that's a sacrifice she's willing to make to soothe Anthy's panic, even a little. "I got it."

And so she does, reaching across the workbench with a long, strong arm to grab the squeezy-bottle of syrup. She drizzles it atop the cone luxuriously, then passes it across to Shizuru. It's only in the VERY FINAL MOMENTS, as it's changing hands, that she realizes what it is she's holding. It's when some strawberry... or maybe some raspberry... something almost obscenely red trickles onto her fingertip.

It's very cold, and -- the cone safely away -- she jerks back from it as though stung, plunging the offended finger into her mouth. Then she pulls it out, pursing her stained lips thoughtfully (which is to say, in a bewildered fashion; perhaps more reasonably this time).

"Ice..." she whispers. Awe hushes her tone.

Her arm quests outwards again. This time, it claims an unflavored cone, plucking it right out of Chu-Chu's paws before he can pass it to Anthy.

"Ice!" she repeats, abdomen snapping the word out like a joyful cannon. Like a paean.

It's a miracle.

And without wasting another second she plunges the cone onto the top of her head.

It explodes instantly, showering her -- her face, her hair, her clothes -- in machine-grade snow. Accompanied by a groan, her built-up furnace rapidly transforms it into an entire watershed of rivulets which diverge, then recombine, down along the contours of herself.

"Ice," she repeats, reverently. "Kasagami... did you know? We have ice."

Ice is friendship. Friendship is magic.

She gently delivers a second unflavored cone to the back of her friend's head, then smooshes downwards, in the name of that magic. The ultimate favor. So easily could she have kept it for herself.

"We got this!!" she crows...

...and returns, apparently unaware of every connection along this chain of events, to her station at the grill.

<Pose Tracker> Kozue Kaoru [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"It is a nice thought, isn't it?" Kozue comments mildly to Shizuru, while not taking her eyes off of Utena. Though she doesn't respond to the second clause of the statement.

Yet, she finds herself spooning more and more shaved ice into her throat. She sticks around long enough to see whether Utena will realize that her hard labor is being rewarded only with feeding Anthy's pet. And also because well...

... it's a sight she can appreciate.

Then comes the moment of truth, and...

Shaved ice showers Utena like a self-inflicted blizzard. Kozue just stays put for a few seconds, a wooden spoon in her mouth. Then she takes it out...

"... stupid together..."

She's smiling, but the look in her eyes is sad.

Shaking the little cup in her hand, she rebalances the other on her arm.

"Well I'm going to get going before Kasagami offers any more pearls of wisdom about romance and I need to ask for an emesis bag. Enjoy the festival - Ja Ne."

Stepping away, she takes up the one with whipped cream in her opposite hand.

"A really funny story..."

She notes, as she looks at the untouched Strawberry Shaved Ice, Mounded with Whipped Cream. It wasn't for her after all...

<Pose Tracker> Shizuru Fujino [Ohtori Academy (U)] has posed.

hizuru smiles at Mikoto a little longer.

Then "Quite," Shizuru answers Anthy. She does not concern herself overmuch with the sweets she's ordered for the moment; perhaps she would not in any case. Instead, she glances to Kasagami's warm smile back. "We should," Shizuru agrees. She glances towards the other two at that, and smiles again. "I'm sure your efforts will meet with results."

Good results? Bad results? Who's counting?

But then she reaches over and takes in her hand the cone, which meets her hand with a distinct chill. Shizuru pauses, at this, and looks down to it at the same time Utena realizes it--and while Utena is finding ice, Shizuru is also finding ice. She peers down at it. She examines its crushed consistency, considers its colorful redness all through the pile of crystals it represents. She regards the chocolate syrup placed nobly on top, completing the work. Cold, and lovely, like the moon it hangs, but from her hands, not the heavens.

And then she looks up, and is faced with Utena plunging a cone to her head and becoming... snowy. Ice, she says. Ice, she rewards Kasagami.

"...Pf," Shizuru Fujino remarks, her lip twitching ever-so-slightly. "Ahahaha..." It's soft, at first. Quiet, even. But it grows from there, one hand leaving her shaved ice cone to rest over her heart (it does exist, they say) as she laughs, loudly, more loudly than she was entirely planning.

"Ahahahahahahaha," Shizuru declares of her shaved ice, and makes no move whatsoever to give it back.

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

Anthy wonders whether they're funny, and Mikoto lifts up her shaved-crepe cone to inspect it anew. "It's joke..?"

She sounds a little sceptical, but Mikoto isn't very good at jokes, so maybe it's a joke.

"Yup!" Her confusion turns into a beaming smile as Kasagami continues to give her Valuable Romantic Advice about being appreciated. "I'm great!" She offers it in all the confidence of someone who doesn't treat it with exclusion; Mikoto is great, and Kasagami is great, and Kozue is great, too.

And Shizuru is... look, don't worry about that, it's fine, see, she's smiling. That's... good, right? Is that good? That's probably good, Mikoto reasons to herself, looking anywhere but at Shizuru.

Something belches within the booth, and Mikoto points, accusatingly: "Crepes!" SHE KNOWS THERE IS A CREPE THIEF AMONGST THEM. The fiend who stole Utena's crepes is..!

Here Mikoto's sleuthiness is interrupted by Utena's own revelation, and her finger lowers, as she blinks wide eyes. "?" The fine art of pronouncing a question mark is one of Mikoto's darkest techniques: pull the tongue back, flatten the lips, part teeth. With this wordless grunt she effortlessly asks: ice?

Luckily, Utena demonstrates, and Mikoto's eyes shine with the glory of the wisdom she beholds. This is the shape of the thought which runs through Mikoto Minagi's mind: Utena is so smart.

Mikoto doffs her hat, and pours the rest of her ice onto her head, before putting it right back on. A bit of whipped cream drips down through her hair, across her temple, down her cheek. "Ice!" She chirps confirmation, and spins around before she scampers off to go tell Mai about this amazing breakthrough in cool-down logic.

Maybe now they won't have to suffer for their art..!