danger/u/
(Setting) Teafluent (Late Evening)

| > Soft amber light lights the interior of a vaguely familiar tea and coffee shop. A record player spins a vinyl as a soft jazz fills the air. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMnrl0tmd3k)

> Standing behind the counter and cleaning some of the equipment is a young man dressed in a white blouse and tan camisole. His glasses slightly askew.

> A new bar has been installed to suit a more personal and comforting atmosphere. The signs hanging above it are now properly capitalized.


| >A figure, clad in a jacket with a hood pulled over their head, enters the bar and make their way towards the counter. The hood and a baseball cap obscures their face, a small satchel was at their side, but not much else is apparent. She appears to be wearing some sort of sweatpants and a pair of sport shoes.


| >>779388
> The man behind the counter, presumably Edgar perks up and smiles at the newcomer.

"Hi, welcome to Teafluent. My name is Edgar, how can I help you?"

> He cheerily clapped his hands together before resting them on the counter top.


| >>779403
>The figure takes their hood and cap off, revealing a young girl, a little on the frail side. She runs her fingers through her short auburn hair to tidy it up a little before she looks at Edgar.

"Hi, um, do you have Prince of Wales blend? I'll take that with some tea sandwich, thank you."


| >A man with a rather unkempt appearance walks into the shop, wearing a white t-shirt and baggy cargo pants. On his wrist is a hospital armband. He takes a seat at the bar and lets out a yawn.


| >>779423

> Edgar nodded politely before stepping away from the counter and preparing the tea and sandwiches. He always kept warm tea pots handy, and it wasn't long before the tea was steeping and Edgar was delicately cutting salmon, cucumber, and cream cheese sandwiches.

> He set a plate of eight delicate triangles, or two sandwiches, and the pot of tea with a simple porcelain cup.

"Please enjoy, it's a cup I don't mind for my own evenings."


| >>779424

> Once this order was completed Edgar walked over to the other gentleman and smiled as he greeted him.

"Welcome to Teafluent, sir, how can I help you? You look like you might want a coffee, but if you're not worried about falling asleep I can get you a cup of tea too."

> He gently tapped his fingers on the counter in a rhythm two times before stopping.


| >>779544
>The girl mutters a half-hearted thanks before handing a credstick over to you. She takes the tray of food and drink and moves over to sit down at one of the seats at the counter.


| >>779545

>The man laughs and scratches the back of his head briefly before speaking.

"I'm actually looking to get some sleep soon. What do you guys have for herbal tea?"


| >>779604

> Edgar gingerly took the credstick before scanning and handing it back to the girl. Once she settled in at the counter he placed two small bowls of sugar and creamer in front of her.

>>779612

> Returning to the man, Edgar nodded thoughtfully and considered his options.

"Well, I have a lot of blends on hand, actually. I'd recommend either a chamomile or a lavender. Both of them are quite useful for winding down and getting to bed."


| >>779779
>The girl takes the credstick before retreating to her seat, pouring herself a cup of tea before. Out of the satchel she takes a red hardcover notebook alongside a fountain pen, which she uses to start noting down in her notebook, ignoring all the other people inside the shop. After a while, she pulls out another book; Oliver Twist according to the title of the book, which she occasional opens to read in the midst of her noting.


| >>779779

>The man thinks for a moment before nodding.

"Lavender sounds good, anything to get the smell of hospital out of my nose."


|


| >>779895

>Edgar smiled and walked away to prepare the lavender tea for the man. The soft clinking of ceramic and porcelain joined the jazz that tied the room together. It only took a few minutes before a cup and a tea pot rest in front of the gentleman.

"I hope you enjoy it. It has a lovely smell, flavor, and even color."

> He then set down some sugar and creamer, if desired.

>>779865

> Noticing the books and notebook, Edgar decided to give the supposed student study space.


| >>783331

>The man smells the tea and takes a deep breath then takes a sip, completely skipping pass an sugar or cream.

"Hey thanks. This is exactly what the doctor ordered; except you know, not really."


| >>783571

> Edgar chuckled politely at the man's joke.

"I suppose so... I don't believe I've seen you in here before. Did you decide to enter my little slice of heaven on a whim, or were you recommended?"

> Edgar leaned back against the opposite counter. An array of glassware containing loose leaf teas framed his effortlessly relaxed demeanor.


| >>783686

>The man nods.

"Yeah, I'd never been here before. I'm still admitted to the hospital after an accident, I looked for a tea shop nearby. I slipped out unnoticed and I'll be back before they even notice I'm gone."


| >>783331
>While going through her research, the girl occasionally take a sip of her tea and, every once in a while, a bite of her sandwich, all in silence.

>After a while, another figure enters the shop. A man dressed in a dark gray softshell and trousers. A matching beanie covers his head, a respirator hangs by his belt along side a holstered pistol.
>The man takes a moment to scan around the shop, his eyes eventually resting on the redheaded girl.


| >Following behind the man, an unrelated party enters. A small girl, on the shorter side, with long black hair down to her back, wearing a pink long-sleeved t-shirt and a skirt on. Her shirt had the words "Life is a fuck" written on it. The sleeves covered her hands, and the shirt itself was a size or two too big for her. She had a Walther PDP holstered on her leg.

"Ah! The sign got updated!"

>Was the first thing she said as she entered and took a seat next to the counter.


| >>783856

"Ah, well I hope you recover quickly! I also hope that the hospital goons don't come here looking for you.."

>>783860 >>783874

> Edgar turned and greeted his newest guests as the door bell chimed.

"Hello and welcome to Teafluent. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you. Unfortunately, I don't have any fresh pastries tonight but there's some coffee cake from this morning."

> He stepped over to the counter and placed his hands on his hips. Edgar smiled politely.


| >>784109
>Upon hearing that there was no fresh pastries, the girl, Evening, makes a pouting face. For a whole 5 seconds before giggling softly.

"Coffee cake is perfectly fine~! As for tea...Hmm...What do you recommend, Mister Edgar~?"


| >>784109
"I'll take a coffee, strong as you can make it, I have a long night. A coffee cake will work fine."

>He said coldly, keeping a piercing glare on the studying girl.


| >>784111

> Edgar nodded lamentably with Evening's pout before stepping away to get her coffee cake. He hummed along with the jazz before speaking over his shoulder to the girl.

"I am partial to a nice hibiscus, but given the lateness of the evening I would recommend a chrysanthemum or chamomile tea for tonight."

>>784117

> Once the cake was done, Edgar quickly went to work on grinding and brewing a fresh cup for the man.

"Sir, if you keep staring at my guest like that..."


| >>784123
"Ehehe~ Lateness of the Evening...~"

>She chuckles quietly to herself, thinking about the tea she wanted.

"Chrysanthemum sounds really nice right about now, thank you~"


| >>784123
"Oh, so I can't keep an eye on my sister now."

>He shot back, his expression still ice cold. He takes his cup of coffee and put a credstick on the table.


| >>784109

>The disheveled man busts out laughing and cracks his neck.

"I'll be fine this isn't my first rodeo; Same bull, different day."

>>784126

>Gou reels back in his seat.

"Whoa buddy, no need to get torn up about it. It's only natural for a business owner to worry about someone who's armed eyeing one of his patrons. He didn't know you two were related."


| >>784135
>The man turns to give Gou a once-over. He then immediately shoots back.

"...and what are you doing outside the hospital, detective? Should I report this to your friends at the station?"


| >>784137

>Gou begins cackling under his breath.

"Clearly, I'm out getting some evening tea. I don't want no trouble, bounty hunter."

"Besides the guys at the station aren't my friends, just my co-workers. Still, they know well enough that this is an everyday occurrence for me."


| >>784148
"...and I'm just here to spend time with my little sister. I'm not interested in any of your business, so don't try to stick your finger in mine."

>He replies, before he abruptly turns away and walks over to where his sister is sitting, muttering under his breath.

>"You cops are all the same."

>He puts his tray on the counter, causing the girl to shoots an annoyed look at him, which changes to a smile when she recognizes him.

"Mav! You're early."


| >Maverick takes off his beanie, revealing the auburn hair matching that of his sister. He then takes a seat next to the girl.

"I guess I am. Oh, I dropped by a bookstore got the book you wanted, something two cities? It's in the car, I'll give it to you later."

>The girl beams and jumps off her seat to give him a hug. He kept a neutral face, but nonetheless returns the hug, even if he's a little hesistant.

"Thank you!"


| >>784126 >>784188

> Edgar was moderately startled by the behavior of his newest guest and considered his options before shaking his head.

"Okay, a little touchy. Please try not to disrupt the atmosphere of my restaurant with your negative aura and all will be peaceful."

>>784124

"Chrysanthemum it is!"

> Edgar quickly swapped to a moderated yet cheerful tone before fixing the Evening's evening drink.

> He placed the fixings in front of Evening and nodded politely.

"Enjoy."


| >In walks a young lady, with faded pink hair and blue eyes, she wears an oversized parka with the words "New-Port Highschool Grad. 2022" on it
>She looks around, gaze calm and level before taking a seat at the counter
"Good evening."
>She adresses the man behind the counter with a small grin


| >>784239
>Evening takes a bite of her coffee cake as she watches Edgar prepare the tea. She hums and kicks her legs slightly.

"Thank you Mister Edgar~!"

>She gives a wide smile and takes a small sip before giggling softly, hearing the lady's greeting.


| >>784242

> Edgar grinned back at the woman when she sat before situating himself in front of her and resting his hands on his side of the counter.

"Good evening indeed, welcome to Teafluent, the coziest tea house in GC. Is there anything I can do for you tonight?"

> He leaned back from the counter and paused to fiddle with something on the shelves underneath before standing up again.

>>784281

> Edgar bowed his head for the nth time. He does this a lot.


| >>784301
>Evening gives a nod and closes her eyes, listening to some of the conversations around her, continuing to hum to herself.


| >>784239
"Oh, give me a break. Do you need to comment on everything?"

>Maverick lets out an annoyed groan and turns around to give Edgar a frigid glare. But his sister grabs him by the arm before he could say more.

"Mav, stop, what's going on with you?"

>She says, her tone firm. Maverick keeps his eyes on Edgar, but answers;

"Nothing, Sam, nothing's going on."

>Samantha rolls her eyes.

"Bullshit, Maverick, you're not like this normally. Back off, tell me what's wrong."


| >>784301
>The grin on her face deepens
"I'll have milk tea, plenty sweet."
>She takes a glance around, her blue eyes briefly landing on everyone inside the building before moving on
"Quite the cozy place you have here, I can't believe I've never seen it until now."
>She chuckles
"I'll need to bring my little sister here, she loves these kinds of things."


| >>784316

> Edgar took the time to respond to Maverick's glare and comment by raising two of his fingers into the air.

"Strike two, sir. Please calm down before I have to ask you to leave. I won't tolerate this behavior when my guests are trying to enjoy themselves."

>>784383

> Quickly shifting to his customer, Edgar nodded and turned to his machines.

"Would you like any flavors, and what sort of bubbles would you prefer? I try to keep this place homey. I'm glad you like it."


| >>784394
"I'm not too choosy, I'll let you surprise me."
>She turns back to Edgar, her eyes lingering on his face for a few second before she once again turns away
"Indeed... it's quite the delightful atmosphere."
>Her gaze lingers on anything of note, absorbing the atmosphere and details fully in a calm and collected way


| >>784405

"Of course, I'll give you my personal favorite, then."

> Edgar hummed along with the jazz as he worked on the milk tea. It wasn't long before he sat a tall cup of a milky mango tea in front of the woman.

"Mango tea with plain tapioca. I like the texture and light bitterness to offset the sweetness. I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoy my tea shop."

> He stepped back and turned to start cleaning off his work space.


| >>784406
>The girl takes the drink and sips it slowly
"Hm, quite nice."
>She nods, her gaze still wondering
"I do so enjoy sweetness... my mouth can't taste much else these days."
>She sighs


| >A tall Albino woman wearing a red bomber jacket walks into the tea shop


| >>784394
"Stand down, both of you."

>Samantha says sternly, still holding on to her brother's side, finally managing to get him to turn back to her. She peeks over his shoulder at Edgar.

"Please, leave us alone for a second, I'm sure there's plenty of people that need your attention."

>She says, before turning her attention back to Maverick.

"Now, spill it, Maverick. I'm not getting kicked out on my night off just because you're being a dickhead."


| >The Albino girl walks up to the counter with a seepish grin
"Did I come at a weird time?"
>She mutters to herself as she takes off her jacket, revealing a prim and proper white dress shirt with short sleeves, exposing her pale, frail-looking arms.
>She scans around for an empty seat


| >>784552

>Gou sits slurping his tea rather loudly pretending not to notice the rest of the scene taking place with the rest of the surrounding patrons.

"Nope. I'd say you came just in time lady. The kid's just not feeling like himself it seems."


| >>784532

> Edgar just sighed and shook his head before muttering to himself.

"I knew I misread that card today..."

>>784552

"No, no!"

>Edgar hastily sputtered before standing before her at the counter and fixing his glasses.

"Every time is a good time at Teafluent. Sorry that you had to witness that. What can I do for you tonight?"

>Edgar politely gestured towards one of the available bar seats next to Gou.


| >A man enters the shop. He's got a hand in his pocket and a foot caught on the door. He observes the lighting above.


| >>784616
>A hand in his pocket,a foot in the door... and a person-- a tad shorter than him-- grumbling as they hide in his shadow, right on his heels.


| >>784618

>When Nano looks back at them, his ponytail follows. "Looking to trip me?"
>He asks politely.

>Not waiting for an answer, he removes his foot and steps further inside. There's something he's looking for that isn't written on anything behind the counter.


| >A very small Lilim girl walks into the shop, practically dragging her feet. Her icy blue eyes look tired and sullen, and her long blonde hair is rather unkempt. She heads over to the counter and sighs softly while waiting to be seen.


| >>784591
>The girl plops down unto a seat, sighing
"Good, great even, looked pretty tense here for a moment"
>She puts an elbow unto the counter, resting her chin atop her hand
"Well, how about your best Rooibos? if you have some of course"
>She asks the man behind the counter


| >>784621 >>784618 >>784616

> Edgar bowed politely towards his new guests, uttering a welcome as he got back to work.

>>784633

"All good here... Rooibos? I haven't had anyone order that since I've opened. Lucky for you, I've got some."

> Edgar stepped away from the counter to prepare yet another teapot, this one clear glass rather than ceramic. As he did so he called out to the newest guest at the counter.

>>784621

"And what can I do for you, miss?"


| >>784633

>Gou slouches in his seat.

"I came here to relax, and get out of an ambience that isn't so sterile and I spose I got what I came for."

>>784640

"Hey, Edgar! I know you said you don't have anything fresh but do you have any pastries I can bring back for the missus?"


| >>784641

> Edgar's face dropped once Gou asked about pastries. He gave a heavy sigh and stopped what he was doing to turn and face the detective.

"Well... I had some pastries, but... Well my brother is convinced that the Gleetins from Eberex Prime out in.. er... some galaxy are using the pastries as a means to change us to suit their desires."

> Edgar pushed up his glasses and shrugged.

"He told me they were making me soy, and thus he absconded with them."


| >>784532 >>784591
>When Maverick stays quiet, glancing over to the cop in the room, Samantha sighs.

"Alright, stop it, we can just leave. Tell me about it in the car or something."

>She says, packing up her stuff and hops down, dragging him by the hand out of the shop.


| >>784647 >>784648

>Gou watches the pair exit.

"Odd kid. Wonder what I did to the guy. I honestly couldn't care less about his work or the drugs he's toting around."

>Gou takes another sip of his tea.

"Sounds like your brother's got quite the imagination. Not much unlike my little girl."

"Probably gets into all sorts of trouble like her too."


| >>784633
>Glancing over at the woman, Evening hums to herself softly and whispers.

"Familiar face...Hehe, couldn't be Dunne~"

>She giggles to herself and takes a sip of her tea.


| >>784620
>Nano might not be /waiting/ for an answer, but he /gets/ one-- in the form of a swift tap to the tread of his shoe by the toe of their sneaker as he steps forward. It's only done with enough force to upset his balance a tad; whoever it is that's nudging him knows very well that it'd take more than a little kick-up to knock him over.


| >>784747
"Huh? Nah, that'd be >>>mean; y'know me, 'm just'a type't gets kinda clumsy after bein' jerked around in a>>>headlock for fifteen minutes."

>Their tone shifts from one of jest to one of annoyance. They scowl. Or is that a pout?

">>>So sorry'f I bump into ya few times after all that. Still>>>kinda out of it."

>They make an attempt to lean their shoulder into Nano's back.

"Whoops--"


| >>784655
>The Albino woman turns to you with a smile, her eyes closed
"I think you may have the wrong person, I'd remember meeting someone like you if I ever did"
>She chuckles
"That doesn't mean we can't introduce ourselves right now though"
>She extends a hand towards you
"Falschen, I'm a gardener down in Temple-1"


| > A tall, lanky-looking lilim enters into the tea shop. Their green eyes glow oddly in the light of the shop as he walks forward, looking around as he approaches the counter. There's a distracted air about him as he moves, seemingly not paying any mind to where he's walking

> He gets to the counter and keeps looking around, despite obviously knowing he shouldn't be.


| >>784791

> Once the tea was prepared, Edgar placed the teapot in front of Falschen alongside a mug and two small bowls of sugar and creamer.

"Spoons are in the holders along the counter. Please enjoy!"

>>784851

> Noting his nth newest arrival Edgar approached and gently nodded to his guest after he sat down.

"Welcome to Teafluent, how can I help you? You look a little lost, do you know where you are?"


| >>784852

> the Lilim perks up and seems to react to the voice quickly, dispelling his distracted air

"oh! Hello yes! This is a tea shop isn't it? I saw it while i was doing some deliveries the other day and wanted to try it out!"

> He seems earnest, keeping his focus on the person speaking to him.


| >>784853

> Edgar smiled and nodded, his fingers tapping together.

"Yes, yes. This is Teafluent and it's my lovely little tea house. Please take a seat and let me know what you'd like! We've got just about everything you can imagine.

> Edgar stepped to the side and gestured to one of the few empty seats left at the counter that seemed to grow the more people came in.


| >>784855

"Perfect! Is it possible for me to get a small pot of Green tea? My caretaker always used to make it on slow nights and I really could go for some!"

> The eyes of the lilim seemed to glow more intensely from out of nowhere.


| >>784748

>Nano yelps and wobbles as much as you'd expect. He grabs behind himself even if it's a blind spot.
"We're in public,"
>He gasps and whispers, sounding a little too dramatic to be concerned. He pushes his back into them.


| >>784865
>There's a yelp and a growl; a sharply muttered "Move it!", before noises of frustration give way to those of amusement-- Nano's companion leans into him further, and snickers loudly. An unstoppable force, and an (apparently) unmovable object... what a pair, these two!

"C'mon, >>>Dipshit--!!"


| >>784640 "Um hi I was just wondering if you had any kinds of tea that would help with relaxation." "My job keeps kind of pushing me to do something other than just trying to drink my depression away." "They say it's becoming a real problem."

>The petite lilim girl spoke softly and avoided eye contact, staring down at her shoes.


| >>784878
>Falschen turns her head towards the unmovable force and object waging war with eachother, her ears having picked up on their voices
>Her pale cherry pink lips morph into a wide grin as her eyes narrows
>she waves towards the both of them


| >>784878

"B-Behave yourself-"
>He chuckles, finding an arm and hooking them in. He leads his pal stumbling towards the display items. Maybe they have dry samples here? Sprinkle some leaves in your mouth? Well, not his mouth.


| >>784791
>Evening giggles softly and shakes Falschen's hand

"Ehe, did I say that out loud~? My mistake~! As for me...You can call me Evening, since that's easier to pronounce than my actual name~"

>Giving a wide smile, she tilts her head slightly, humming softly to herself.

"I'm just an ex-intelligence officer who spends her time tinkering with drones nowadays~. Though gardening sounds like a rewarding hobby~"


| >>784857

"Yes, I can certainly make you green tea but what would you like? I have a lot of green tea at my disposal."

>>784909

> Edgar paused and looked over at the two playfully bickering with one another as they walked into the shop. There were dry samples behind the counter, but as they approached Edgar carefully lifted a small bottle of water with a nozzle.

"Please behave."

>>784881

"Something to relax? Sure! I'll get you some rose and honey. It's a good relaxant."


| >>785053 "Mhm, alright thank you." "If you think that'd work, I mean it's not like I care about the work that much anymore but they kept pushing me to try and get some help."

> The petite Lilim sighed softly and did her best to hop up to a seat.


| >>785174

> Edgar set the spray bottle down as he went to fix a rose teapot for the Lilim. While it was steeping he returned to her with a small bottle of honey.

"Well, perhaps it's better to try than to not try at all. Alcohol might only be keeping you in such a negative state. I would recommend a nice hour of meditation each day, personally, or professional help."

> He stepped away again to retrieve the tea pot and a mug before setting both down in front of her.

"Please enjoy"


|


| >>785053

"annnoo...... just green... tea? There's more than one kind?"

> His look changes to one of more confusion. He tries to reference all he knows about green tea and his banks just come up with nothing that he thinks could be useful

"hmm.... my caretaker made it. It wasn't green-green but it was green tea. There was rice in it? It had a toasty taste definitely. My apologies if that doesn't help you. I will take whichever you feel is good"

> He gives an apologetic bow


| >>784909 >>785053
>What's that spray bottle for? Guy must be fixing to mist some succulents he's got hidden away under the counter, or something. Maybe he's got a treasure trove of crystals stashed away there, too? Definitely looks the type to collect all sorts of weird junk...

>The half of the pair doing a wobbly waltz over to the tidy arrangement of teas throws a mischievous glance over her shoulder at the poor soul acting as her chaperone.

"Gonna behave when'm >>>dead--"


| >>785591

>Gou notices the rowdy pair come in and overhears the last statement.

"I like the enthusiasm, miss. Just make sure you're not stepping on anyone else's toes."

>He scratches his head

"I guess what I'm saying is, do what you like but don't expect that you're not gonna get sprayed, alright?"


| >>785591

>Nano would have leaned over her to grab for the goods, but Gou's reply makes him pause. He whispers in her ear instead:
"Ooh, you heard the man.."
>...And gets another arm around her to squeeze her tight.

>>785598

>Speaking publicly has him put on a completely different expression.
"Don't worry, sir.. That's just the sarcasm. She'll get it out of her system soon enough."


| >>784896

>His peripheral catches the smiling woman. Is she waving at them? He doesn't recognize her, even as he peeks under the curls of his bangs.


| >>785450

"Don't worry! I know exactly what you want."

> Edgar stepped away to get to work before getting the spray bottle yet again.

>>785619 >>785591

> A warning shot was fired, a single fierce misting into the air next to the pair. Edgar pouted with the bottle in hand.

"The next one won't miss, please don't wrestle or manhandle customers or product."

> He turned and got back to preparing Fox's tea, humming as he went after setting the bottle down.


| >>784942
"Rewarding is one way to describe it, its always pleasant to see the fruits of your labor directly."
>Falschen says with a wide grin
"Intelligence officer was it? I bet there's not much you could tell me about your previous work?"
>Her curiosity seemed piqued.


| >>785619
>>785693

>Gou puts his hands up.

"Hey now, I'm not gonna be the one delivering the punishment."

>He points his thumb over at Edgar.

"This guy here though, he's fixing to do what he's gotta. Wonder how often he has to break the glass on that thing."


| >>785715
"That's true enough, I get to have that feeling more often nowadays~"

>Evening rubs the back of her head and hums softly, thinking about her previous line of work.

"Well, we mainly operated drones, and went on site sometimes in dangerous areas~ As you know, intelligence is vital to fighting battles~"

>She takes a sip of her tea and sways side to side slightly.

"And since we worked with drones, I kinda grew attached to them~!"


| >>785693

“Oh! Umm… okay. I see thank you”

> Fox nervously takes a step back, seeing what was going on and not wanting to get sprayed with what he assumed was water. He eyes a table and takes a step towards it

“Umm… I’m going to sit over at that table I think. Thank you again”


|


| >Shyly a Lillim peeks her head into the doorway. She backs away a few times, peeking her head in a few more until she finally decides to head inside. She isn't one anyone would recognize, though her look is... Unique. She has Bright blue hair tied into twintails, and an almost neon pink dress on.
>Once inside, she nervously stammers to the counter.
"h-hello. do you have any topkek here?"


| >>785598 >>785619 >>785693 >>785716
>Surrounded by scolding; ambushed, /accosted/ from all sides by admonishment--!! Her lips pull back in a tight grimace as annoyance at all of this "uninvited" criticism begins to wind her like a spring. The coil only tightens further when her former "partner in crime" betrays her, and starts to rub it in. She tenses in his arms, and makes as if she's trying to worm her way out of them.

"L-lemme go--!!"

>She throws a half-hearted elbow his way.


| >>786279
>She pauses in her squirming to squint at Gou.

"What, y'the hired muscle here all'a sudden--"

>She glowers at Edgar for a moment before returning her attention to the detective.

"-- or ya just tryna score a free refill by kissin' ass?"

>The woman's eyes drift to Gou's wrist as he raises his cup to his mouth. A sharp "tsk!" escapes her before she tosses her head in disgust.

"どっかいけよ..."


| >>786280
> The Japanese in the air sparks the Lilim’s interest and he walks toward the sound, worrying about what could be happening. Something in his audio-core tells him the voice is familiar.

“何それ?大丈夫?”

> he finally approaches who could have been talking and it dawns on him that it’s someone who could charitably be considered his friend

“テンさん?君が?”


| >>786285
>The woman starts when she hears the lilim call her name-- or, /one/ of her names, anyway. A quick glance his way would reveal why this one, in particular, is being used.

"ありえへん...!"

>She shields her eyes with her palm in disappointment, applying some ostrich logic to this sticky situation-- maybe if /she/ can't see Fox, he'll lose track of/her/...


| >>786286
“関西弁知らない… けど… こんばんは!久しぶり”

> The lilim clearly doesn’t understand the social cue of what it means to hide ones face. He also doesn’t seem to even notice the whole *everything* happening around his friend


| >>786287
>The woman quietly parrots Fox in a nasally, sing-song tone.

"'関西弁知らない'~"

>She sneers and rolls her eyes, muttering to herself.

"... No fuckin' >>>shit."

>A grunt or a groan escapes her before she forces herself to respond to Fox's greeting.

"ばわ;さしぶり..."


| >>786280

>Gou strokes his chin and looks at the ceiling.

"Huh, now that's a thought. You think that works?"

>Gou snaps his fingers and speaks to Edgar.

"Hell of a place you got here Edgar, can I just say this tea is excellent."

>Then shoots the roughhouser a sideways glance and a small smirk.


| >>786289
> Fox somehow doesn’t notice for a second the obvious situation and instead continues to focus on his ‘friend’

“ねえ how has everything been? I remember hearing about weird stuff happening and meant to ask your partner about it. Do you mind if I sit near you?”

>>786290
> His blinders really are on, as he still hasn’t fully registered the situation with this person he doesn’t even know at the table he’s getting comfortable at


| > An air of ambivalence seeps into the settelement and towards the counter — a brunette woman dressed with what appears to be a leisurewear: a white dress shirt under a deep, royal blue vest — and accompanied by darker shades of grey and black for her trousers and boots, respectively.

> Her eyes reflect a surpassingly reserved insight. The colour of green, almost jade, did those orbs show.

> Her hands rest on the counter.

"May I make an order?"


| >>786258

> Turning towards the small voice as he brews, Edgar gives a soft shake of his head.

"I'm afraid not, I've just got coffee cake tonight. I can check my pastry box to see if my brother left anything behind."

>>786290

"Thank you!"

> He continued to work.

>>786294

> Hearing yet another customer, Edgar left the teapot to steep and met the woman at the counter.

"Of course, what can I do for you?"

> Edgar smiled, his cheerful radiance meeting the ambivalent wall.


| >>786355
>She looks slightly disappointed for just a moment before smiling
"May I please get um, a berry tea then?"


| >>786355
> The woman puts forward a smile of her own. To be polite, then to reply:

"Can I inquire the menu? My selection may perhaps be out of normalcy; I seek not to sound flaunting with it, if it is possible."


|


| >>786364

> Edgar nodded an affirmative.

"Of course, what type of berry would you like?"

>>786370

"Well, the menu is above you on the signs. I have just about everything though, I like to keep an unusual selection."

> The signs indeed have a lot of basic choices, but also a few of the more exotic of teas and coffee blends.

>>786291

> At the small beep of a timer, Edgar steps away from the counter and brings Fox his tea and fixings.

"Please enjoy, sir!"


| >>786641
> The woman slightly tilts her head upwards. Not even a blink later, she had returned into eye contact with Edgar again.

"Then, I shall be forward with my request. This is one brew a dear friend gave me the pleasure of experiencing; it had such taste hinting of tieluohan wherefore a sharp spice is expected — nary that, it too, had a long aroma of the flower fields, as one with tieguanyin."

> She pauses, briefly distracted.

"… Will that description suffice?"


| >>786279 #786287

>It's at this point Nano realizes he's added fuel to the fire. It doesn't matter if the burn isn't serious - He's the one who dragged her along! He doesn't want to make her day worse. He'll accept all the elbows she can give. When "Ten" and Fox's chat taper off, he mutters a
"Sorry.."
>and pats her side. This particular friendly stranger doesn't register as a surprise to him, given that they both greet each other on familiar terms.


| >After some debating..

"..."

>He whispers at her again. Unlike before, it's nigh incomprehensible. He parts with a
"..But let me look first. Okay?"
>He's not meeting her in the eyes.


| >>785810
>Falschen chuckles
"I see, grew attached to them eh?"
>She sips on her tea slowly
"What kinda work do you do nowadays?"


| >>786641
"I'll have um... raspberry..."


| >>786667

> Edgar returned to the counter and tapped his chin thoughtfully.

"While I may not have exactly what you're looking for, I could certainly get you something close to that. It will take me a bit to prepare, though."

>>786971

"Raspberry tea it is! I've got some dried raspberries around here somewhere..."

> Edgar stepped back towards his various tea-making instruments and began to prepare both brews. Albeit one taking far more care and with some additives.


| >>787028
"Your efforts shall not be unnoticed. Thank you."

> The woman gives a smile, displaying a sincere gratitude as she watches Edgar go through his means of concocting the brew.


|


| >Another pair of figures enters the shop. One is a man with raven-black hair sported in a buzz cut, a small scar can be seen above his right eye if one looks closely. Half of his face is covered by a dark gray neck gaiter and he is dressed in a desert tan shell jacket and a pair of cargo pants.


| >The other figure is a woman with equally dark hair, neatly cut into a shoulder-length bob. She wears a neck gaiter as well, although it's currently pulled down around her neck. She has a small ear piece inside on her ear. She is dressed in a brown leather jacket, although a black turtleneck sweater can be seen underneath, as well as a pair of navy blue jeans and heavy-duty boots.

>The couple makes their way towards the counter.


|


| >>787030 >>786971

> After a few more moments, Edgar brought the prepared teas to the guests who desired them.

"For you, madam, some Raspberry tea!"

> A pause as he placed down creamer and sugar.

"And for you, madam, a spice black tea that I hope will fit what you desired."

> He set down the pot and the saucers, quickly realizing that with the sudden rush of customers he's running out of his nearly limitless supply of teapots.


| >>786757 >>786291
>As Nano bows his head to nestle his nose in her hair, and murmurs softly into her ear, the woman's chest jumps-- she flinches. Why?

"..."

>Ah, it must be from the impact of her heart, hurled like a fastball into the bony net of her ribcage. That's three strikes, batter-- you're out-- benched, for the rest of the trip! "Ten" accepts her defeat with a wobble of her lip, and a hard blink.


| >>787686
>She mumbles, either to the man busy turning her face all kinds of red, or the lilim fixing to chatter her one /free/ ear off:

"... Fine."

>>786805
>The friendly wave Fal gave her on the way into the cafe did not go unnoticed-- but, only just now is it acknowledged. The woman raises a shaky hand in greeting.

"H-hey, Fal...!"

>Her shoulders sag, and her back bends under the crushing weight of her own embarrassment as she croaks out a hello.


| >>787688 >>786641

"ありがとうございます"

> Fox takes the tea set and quickly finds a seat to make himself comfortable and even has chairs for Nano and "Ten" to sit down on.

> He pours a cup for everyone around him, grabbing mugs wherever he spots a clean one, not considering whether or not he could do that, before pouring himself one and taking a deep drink

"飲みて!お茶です"

> He finally notices Falschen and waves, recognizing them but not being able to place from where yet


| >>787688

>Gou now disappointed that his gambit for free tea has not bore fruit, turns to the woman.

"Appreciate the idea there, miss. But seemingly, it didn't work... Maybe next time I could try laying it on a little thicker. What do you think?"

>>787685

>He sees the Lillim that hasn't noticed him and waves his hands around with a smile.

"And hello to you too!"


| >>787667
> The woman gazed at each process before the tea became what it is now — from preparation to serving. Her delicate mannerism were thorough and wouldn't have exempted her from the label of a 'bourgeois critic'.

"A flavour that manifests protection from enmity; a flavour for unity. What was said was once true for tea."

> She muses, in a voice albeit too quiet for the room, before tapping the table lightly with her index and middle finger.

"Thank you."


| >>787266 >>787269

>Breaking from his realization that he was quickly running out of ceramics. Edgar noticed his two newest customers and gently bowed in their direction.

"Welcome to Teafluent! How can I help you?"

>Edgar spoke quickly as he attempted to stop and keep an eye on Fox's grabbing hands before ultimately giving up and letting him take the mugs.

>>787721

> Slowing down yet again, Edgar sighed and smiled at the woman.

"Of course, please enjoy it."


| >>787737
> A polite bow.

"What shall I address you as?"

> With a glimpse towards the busy day, she returned the smile at Edgar. Her behaviour continues unperturbed whilst herself becoming entranced by the scent of the tea.

"Our time may be fleeting; alas, that is no guarantee that I won't return here. For myself, it is of utmost importance to know the name of those that have given their services."


| >>787737
>The woman smiles softly to herself, noticing the capitalized characters on the signs and menus.

"Well, I'm thinking earl gray tea... for both of us."

>She replies to the man behind the counter, turning to her companion for confirmation. The man nods.

"Yep, earl gray sounds perfect, thank you."

>She quickly leans over the counter once they'd finished ordering.

>"Did you try capslock, or did you get the shift key situation sorted out?"


| >>787702
>"Ten" directs her gaze towards the ID band on Gou's wrist once again-- she jerks her chin upward, indicating the bracelet with a nod.

"Don't you got somewhere t'be, pally? Got tea back on the floor; know'f you'd fuckin' stayed there like you're s'posed to. Y'wanna get your nurse in trouble?"

>Suddenly, she /cares/ about the nurses? What's gotten into her? Her husband would call her on her bullshit in mere seconds, if he was here...


| >>787774

>Gou sips his tea slowly before replying.

"Well, the only tea they have in the hospital are those mass produced tea bags; Black tea, block cheddar, and saltines aren't gonna do the trick."

"Nobody's gonna know I'm gone by the time I get back, it's a victimless crime! Maybe if they didn't want me to leave they shouldn't have given me a window so close to the drain pipe."


| >>787778
>The woman grunts, and shakes her head disapprovingly.

"Ain't got stones t'go AMA? Or that street sign clock ya hard enough that y'couldnt make it through the paperwork?"

>She snorts derisively.


| >>787785

>Gou does nothing but snicker back in return.

"Oh! You saw the story then, huh? Yeah that sign really cold cocked me but I might just be allergic to paperwork. Skipping out of paperwork to jump out of a window just sounds like an average Wednesday to me."


| >>787789
"Keep this shit up, 'n that big-ass tree's gonna get jealous. Sure it's plottin' revenge on ya already-- can see the headlines now:"

>"Ten" holds up her hands in front of her, as if spreading her words across the LED display of an imaginary ticker tape.

"'(Christmas) Lights Out-- Cop Electrocuted After Getting Tangled Up in Tinsel'."

>She quips, dryly.


| >>787792

>Gou belts out in laughter, slamming the table with his palm.

"I'd nearly forgotten about that one! Shifu used to tell us that just as a tall tree is known for its shadow, so too is a great man known for his enemies. He never said anything about having a tall tree for an enemy.

"The megachristmas tree was a mighty foe indeed but I gotta say it's *bark* is definitely worse than it's bite."

>Gou quips, wetly.


|


|


| >>787688
>Falschen seems a bit surprised to be acknowledged so late but still breaks out into a grin
>She rises from her chair and approaches both 'Ten' and Fox
"I thought I would be ignored for a while there, I was stressing out, thinking you hadn't recognized me without my coat!"
>The tall Albino seems to be in a really good mood


|


| >>787746

> Edgar paused at the woman's polite nature before sheepishly rubbing the back of his head.

"Most people just call me Edgar, how should I refer to you?"

>>787753

"Earl Grey it is! And as for the signs... my brother returned the shift key, but it seems pastries are now the devil instead. So, I've lost those."

> He stepped away to prepare more tea, gently flicking a switch to light up a Capacity sign on the big glass windows.


| >>788566
"My, you have one mischievous brother indeed, mister Edgar."

>The woman remarks with an amused but gentle grin.

"Quite, reminds me of a certain someone's brother."

>The man quips, prompting a glare from his female companion. He grins back and continues.

"Well, fine, perhaps more in a 'joking at the wrong time' way than a 'stealing random items from their siblings' way."


| >>788566
"I have a great many names. However, those acquainted refer to me as 'Ceasenne'."

> The woman mentions her name in a different tone; she wasn't one to shy away from an introduction.

"It is a fine day meeting you, Edgar. I expect myself to return here in a distant tomorrow."

> She smiles and before her hand is this small serving of the tea — a second pouring. First to cleanse, second to indulge.


| >>788619
>Falschen's attuned ears don't miss the mention of "Ceasenne", but she decides to not poke her nose where it doesn't belong
>The faint smile on her face doesn't vanish though, as she recalls memories of a certain evening.


| >>788619 >>788621
>Likewise, the mention of the name earns Ceasenne a quick glance from the couple at the counter, but the pair didn't speak up either.


|


| >>788606

"Er... mischievous is not the word I would use for him. He's a conspiracy nut and regularly makes my life harder than it should be. If I didn't support him, though..."

> Edgar trailed off, rubbing the back of his head before setting out the last of his teapots for the couple along with two well-decorated cups.

"Please enjoy!"

>>788619

"Ceasenne? A great pleasure to meet you then, miss. I suppose everyone earns a few names in their life, depending on who you ask."


| >>787688

>The pitcher doesn't jump for joy at his win. Rather, he follows the pattern on the cafe floor, only looking up when he has tea to peruse. Tins and boxes. Let's think about that. Nano picks one up and turns it in his hand. Maybe he'll ask for that sample.

"...."

>Yeah, let's.. Uh... Where was he? Err...

Total number of posts: 139, last modified on: Thu Jan 1 00:00:00 1632094607

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