Burgers at the Crown

Akari and Millie head to the Crown, where they meet a man named Yagami. They have a friendly conversation, little knowing that he's actually Zafira.

Date: 2019-02-23
Pose Count: 34
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 01:27:17 103734
Akari has been ... improving. She doesn't "feel all better" in any meaningful sense -- the encounter with St. George is less than two months in the past, after all -- but there's definitely a marked improvement over what happened previously.

"... I mean, it's just nice to know that I'm not alone," she's saying quietly to Millie as the two enter the Crown after some intense training. "Just knowing that Fate-chan and Runealy-chan have been through the same thing, and that I can talk to them, just feels like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak." She shrugs. "... even if it does still hurt."

She's even managing a smile as she heads towards the upstairs eatery. "The bottom line is, I'm pretty sure I'm on the upswing," she adds. "... Anyway, uh ... what are you having?"
Millie White 2019-02-23 01:42:37 103735
Friday after school and after practice was the perfect time to go to the arcade. Not only could they grab a bite to eat, but they could unwind for a bit. It had been a while now since Millie had allowed herself a proper break like this. She had spent long enough unable to henshin that she had been going on patrols as frequently as possible now that she could. Between kendo at school, training with Akari and Alexis, patrolling every night, and fighting youma when they reared their heads, she hadn't had a lot of time to herself.... well, until now. The Cure looked a bit worn out, but she was excited about going to the arcade.

"Of course you're not alone." Millie replied with a smile. "Fate-san and Waldian-san sound like good folk from what I've heard. I think you're in good hands." At the mention of hurt, the Cure gently squeezed her friend's shoulder as a show of support. At the next question, a large yet lopsided grin spread across her face.

"A burger. A really big one. What're you getting?"
Zafira 2019-02-23 01:48:17 103736
A tan skinned, white with blue streaked haired guy who looks like he might be old enough to be out of highschool is looking a little lost here in the arcade. He's currently on the 2nd floor, nibbling thoughtfully at a fry that was sampled to him by some nice person or another. Hmmm! Zafira Yagami has yet to taste a food since his awakening that he hasn't liked....except Shamal's horrible sense for what flavors go together. That seems like a problem generally held by people who have had her cooking when she's left unsupervised though. Given the guy's fit looking apperance and general lack of interest in what is downstairs, combined with his almost lost seeming amount of curiousity about things...he might stick out terribly.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 01:59:38 103737
Akari smiles and nods, and somewhat awkwardly pats Millie's shoulder in return. "Oh, you heard right," she says. She considers Millie's question as well. "Probably the same, to be honest," she says. "This place has good burgers. Fries, too, for that matter."

She'd probably be instantly recognizable to Zafira; setting aside the fact that her henshin doesn't hide her identity, she's even got the same bag with the two swords, and she's wearing the same blue track suit. Really, it's like the encounter with him and Signum never happened. (If not for the fact that she can now use magic in her humanoid form.)
Millie White 2019-02-23 02:12:50 103738
The burgers here WERE really good, only made better by the delicious fries that Akari was one hundred percent correct about. Millie nodded with a chuckle. She fully intended to have fries with her burger. Not having fries with a burger was... well, it was basically unheard of!

"Definitely." She agreed before moving forwards to place their order. Millie would also be quite noticeable to Zafira, as the last time the two of them had met, she had been unable to henshin and she had fought exactly how she was currently... right down to the jeans, t-shirt, and faded green overshirt she always seemed to wear. Besides looking a little tired, the Cure seemed to be in good spirits all things considered.

Millie placed their order and her gaze swept back across the room, only to notice a guy with white hair and blue streaks. Hm... didn't see hair like that very often. Her emerald gaze lingered perhaps for a few moments too long on the stranger, almost like she was lost in thought.
Zafira 2019-02-23 02:22:24 103739
Zafira practically chokes on the fry as he notices Akari and Millie. Granted, it's the most dead pan fry choking EVER, but still. Thankfully he at least looks a little different. No dog ears, no tail, human ears, streaks in his hair. Otherwise he looked the same, outside of clothing, but there's still that magical way of hiding one's identity somehow without actually doing much to hide it. He rather pointedly puts his attention elsewhere for a moment as he tries to clear his throat of the fry he nearly choked himself on.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 02:34:54 103740
Akari follows Millie's gaze, but she doesn't recognize the man any more than Millie does. She sends Millie a telepathic message. 'Y'know what, I don't think this is a good time to do that thing where I pretend to be excited by the sight of another foreigner like I did when I met you.' she says dryly. As she's made clear since then, the difference between Akari The Magical Girl versus Akari The Completely Ordinary But Ethnically Foreign Orphan is subtle, but distinct.

Nevertheless, what with one thing and another, they end up sitting at the next table over from Zafira. "Anyway, yeah," she says. She pauses. "You know what, I'm not even sure what else to talk about, ahaha ..."
Millie White 2019-02-23 02:51:17 103741
The telepathic message wasn't as startling as it had been the first few times they had happened, but Millie still flinched ever so slightly. The message earned another chuckle from the Canadian as they headed to a table... the table right next to the man with the streaks in his hair. As they sat down and Akari admitted she didn't know what to talk about, Millie actually let out a rumbling laugh.

"Then eat!" The Cure shoved the tray closer to Akari as if urging her to dig into her burger. Millie was about to do the same when she noticed the man next to them... he was coughing lightly, almost like he was clearing his throat. Was he choking? Carefully, Millie called out to the man.

"You okay, sir? Need a drink?" The Cure offered her own untouched soda, a kind grin on her face. Even if he wasn't actually choking, what kind of person would she be if she didn't at least check?
Zafira 2019-02-23 02:56:04 103742
Zafira holds up his hand dismissively as he shakes his head. "N-no..." he manages, "-'m ok." He finishes with his throat clearing and rubs at his face a moment. He peers up after another short moment though. ....burger...that must be burger in that sandwich.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 03:01:35 103743
Akari smiles at Millie and nods. For the briefest of instants, she feels like she's once again stumbling over Earth's societal norms. But oh well. Good burgers are to be had!

She takes a bite out of her burger, looking curiously over at the man Millie's offering her drink to. Well, okay, he seems to be just fine. She swallows, and grins knowingly at Millie; even in a case like this, the Canadian girl's immediate urge is to try to see how she can help people.
Millie White 2019-02-23 03:12:24 103744
Well, it seemed he was alright! That was the important part. Millie nodded as the man waved dismissively, and set her drink back down. She caught the look Akari was giving her, and she shrugged good naturedly, the tips of her ears flushed ever so slightly a red hue. The man was okay, Akari was smiling again, she was about to have a burger... nothing could ruin this moment, she thought as she raised her burger to take a bite.

... The burger paused halfway to her mouth. Was the man staring at their food? The Cure wanted to test her theory by moving her burger left and right to see if his eyes followed the meal, but she figured that would be rude. So instead, ever the honest soul, Millie spoke up again. "... are you hungry? You're eyeing this burger like you are." Her tone was gentle and amused, and this time, she offered her burger to him. Sure, she had paid for the burger, but as long as it was getting eaten, it wasn't a waste. Especially if someone was hungry, and double especially if they enjoyed it.
Zafira 2019-02-23 03:17:13 103745
Zafira blinks at this offer and waves his hand again. "...I shouldn't..." he murmurs. He is hungry from all this food that's around, but he shouldn't go taking people's MEALS from them. A single french fry is one thing, but the main course? Besides he has to work out this whole money thing /somehow/, and he won't do that if he's just taking free hand outs. "Maybe I can buy one..." he says uncertaintly.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 03:21:13 103746
Akari snorts. "I mean, that is kind of over-the-top even for you, Millie-chan," she says. "He can ..." She hesitates as a thought strikes her. "... Can you buy it yourself, without it being a problem for you?"

And then she blinks. "Oh, um, I'm Akari Hayabusa, by the way." Not introducing herself feels like some sort of faux pas again.
Millie White 2019-02-23 03:31:31 103747
Over the top? Maybe. Honestly though, she was just happy to be taking a break in good company. Whether she had a burger or not didn't really matter to her. Besides... she had a knack for knowing when people were hungry, and this guy? This guy was definitely hungry. A rumbling chuckle escaped her as she reached out, placing her burger in its wrapper and setting it down on the table next to him.

"I can always get a new one, it's no problem. Or I can steal a bite of Akari's." The Cure finished slyly with a grin. When Akari introduced herself, Millie straightened her shoulders and back, and offered a small polite bow. "And I'm Millie White. Pleasure to meet you." she said before popping a few fries in her mouth. Aaah... these fries were thick cut and had a decent amount of salt on them. They reminded her of some popular places back home, so coming here always brought a smile to her face whether it was because of the food or the video games.
Zafira 2019-02-23 03:42:03 103748
Zafira peers toward the burger in a way where one might ALMOST imagine pouty looking dog ears and a loose hanging tail on him. It's wierd since he's not really emoting at all and has no such features. He carefully puts the burger back and takes out whatever money it is he has left between what he's had left from any small errands he's done in the past and anything Hayate's just handed him in hopes he'd find something he'd like and get it. It should be more than enough to get a small meal. Thankfully, he VERY much looks out of place, so he can easily claim lack of being fully aware of how money works HERE yet, instead of still trying to follow how money works in general. "...I'm Yagami," he replies, pausing for a short moment since using his first name seems like a bad idea, and it seems in custom to call people here by family name anyway, "...Hayabusa, White..." His greeting is very shortly worded and said with a nod toward each of them.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 03:50:30 103749
Akari opens her mouth to comment, and then blushes as Millie suggests stealing a bite from her burger. Oh dear. "M-Millie-chan, no!" she says, grinning.

And then she blinks as the man introduces himself. "Yagami?" she says. She hesitates. "You wouldn't by any chance be related to a girl named Hayate, would you?" She pauses. "... I'm not actually sure how common the surname 'Yagami' is, I just met her at a convenience store once."
Millie White 2019-02-23 04:02:28 103750
As the burger was returned to her, Millie simply shrugged with a smile. She wasn't offended or anything. Quite the contrary; she was content that she tried. The way the man had been looking at her burger, it felt almost... dog-like. She wasn't sure why, but there it was. When Akari blushed, Millie actually had to look away to stifle her laughter. She was very careful to make sure she wasn't teasing Akari in a way that could be misunderstood, especially after the question her friend had asked her. Yet every once in a while, even the ever-honest Millie could let loose and joke around a bit.

"Nice to meet you, Yagami-san." Millie began to eat her burger as Akari recounted that she had encountered another Yagami. Yagami could be a very common name, and this Hayate could be a completely different person. It didn't matter to Millie since she had never met either of them. Her gaze returned to Yagami and she stayed silent for now.
Zafira 2019-02-23 04:15:52 103751
Zafira hesitates for some reason at answering the question of Hayate, but he nods in reply since they don't recognize him. "Hayate is my realative...I came here to help her." Must be part of that family of her's that somehow didn't even know what basic flavors of ice cream were like. What kind of part of the world did they COME from that a college age looking guy has a Japanese last name and hasn't had ice cream? Might it have just been a case of hard luck that's looked up because of the family coming to Hayate's aid somehow? In either case the money seems to be confusing him. He offers a nod though. "Nice to meet you..." he repeats.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 04:27:00 103752
Akari giggles along with Millie. "Shush, you!" The question wasn't as serious as it could have been, and Akari is basically over the question, but sometimes Millie's teasing hits her in just the right way ...

She perks up slightly as Mr. Yagami talks about helping Hayate. "Oh, yeah," she says. "I'm glad Hayate-san has family helping her out! She definitely seemed like a nice girl!" She ... doesn't seem to notice anything odd about his struggles with money; which makes sense, considering she's basically as Belkan as he is.
Millie White 2019-02-23 04:46:09 103753
Millie did not miss the man's hesitation. He seemed uncomfortable in conversation, at least on the topic of his relatives. The Canadian smiled when he said he came here to help whoever Hayate was though. This man seemed kind, even if it wasn't at first glance. The Cure also did not miss the fact that he was having some difficulty with the money. Perhaps the Yagami's lived outside of Japan?

"Lemme help you with that." Millie said quietly. The Cure reached out and helpfully explained how much each piece of currency was worth. Once he knew that, it should be easy for him to order himself a delicious burger. Millie herself leaned back and began to dig into the rest of her meal. The way she ate was ravenous, like someone who hadn't eaten in days, yet somehow managed to remain polite. It was like the epitome of someone who just really enjoyed their meals.
Zafira 2019-02-23 04:56:33 103755
"Yes, she a wonderful person," Zafira says as he nods thankfully toward Millie's helping him out with the money amounts. He usually gets by by having a set list of things to get and what should be the right amount of money to get them...and he didn't want to bother Hayate with such things, so this was likely a sorely needed lesson. He'd go off to get himself some food. However he'd be bringing something extra back once he could return to the table, since Millie was nice enough to help him and offer her food when it seemed like she was so hungry.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 05:02:07 103756
Akari smiles at Millie, watching her help him out. She'd offer to help as well, but Millie seems to have it all well in hand. She nods to him. "Yeah, that's the impression I got just from our meeting!" she says. "Really interested in cooking, too!"

... And then when he leaves and is out of sight, her smile falters slightly. "Ugh ... damn it," she mutters. "That talk about his family ..." She rubs her eyes. "Gonna need to lean a bit more on my infiltration mode." She takes a deep breath and tries to put her casual smile back on.
Millie White 2019-02-23 05:11:11 103757
Yagami-san was all set, and he wandered off to go get himself some food. There, a good deed for the day. When Millie's gaze returned to Akari, she was concerned to see her smile falter. Oh, Akari...she hadn't even thought that talking about Yagami's relatives would remind her friend of her own relatives. There wasn't really anything she could do when it came to this, and it killed her inside to know that.

"You've got this, Akari." The Cure said gently to encourage her friend. Encouragement and support was really all she could do at this point... that and to kick Georgie Boy in the teeth with her fist if she ever saw him.

Yagami soon returned, and with more than what she had been expecting him to get. The Canuck grinned broadly. "You sure are hungry!" She noted, unaware that the extra portions were for sharing.
Zafira 2019-02-23 05:16:59 103758
Zafira would return with three 'ice cream smoothies' offering them all out for choosing because he didn't know about which flavors to get. Of course it's the three basic flavors, one of each. "Thank you," he says as he nods toward the milk shakes and then starts eating his food. He means for them each to take one and he'll be happy with which ever one is left, but he's not much of one for words so he just leaves it at that gesture and expects them to understand.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 05:20:37 103759
Akari nods to Millie. "I know, I know," she says softly. "I'll be ready next time." She does sound confident, at least.

When Yagami returns, she hasn't quite managed to get over her relatively subdued demeanor. But when he offers the ice cream smoothies, she perks up visibly. "Oh! Thank you!" she says, gingerly taking one of the milkshakes. "Heh, you're a really nice person, y'know that, Yagami-san?"

Ah, irony ...
Millie White 2019-02-23 05:30:02 103760
She knew Akari knew... but she had to make sure. Millie would always make sure. When Yagami set down the milkshakes and offered them, Millie couldn't help but stare for a moment. Her expression was a little stunned, and surprisingly, a little sad. The Cure quickly recovered and the grin was back on her face like nothing had ever happened. Millie carefully reached out and took the chocolate milkshake.

"Thanks, Yagami-san. Akari's right, you're very kind." Thankfully, Millie didn't seem to have any trouble understanding Yagami's words, or rather, lack-there-of. Language was intuitive, and she tended to pick up on it quickly. After a sip of milkshake, she added, "Whoever this Hayate is, she's lucky to have you here to help her."
Zafira 2019-02-23 05:47:58 103761
Zafira tilts his head some at being called a nice person and being told Hayate was lucky to have him. He looks almost as if he doesn't understand such a statement, but then shakes his head some as he takes the last milkshake. "I just do what I'm supposed to," he replies before hesitantly adding, "...I'm not that nice..."
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 05:53:49 103762
Akari smiles at him. "This city's full of people who are better than they think they are," she says. "I used to think I was pretty awful, until a few months ago." She leaves it at that; no need to go into detail about Nightbell to a civilian. But for some reason, this conversation is reminding her of the first time she met Nanoha Takamachi at the Crown, and realized that she was the only member of Eclipse in a group of heroes. (This was when she got her first hint that Nightbell wasn't her real self, either.)
Millie White 2019-02-23 05:59:16 103763
That was a... strange reaction. Usually people responded well to being called kind or a good person. Reacting with confusion and hesitation wasn't what she would call an average reaction to such compliments. The Cure was quiet as she mulled over his reaction and Akari spoke about the people of Tokyo. What her best friend was saying was true, and she could attest to the fact that there were many many good people... a lot of which didn't even know it yet. Perhaps Yagami was similar?

"Why do you help Hayate-san?" Millie asked suddenly, her emerald gaze locking on Yagami's.
Zafira 2019-02-23 06:20:36 103764
Zafira answers with what seems like a normal hesitance to speak for him thus far, and yet he seems to have a lot more than normal to say when it comes to the topic of Hayate.. "She deserves it...and from what she's shown me that's what family does," 'Yagami' replies, "We are supposed to take care of each other, and she's done a lot for me."
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 06:29:18 103765
Akari doesn't bother to hide her surprise at the part about "from what she's shown me." That turn of phrase makes no sense whatsoever ... unless ...

Well, Akari learned a lot from her sister, after all. Sakura took care of her ... while Dr. Murano never did.

Akari tries to blink away her tears. "Well," she says softly, rubbing her eyes, "you and I might have more in common than I thought." She sniffles a bit, but she's smiling. "You ... you should definitely use Hayate-san as your role model. She ... it sounds like she knows the, uh, the right way of doing things."
Millie White 2019-02-23 06:37:58 103766
A broad smile split the foreigner's face, even after the hesitation Yagami showed when answering.

"See? Good person." Millie said in a triumphant tone. "Hayate-san was kind to you, and you are kind in return. Family or not, that's what good, kind folk do; they look out for each other. You may not think you're very nice, but I bet Hayate-san can see right through you."

Her tone was amused, joking, but it held a serious undertone that showed she meant what she said. There were plenty of families that didn't operate under the 'take care of each other' mantra, the bond between family not even enough to hold them together... but it didn't sound like the Yagamis were one of those families.

Millie noticed Akari's surprised expression and concern grew in her gut. When she saw Akari rubbing at her eyes again, Millie tried to lock eyes with her best friend, almost as if to ask, 'Are you alright?'. Something had changed in her best friend... she wasn't sure what, but she had spent enough time around Akari to know when she's realized something suddenly.
Zafira 2019-02-23 06:50:42 103767
Zafira listens to the other two quietly and seems to silently close his eyes with a sort of acceptance. "Thank you," he murmurs again, "...sometimes it's hard to remember when it comes to things that must be done..." He's careful to say no more than that though. Enough's already been said, even if they don't know who he is in this state.
Rosalie Janus 2019-02-23 06:52:58 103768
Akari telepathically replies to Millie: 'I think Yagami-san found his family, just like I did with Sakura-imouto,' she says. 'The part about "from what she's shown me" is also kind of weird ... but I ... also realized that ... Dr. Murano never cared for me.' Her telepathy sounds a bit more uncertain. 'I ... I need to think about this some more.'

But she just smiles as much as she can, picking up another french fry. "Glad I could help you out in my own way, too, Yagami-san!"