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[SS] Another Part Time Job

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Post  Guy Li Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:05 am

The girl with brown hair who looked exactly like Misaka Mikoto stopped to look at the window of the store as she passed. Something had caught her eye while she had been walking. A piece of jewelry with a simple design that sat behind the glass of the display case. The girl stepped closer, an emotionless expression to her pretty young face. It was impossible to guess from merely looking at her, but inwardly the cogs of her brain were turning in a series of logical steps.

***

"Misaka requires money to exchange for a certain item. Money is earned by performing a service in return for payment. Therefore Misaka requires a job so that she can engage in the necessary transaction, explains Misaka while asking you not to pry further." That same girl declared her purposes in a manner that was at once both straightforward and roundabout at the same time.

"I see. Well, that makes sense, I guess." Guy replied while rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "But how can I help?"

"Misaka knows that you engage in a suspiciously high number of avenues of employment. Misaka requests your advice for acquiring a job of her own, says Misaka hopefully."

"There's nothing suspicious about it. I'm just poor. You think teachers get paid well? Well maybe you're right, but student teachers are another matter." Guy didn't sound awfully pleased with her assessment. "And on top of studying, no less..." He grumbled quietly. Realizing he was going off on a tangent, Guy swiftly returned to the topic at hand. "So, what sort of job are you looking for, anyway? You must have a few skills you can use."

"Misaka is skilled in the use of military-grade firearms and tactics in a battlefield environment. Also-"

"Okay. Maybe those aren't the kind of skills to put at the top of your resume..." He noticed the small change in her otherwise stoic expression, a slight downward glance of the eyes and a downturn of her lips that signaled disappointment. It wasn't that hard to read her once you realized the expression of those feelings was just more subtle.

"Perhaps Misaka is unsuited to normal jobs, says Misaka dejectedly as she recognizes her limitations."

"I'll ask around, I'm sure we'll be able to find something that suits you." Guy reached over to pat her shoulder comfortingly.

***

Her first role had been a clerk at a convenience store. The quiet young lady had been diligent in stocking the shelves and serving customers. She was always on time and prompt with her breaks. She was polite and focused and was a quick learner.

But her aptitude at the job wasn't the issue.

"These steamed buns are 450 yen says Misaka as she advises you of the high salt and fat content of processed foods." The girl standing perfectly still behind the counter said with a straight face.

***

The next position had been as a salesperson at a downtown boutique store. It was the kind of store that served the fashion-conscious elite of the city, offering a wide range of stylish apparel for both men and women. She proved especially adept at identifying customers' measurements from a glance and within a day had memorized the entire catalog of the store.

"Why not try this shade, suggests Misaka as she recommends a heavy foundation to cover your wrinkles."

"A good choice, says Misaka insincerely as she tries to hide her disdain for your poor taste."

***

After that, they'd decided that perhaps customer service wasn't the best field for her. She was much better at clerical work, so good in fact that she managed to make herself redundant by devising a more efficient filing system that rendered her unnecessary. A cleaning gig proved a little too much for her when she spent an entire hour on one corner of the office. That corner had never looked so sparkling, but by contrast, the rest of the building had suffered neglect.

***

"Somehow I feel like things have gone in an unexpected direction..." Guy looked up from the tray of delicate china cups on the counter of the cafe and over towards the girl dressed in a modest-looking maid outfit who was busy serving the far tables. Each of the girls and boys working at the western-style bistro were encouraged to develop a specific persona and she had found her niche easily. She had found a fanbase among that special subset of customers who liked to be treated with indifference.

"It's so quiet today..." The manager sat at the end of the counter, fanning herself with a menu. The older lady looked toward Guy. "It'd be nice if your little friends from Tokiwadai came back some time. Those rich girls are always good customers."

A chill ran down Guy's back as he recalled that tense encounter. He was thankful Mikoto and the others hadn't returned if he was honest. He wasn't sure he could deal with the stress.
Guy Li
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Post  Hujisaka Natsumi Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:22 am

If you spoke of the devil, it tended to appear.

Now, how often was it that the devil was manifested as a short, teenage brunette with a very cute appearance on the outside, but very dreadful personality? Quite often, actually. In fact, most of the girls she knew were manifestations of various aspects of the devil.

The devil’s – or well, Natsumi’s – usually knee-length long, detached hair was put up in a ponytail today, with only two long strands of hair escaping the hair-tie in order to frame her face, a fairly typical look for how hot it was in the Summer.

On her face was an expression of lassitude, that of a being who had completely ceased to enjoy her existence (as opposed to the only specific occasions where she did). There wasn’t any specific reason behind it, but she felt like simply putting herself apart from the world for today and just chill in a nice place with a game to play.

And while she had intended on going to a fairly peaceful parc in the School Garden, something caught her eye on her way there.

It was a café.

Not just any café, mind you.

It was the café where she set a bunch of delinquents ablaze only a little while back.

The aftermath of that story had been quite interesting: despite her illegal usage of her ability in a public place, the owner seemed to have been thankful that the damage had been limited to the hooligans’ already terrible haircuts, and not to the store itself. So, while she and her “meddling comrades” weren’t exactly praised for the handling of the situation, she had found herself most surprised by the fact that no one had been banned from the premises either.

She snickered a little at the idea that they maybe wanted to have indirect bodyguards if this happened again.

And in that reflexion, she realised that she had never gotten a chance to actually try out the place. Was she hoping for freebies due to her contribution to the safety of their commercial wallet? Well, yes. But even if she did end up paying her drink, she at least would know whether this place had been worth defending or not.

And so, she stepped in.

It must’ve been the heat, or maybe the tiredness, perhaps the existential boredom she felt that provoked her to look for trouble… but not for one minute had she stopped to ponder that one of her “meddling comrades” might actually still working there.

Which she would quickly figure out as she stepped through the front door, the bell ringing to indicate the arrival of a new customer…
Hujisaka Natsumi
Hujisaka Natsumi
Level 4 Ignikinesis

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Post  Shokuhou Misaki Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:44 am

A single devil, however, wouldn’t be enough to sweeten this afternoon.

No, fate had decided to follow the good old credo of ‹the more, the merrier›.

It hadn’t even needed any specific reason other than boredom for this one to find its way into this part of the city, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t out for fun.

Shokuhou Misaki, much like any teenage girl during summer break, had at one point in her life fallen intro extreme boredom, given that eventually anyone would have tried everything there was to try in the city. Or at least, she had been overcome with the feeling that things were like that. While one possible solution many would take was the search for a part time job, this was hardly an appropriate solution for the Queen of Tokiwadai.

So what to do with unlimited free time and lingering boredom at her hands?

The answer was quite a cliched one for a middle school of her age.

She had decided to go visit a cafe and loiter around there for the rest of the day.

However, that wasn’t something she had simply come with up today and on a whim, but been doing for the past few days. Each and every day she had sought out a shop, set up camp there and harassed the staff with a ton of requests, all the while being surrounded by the loyalists of her precious clique.

Today, the only difference had been that she had settled on going alone. Meaning, she had carefully snuck out of her underlings’ radar and broken off to a different sector than usual. Namely, she had left behind school garden and moved deeper into the city. Clearly, it hadn’t been easy, but the privacy it had granted her was something highly appreciated.

On her way to the establishment she had dug out following a couple of recommendations and a fun sounding news story, she had attempted to figure out some possible plans to pursue while there. Yet upon arrival all these thoughts had been thrown overboard at the sight of a familiar mass of hair.

«Ara ara~! Hujisaka-sa~n~! It’s nice to see you, my dear roommate ☆»

Without any warning the devil that was Hujisaka Natsumi would find arms to be wrapped around her neck while the sensation of two soft meat cushions would press against her defenceless back. A girlish greeting on the surface, yet a first strike of mischief at the heart.

Still, who would treat being hugged by a cute honey blonde beauty dressed in prestigious Tokiwadai Middle School’s typical summer uniform as anything but a blessing?

Yes, society’s consensus would have described this as a truly fortunate occasion.
Shokuhou Misaki
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Post  Guy Li Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:20 pm

"Welcome!" Guy gave the standard greeting and looked up from the coffee machine. He stopped still, like an animal catching sight of a predator approaching.

Hujisaka Natsumi. His natural enemy.

His blood turned to ice water in his veins as fight or flight took hold. An extreme reaction normally, but this was a sensitive situation for him. This was like being caught behind enemy lines or cornered in hostile territory. The ground beneath his feet felt unstable.

Okay... Time for damage control. The situation could still be salvaged. He just needed to...

Another complication occurred. A second variable that threw off all the precise and precarious calculations he had been constructing in his mind.

Golden hair. White gloves and a full bodied figure and a look in her eye like she knew all the world's secrets and was just waiting for the right moment to spill them for maximum effect.

Shokuhou Misaki. Tokiwadai's Queen.

This was the worst possible situation for him. All damage control was now meaningless.

"Welcome!" He greeted Misaki with the same enthusiasm, though it was now tempered by the forced smile he wore to cover the pain and fear in his heart.
Guy Li
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Post  Hujisaka Natsumi Sat May 16, 2020 7:06 pm

The moment she had stepped in the little café was the moment she was filled with the purest sense of regret, of understanding that she had immediately embarked herself on another day of pure annoyance from simply opening a door.

How dreadful was life when you encountered two of the people who pissed you off the most?

Well, of course, in Natsumi’s eyes, everyone who ever graced this Earth naturally pissed her off. But this was special.

Facing her was Guy Li, a man who had somehow broken the social ladder and became a teacher in an all-girls school, just like how he tended to break the confines of logic of what a man was and wasn’t supposed to do.

Behind her was her forcibly assigned roommate, Shokuhou Misaki, the very reason why she tended to avoid her dorm room like the plague. A mind reader whose mind was completely unreadable, two of the elements Natsumi detested more amongst others, all gathered in a short but meaty stature.

She simply sighed in an uncharacteristically defeated manner, and decided against acknowledging Guy's greeting.

“…Shokuhou. Get off me.” She groaned, hoping that it wouldn’t take long for the woman to lean away from her.
Hujisaka Natsumi
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Post  Shokuhou Misaki Sun May 17, 2020 5:01 pm

An annoyed yet exhausted groan.

A smile so forced and fake, the mental suffering behind it was already breaking through.

Mission accomplished!

«My my my! Is that you, Li-sensei? Your part time job ability never ceases to surprise me ☆»

Of those three, Shokuhou may have been the only one to exert true bliss and joy. And she did in a way that’d rub that very fact into the others’ faces mercilessly.

At least, she’d listen to what she was told, did she get off her beloved roommate’s back right away. However, instead that blonde queen of mischief moved into the spacial centre point of attention, right between the two.

Of course spitting more sugar sweet venom while she was at it.

«Hujisaka-san, aren’t you happy to see me? It’s been a while since we had the opportunity ability and that’s really strange for roommates, don’t you agree? Shouldn’t all girls schools’ dorm roommates be like best friends? Like sisters? Spending all of their day and night ability together ☆ Gossiping ☆ Sharing secrets ☆ Bonding ☆»

As she spoke, the honey blonde once more came dangerously close to the brunette.

«So, I have an idea ability! Let’s use today to make up for all that ☆»

Striking a cutesy pose she underlined what was a display of overflowing and irresistible enthusiasm. A tool she carefully wielded to entrap her prey.

But, a single one wouldn’t suffice.

«And with Li-sensei as our personal steward I’m sure we’ll be spoiled appropriately ☆»

She declared, now forcefully tucking her arm into the poor teacher turned clerk's.
Shokuhou Misaki
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Post  Guy Li Sun May 24, 2020 6:22 am

«And with Li-sensei as our personal steward I’m sure we’ll be spoiled appropriately ☆»

Guy's forced smile remained, but he didn't resist. He would maintain his pride, recover his footing and wrestle back some semblance of control.

"Oh, I don't know. I'm supposed to be working at the bar, so I think-"

"It's fine. If one of our valued customers makes a personal request, then we should try our best to meet their expectations." The manager stepped in. Guy's smile didn't fade.

"Of course. I'd love to be your steward for the day. How can I serve you, my ladies?" He immediately swapped tracks and assumed character. From across the room he saw the clone turn to him with an unreadable expression. Was that pity or disdain? Or something else entirely? He honestly couldn't tell.

He led them to a table by the window, drawing out their seats and presenting the menus with a dignified flourish.
Guy Li
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Post  Hujisaka Natsumi Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:58 pm

Natsumi had, in quite a surprisingly docile manner, let herself be guided to a table by the two local headaches of her life.

"Of course. I'd love to be your steward for the day. How can I serve you, my ladies?"

And though she had accepted the fairly agreeable view that he had offered to them, as well as the menu he had handed over, Natsumi couldn’t help but have a growing sense of dread being in his presence. Something, whatever it was, was going to happen and she wasn’t too fancy to participate this time.

“Wow, what a fantastic experience, having you as a steward of all people… I’ve got a great idea. How about you start by not putting meatrack and me at the same table?” She scowled, making no effort to at least disguise her contempt at her newly found company. Turning her attention towards the target of her displeasure, she then continued.

“What’s up with you being alone? When are you ever alone, without being followed by that creepy cult of yours?” She tentatively asked, a tinge of fear behind her words at what the Queen of Tokiwadai, notorious for being an absolutely unpredictable individual, would be up to on such a seemingly simple day.
Hujisaka Natsumi
Hujisaka Natsumi
Level 4 Ignikinesis

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Post  Shokuhou Misaki Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:31 pm

To her own pleasure, events had unfolded perfectly according to Shokuhou’s will.

«Now now? Isn’t a queen allowed to relieve herself of her duty ability once in a while? Leaning back and enjoying moments of simple entertainment away from the eyes of the public surely isn’t anything out of the ordinary ☆»

And any attempt at altering the status quo – even the ones outside of people’s awareness – would be squashed like annoying flies.

«More importantly ☆ What leads you to this fine establishment, Hujisaka-san? You never struck me as the kind of girl that’d frequent this classy a place? Don’t tell me there is some dormant ojou ability buried beneath that grumpy cynic meathead facade of yours???»

There was no stopping her. There was no slowing her down. There was nothing one could do when that queen of mischief caught fire. That bombardment of questions spoken in all kinds of cliched cutesy intonations was testament of this.

However, she wasn’t intending to leave it at just that in the first place.

«My curiosity ability has been sparked ☆ You know what? I will help you unfold yourself, Hujisaka-san ☆ All your girlish desires shall be fulfilled today ☆ May you blossom, unkempt princess of Tokiwadai ☆»

This was the direction she had decided to take this into. This was her game.

«Li-sensei, fetch us the cake, milkshakes and biscuits any middle school girl would kill for these days ☆»
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Post  Hujisaka Natsumi Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:15 pm

Natsumi frowned slightly at the pure speed at which Misaki’s nonsense came out of her, it was impossible to follow her attempt at a conversation – if you could even call it that – much less reply to it. She knew of folks that had a tendency to make you feel left out of your own interactions, but given that Natsumi always tried her best to avoid them… well… It was a complicated matter to deal with it without resorting to being kicked out of this café…

…Again.

Thus, Natsumi resorted to her fate, however temporarily, until she found the next socially acceptable way of getting away from this assortment of weirdos. She sighed and gave a worryingly almost despaired look at Guy.

And, well... She couldn’t necessarily deny a little craving for free sweets, anyway.

That part of her pride would surely kill her, at one point. It was, in fact, surprising that it hadn’t already.

***

A sigh came out from the small lips, puckered in annoyance, of a middle-aged girl. Not very recognisable from her appearance, given that she was probably the most normal-looking girl of most of her surroundings, but certainly from her temperament and capacity.

Mikoto held a damaged flyer in her hand; one that advertised of Gekota-shaped pastries.

Whenever she looked at this flyer, she felt alarmed because she always ended up recalling the circumstances of her last visit in that café. Yet… Yet…!

“I want to taste them!” She suddenly let out a whine that surprised and shocked two boys that were barely passing by her.

Unaware of her surroundings, Mikoto had hyper-focused on this simple element: regardless of who worked there, and whether she was considered as a troublemaker in that little café, she had to go there. Just once more. Just to at least try to get a taste of those sweet, mascot-shaped delicacies!

“Wait for me, Gekota! I will definitely get a taste of you!”

Ignoring entirely the very awkward statement that would be helped by no prior context, she pushed open the door to what was, unbeknownst to her, an even worse fate than what had previously occurred in this place…
And as the small customer bell chimed…
Hujisaka Natsumi
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Level 4 Ignikinesis

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Post  Guy Li Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:46 pm

Guy stood back and tried his best to blend into the surroundings. It would be his best chance at escaping the crossfire. Maintaining his ever professional, fixed smile he listened to the two girls trading insults. He would have been lying if he said he wasn't enjoying this at least a little.

Meatrack.

Unkempt.

Shots had been fired and first blood had gone to Natsumi. But she was very clearly on the defensive. It struck Guy now that he had finally found Natsumi's weakpoint. Her natural enemy. In the same way that Natsumi herself provided a hard counter to Mikoto, it seemed Misaki carried out the same function for Natsumi. Like a game of rock paper scissors, the trio formed a kind of equilibrium.

«Li-sensei, fetch us the cake, milkshakes and biscuits any middle school girl would kill for these days ☆»

"Right away, Miss." He tilted at the waist in a slight, formal bow and turned away from the table, offering Natsumi a mildly sympathetic look as he did so.

Of the seven Level 5s in the city, Guy was aware of 6 and personally acquainted with 3. But despite having personally felt the wrath of the no 1 unparalleled might and the repeated sting of No 3's infamous ability, if one were to ask him which was the most dangerous, his answer probably would have come as some surprise. Because despite the 'lowly' position...

Shoukhou Misaki was by far the most dangerous Level 5.

She could tear a person apart at their very core and rebuild their heart into whatever shape she so desired. If the power to control a person's immortal soul existed, it would have resembled Mental Out. And that was what terrified him.

The power to manipulate the minds of others was simply too strong.

Returning to the table with an array of fine treats splendidly arranged for viewing as much as consumption, the young man set a silver tray down on the table between the two girls and stepped back out of the firing line once more.

Almost immediately he felt a tug at his arm. Glancing down he was met with the stare of the Misaka 10031 who looked back at him with a concerned expression.

"Misaka requires assistance, says Misaka as she reminds you of her presence." Like a clingy child demanding attention, she had clasped onto his arm.

"Everything okay?"

"Misaka requires your aid in preparing a milk tea, says Misaka as she hastily concocts an excuse."

"But I showed you this morning." Guy raised an eyebrow. It wasn't like her to forget these things. "How about I show you again?" He was about to lead her to the bar when the bell chimed once more.

"Welcome." Guy greeted the new customer cheerfully before recognition could drain his positivity.

Misaka Mikoto.

Were it any other day he would have welcomed that familiar face but today that girl risked becoming the catalyst in an already volatile mixture.

Guy's theory was about to be put to the test. He had to hope they cancelled each other out. The alternative was the cafe becoming ground zero for an unprecedented catastrophe.

No fear remained. He had passed the threshold of dread and entered into a realm of serenity as he accepted his fate.
Guy Li
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Post  Shokuhou Misaki Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:37 pm

Spoils. Spoils as far the eye could reach. Say what you want about Li-sensei’s lack of qualities, that which he had delivered was the finest goods. So fine even, that the star pattern in Shokuhou Misaki’s eyes began to sparkle vividly. Nearly drooling over the high quality pastries, only her sense of self-esteem pulled the break the very last moment.

After all, a queen had to keep face in the presence of the peasants.

«I suppose the staff’s confectionary ability is not half baked.»

Correcting her back as she said, the honey blonde attempted to fake assuming a lady like position to brush over any possible hint at a crack in her facade.

She couldn’t allow to falter here. She had to make sure to keep face. So much so that it ate up all of her focus.

«Come. Take one, Hujisaka-san. You’re my guest. You go first…☆»

So much so that she had to beat down all her inner longings for a certain cupcake her eyes had been fixated on ever since it had first entered her sight. So much so that she bit in the sour apple of waiting it out.

«What are you waiting for?»

So much so that drops of beads of sweat formed on her forehead.

Couldn’t that girl hurry up already…?!
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Post  Hujisaka Natsumi Fri Sep 11, 2020 1:25 pm

In the face of this mountain of sweets and baked goods, even an aficionado of unhealthy eating habits like Natsumi was breaking out a cold sweat. And despite her status as a “lady” of Tokiwadai who no longer knew the meaning of financial trouble, she felt her eye twitch at the thought that she wasn’t even sure how many digits would be on the receipt.

In fact, it was likely they’d be paying off that idiot’s salary for the month by themselves at this rate.

What had been intended as a slight outing was now becoming a test of (calorie) endurance, and, aiming for the victory as the hopelessly prideful girl that she was, she continued her observation by looking at Misaki herself.

And that’s when she noticed it.

That slight, almost imperceptible but present intense stare, not at the table itself but at a certain element on it.

The smile of the person who, obviously, did not mind if you took anything on the table. They did not mind at all. There was nothing in God’s name that they actually, specifically wanted to eat.

It was not a certain cupcake, wonderfully glazed with handcrafted decorations that would put professionals to shame.

“Well, if you insist…” Natsumi smiled a genuine smile – always a terrible sign for those facing her – as she reached out for Misaki’s object of longing and before the girl could even say anything, dug all of her teeth right into it before reaching out her hand to invite her to go next, sadistically taking pleasure in the fact that she had forfeited this cupcake in her show of pride.

One could argue that she was completely misusing all of the behavioural analytic skills she had obtained from being part of Academy City's underdogs, but clearly, this wasn't the current debate.
Hujisaka Natsumi
Hujisaka Natsumi
Level 4 Ignikinesis

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Post  Shokuhou Misaki Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:19 pm

Insults. Violence. Torture. Whichever of these inappropriate and entirely un-lady-like things Shokuhou Misaki had come up with that very moment, they would have all been perfectly appropriate.

However, she was a true lady. And these things were entirely inappropriate and un-lady-like.

Thus, instead of grabbing a fork from the table and taking a jump on the mean spirited thief, she instead gave her a smile as sweet as sugar, but also as crumbling as that cupcake’s frosting.

«Now…does it…taste good…Hujisaka-san…~?»

Her attempts to keep face were entirely in vain, did each fibre of her very existence scream bloody murder at the other girl. So sweet and yet sour.

With that being said, the end of the line had not yet come.

No. Hujisaka Natsumi was too evil a being to simply leave it at just that. Instead, she would urge her to take her turn. She put her on the spot. Highly intent on unleashing further humiliation.

Remaining in inaction was like admitting defeat. Yet, simply pretending to be an adult and move on was too little. It was queen’s duty to retaliate.

Instead of focussing on the table, Shokuhou Misaki threw aside her pride as lady and switched into the form of a cuddly teenage girl. Simply leaning over to her adversary, she could stretch out her arm to pick up a crumb sticking to Hujisaka’s cheek between her delicate gloved fingers and reroute it back between the lips of her own. Releasing a very pleasant hum upon arrival.

«Mhm~ splendid ☆»

Having squeezed out any hint of sourness, the queen was sugar sweet once more, smearing that venomous honey all over the defiant peasant.

«Surely, it was benevolent to protect figure with your noble sacrifice, Hujisaka-san. Without you, I’m sure I’d have downed the entire thing and wallowed in regret the next health check-up day ☆»

The war had only just begun.
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Post  Hujisaka Natsumi Sun Dec 13, 2020 2:37 pm

“Well, you’re welcome, but really… You’re going to have an issue anyway with how inept you are at sports. I could run away with this table as deadweight and you wouldn’t catch up without mind-controlling me…” Natsumi deadpanned as she looked around the café, clearly disgusted by this woman’s odd display of fake affection.

To her, private space was something she could easily invade, but would set someone on fire for doing so. Hypocritical, but she was long above questioning herself on that aspect of her personality.

That was why, when she noticed Misaka Mikoto having entered the café, Natsumi simultaneously had two thoughts that popped up.

(..Heh. I think I can get meatbags’s attention away from me now…)

And…

(…I think the café owner is going to flip out when he sees The Trio™…)

__

As for Mikoto, it only took her a couple of seconds to notice her blonde enemy and her brown-haired… frenemy? Acquaintance? Whatever relationship she seemed to have with Natsumi.

“…Oh no.”

Yet those few seconds were already too late for her to flee.

And she hadn’t yet realised that this wasn’t the end of her unfortunate encounters in this very place…
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Post  Guy Li Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:02 pm

Mikoto turned her head away abruptly in a last-ditch attempt to avoid Natsumi and Misaki's attention. Torn between her strong desire to acquire those special pastries (not to mention her stubborn pride that refused to let her turn back now) and the equally strong desire to keep her distance from those two, she looked towards the counter.

A smile crept across her face when eyes fell on the tall young man in the neatly pressed butler's uniform.

And the arm linked around his belonging to the girl whose appearance was so strikingly similar to her own.

The girl who was wearing a black and white maid outfit with a knee-length skirt that showed off her legs.

The smile faded from her face along with the warm feeling in her heart. Replaced by something more like scorn or suspicion and perhaps a hint of something else.

"What are you doing?" She asked brusquely in a low voice that carried a suggestion of a growl.

"My job." He replied simply.

"Really? Because it looks like you're getting awfully cosey with my sister over there."

"I can assure you, it's nothing like that. Right, Mimi?" He turned to the clone beside him. But rather than say anything to allay Mikoto's suspicions the clone instead pulled harder on his arm.

"Misaka is learning many important things for becoming an adult under sensei's guidance, says Misaka mischievously."

"Leaving aside the fact that you're giving out pet names to my sisters, you do realise forcing a young girl to wear a maid outfit is wrong even by your standards?" Mikoto's mouth twisted in a half grimace, half frown as a spark fizzled across her forehead.

"I'm 100 percent certain you've misread the situation." Guy responded with a serious expression as if his life depended on it, because it most likely did.
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Post  Masaki Chiyo Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:29 pm

Today was definitely a lucky day. Though Chiyo tended to think that any day not spent in the lab was a lucky day, today was especially so. There had been an experiment scheduled for today, but through some blunder, it had to be cancelled. Not only that, but while poking though some magazines in one of the lab's waiting areas, Chiyo had found a coupon for that cafe she'd been frequenting recently. Normally she wasn't one for the maid aesthetic, but the food was quite good and she'd seemed to have made a friend in the one maid that she kept getting served by. She seemed a bit young to be working in a cafe and speaking everything in a monotone is a weird gimmick but she wasn't very chatty either which was nice when Chiyo just wanted to read. Chiyo had maybe been spending a little too much time there considering the price, but with coupon in hand she had another reason to visit again.

**********

After a fairly short walk, Chiyo was nearing the cafe. Along with Chiyo, her copy Mio was walking beside her. Normally Chiyo felt somewhat weird when both of them were out and about together, however the coupon was only for pairs. Upon arriving at the cafe, Chiyo swung open the door then held it open for herself as the two walked through. It was almost completely empty today, though there seemed to be a few Tokiwadai students here from the looks of their uniforms. A blond one sitting at a table with a pile of sweets, and another with her back to Chiyo who seemed to be caught up in an argument with one of the butlers behind the counter. She'd seen the butler around before but never bothered to learn his name.

"Leaving aside the fact that you're giving out pet names to my sisters, you do realize forcing a young girl to wear a maid outfit is wrong even by your standards?"

"I'm 100 percent certain you've misread the situation."

Seemed like something about forcing young girls to wear maid outfits being wrong, Chiyo wasn't paying too much attention to them. Kind of strange to come to a maid cafe and complain about people wearing maid outfits though. That's kind of what the people working there signed up for but whatever, Chiyo had more important business to attend to. Chiyo walked up to the counter ignoring the two bickering and called out to girl dressed as a maid behind the counter.

"Yo Misaka-san, I'm back and with my sister this time becaaaaause... I have this!"

With a pause for dramatic effect and a flourish as she dug into her pocket, Chiyo produced the legendary one day only buy one get on free on any items coupon.

"Oh, Mio this is Misaka, Misaka, this is Mio"

"Nice to meet you."

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Post  Guy Li Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:00 pm

Both Mikoto and 'Mimi' glanced toward the door as their names were called. It took Mikoto a moment to realise that it wasn't her being addressed, but for a brief, paralyzing instant she felt like she was about to experience one of those awkward moments where she'd have to talk to someone she couldn't remember meeting.

"Welcome back, Masaki-sama. Welcome Masaki-sama's sister. It is a pleasure to meet you. Shall I prepare a slice of strawberry cake for your usual table? Says Misaka warmly as she extracts herself from the awkward situation she has created." She said in a monotone voice that lacked what most people would call 'warmth'. At the same time she slipped away from Guy and Mikoto's tense confrontation and hurried to Chiyo's side(s), leading the two girls to the table beside Misaki and Natsumi. She drew the chairs out and with a polite bow gestured for the two identical girls to take a seat by the window.

From across the small cafe, Natsumi saw her chance. If she couldn't escape this nightmare scenario with Shokuhou, then she could at the very least deflect attention away from herself. And with Mikoto's arrival, she might well be able to pull it off.

"Hey!" She called out to Misaka in her usual tactless manner. It didn't matter if it caused a scene as long as it worked, right? "Don't act like you can't see us. Have a seat." She pointedly drew one of the chairs out from under the table and gave Mikoto a look that said plainly 'you have no choice in the matter.'
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Post  Masaki Chiyo Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:26 pm

"Welcome back, Masaki-sama. Welcome Masaki-sama's sister. It is a pleasure to meet you. Shall I prepare a slice of strawberry cake for your usual table? Says Misaka warmly as she extracts herself from the awkward situation she has created."

"Yes please, We'll take one for each of us!"

The delivery from Misaka was as monotone as always yet somehow that had it's own charm to it. She lead Chiyo and Mio over to the table that had somehow become Chiyo's "Usual" ... maybe she was coming here a bit too much. As Misaka pulled out the chairs of the table, Chiyo heard a quick yell from the table next to hers.

"Hey! Don't act like you can't see us. Have a seat."

It was one of the Tokiwadai girls she had noticed when coming in. They didn't seem to be talking to her but the other Tokiwadai girl who was arguing with the butler before. Chiyo was about to ignore the outburst, but glancing over at the girl she was now able to see that her face was the spitting image of Misaka. In fact, they looked like they could compete with Chiyo and Mio for how identical they looked.

"Hey Misaka-san. That girl over there by the counter that was arguing with the butler. Is she your sister? You two look exactly alike!"

"Yeah, It's rare to see two people who look that similar. Are you twins perhaps?"

Somehow the irony of two identical people commenting on how much two other people looked like each other seemed to have been lost on them.

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Post  Guy Li Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:49 pm

Mikoto couldn't help the pained grimace that crossed her face when she realised she'd been made.

"Do something." She whispered through clenched teeth to the boy next to her.

"What do you expect me to do?" Guy responded through an equally fixed smile.

"If this place turns into a battlefield it's your responsibility..." There was no avoiding them now. She'd have to think of some excuse to extract herself from this situation.

"How is this my fault?" Guy muttered to himself under his breath.

As Mikoto prepared to approach, she overheard the other conversation that was occurring at that moment. Perhaps it was her name being mentioned that pricked her ears.

"Hey Misaka-san. That girl over there by the counter that was arguing with the butler. Is she your sister? You two look exactly alike!"

"Yeah, It's rare to see two people who look that similar. Are you twins perhaps?"


10031 looked across the room at Mikoto as if trying to communicate wordlessly with the older girl. But alas, neither of them were telepathic, so her attempts were limited to a simple alarmed (at least, as alarmed as her deadpan expression could muster) stare. Mikoto looked back, equally panicked. They'd not discussed a cover story in any real detail. They were sisters, but were they twins? Of course, the truth might lead to more questions, and problems.

"That's..." The clone thought she perceived a slight nod of Mikoto's head. "Right." No. Mikoto's agitated look deepened with a slight, quivering shake of her head. "But not quite. It's something like that. Says Misaka nervously as she tries to prevent a misunderstanding." She turned back to the two Masakis with a poker face.
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Post  Masaki Chiyo Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:07 pm

"That's... Right. But not quite. It's something like that. Says Misaka nervously as she tries to prevent a misunderstanding."

It was a rather strange answer to be sure. They seemed to be reluctant to answer the question that to Chiyo seemed very normal. That is unless... maybe they were like her? Chiyo had never met another esper that could make copies of themselves. If that was the case and they were like her, it would explain why the question had thrown them off and why they were saying they were sisters but not really. After all that's exactly what Chiyo was doing with Mio. From the uniform one was wearing, she was clearly a Tokiwadai student which meant she was at least level three the same level as Chiyo so having a similar ability wasn't out of the question. Also having one of yourself work a part time job while another was out and about sounded like a great idea. Maybe even one Chiyo would have perused if she didn't already have a "Job". There was only one way to confirm if this was actually the case though.  

"Hey, this might sound like kind of a weird question... but would you two happen to copies or clones of each other... like Mio and I."

"Shhh, why are you telling them that."

Chiyo hoped that admitting her and Mio were copies as well might get the two Misakas too admit if she was right, since they seemed kind of hesitant before to answer her last question.

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Post  Guy Li Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:52 pm

"Hey, this might sound like kind of a weird question... but would you two happen to copies or clones of each other..."

Her face didn't move. Her eyes didn't budge, her entire body remained still. But it was her lack of reaction that made her seem suspicious. It was as if she froze up entirely, like a computer overwhelmed by too many commands. Her body was entirely rigid to the point she didn't even seem to be breathing.

What was she supposed to say? Was it okay to divulge the existence of project Radio Noise? Would it cause trouble for her big sister? Would the researchers and that frog-faced doctor face repercussions? What about that boy? Her eyes darted between him and Mikoto as she imagined the worst-case scenarios. Guy took a step toward her.

"like Mio and I."

That admission caused 10031 to blink in surprise and she visibly relaxed, lowering her eyes to Chiyo and... Mio.

"Shhh, why are you telling them that."

They were... like her? Maybe. At least in some way. Their circumstances might be different but if they were also clones, and could admit it so readily, then admitting the truth wasn't so terrible after all.

"It is that way, says Misaka with relief as she confirms your suspicions."

Guy smiled from a distance, she seemed at ease now, at least. The danger had passed. But the same couldn't be said for him, who had ventured from the safety of the counter into the no-man's land surrounding Misaki and Natsumi's table. Like Mikoto, he had gone too far to turn back now.

What a pain... He might actually have to do his job now.
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Post  Masaki Chiyo Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:48 pm

Chiyo's question seem to hit home with Misaka. Chiyo had never seen her act like this in her days frequenting the cafe. Upon hearing the question she seemed to freeze up not knowing what to say, until Chiyo herself confirmed her actual relationship with Mio.

"It is that way, says Misaka with relief as she confirms your suspicions."

Chiyo and Mio both stared forward at Misaka 10031. Her suspicions confirmed, she didn't know exactly how to react. It likely felt similar to how Misaka felt when posed that question. After a moment Chiyo and Mio both let out a sigh in unison.

"See I knew it might be the case."

"But that doesn't mean you can just go asking people things like that and especially not while also giving us away."

"I know but when else would we have gotten the chance to meet someone like us? Anyway, thanks for telling us. If you ever need anything just let us know and we'll be there to help out. Gotta watch each others backs you know. Well, more then we already do ourselves, heh heh."

Mio reached out and grabbed a napkin from the table and scribbled the pair's phone number down before handing it to Misaka 10031 while whispering in a more hushed tone.

"Here, this will let you contact us. I don't know what kind of experiences you've had in this city, but I know there's a lot a scientists lacking in morals here, so if you need help..."

Mio then glanced back over to Chiyo who had seeming already moved on and was stuffing her face full of cake.

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Post  Guy Li Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:00 pm

"Thank you. Misaka will keep that in mind, says Misaka as she commits the number to memory." She said, taking the napkin and placing it carefully in the apron of her uniform. She declined to comment on the various 'scientists lacking in morals', but found herself briefly wondering how professor Yoshikawa was getting along. The woman had been the nearest thing to a friend the clones had during the experiment, questionable morals aside.

That had changed now. A lot of things hand changed since those days. She had gained her freedom, a future, and a group of people she could call her friends. And now she could count two more among their number.

"And to think you were worried about them." Guy commented quietly to Mikoto as the two approached Misaki and Natsumi's table.

"Yeah..." Mikoto smiled softly, watching her double from a distance. Her moment of pride was interrupted by the long-haired girl sitting at the next table.

"Well, don't just stand there." Natsumi gave the chair a nudge with her foot, sitting with her arms folded standoffishly. "Sit down."

"It's rare to see you two together." Mikoto commented warily.

"Yes, please do, Misaka-san." Misaki said with her usual sugary sweet smile. "We were just enjoying some afternoon tea together like all good roommates should. Isn't that right, Natsu-chan?" Misaki leaned over, throwing her arms around Natsumi in an overly-familiar hug that caused the other girl to recoil backwards, directly into Chiyo's chair in a manner that would send her jolting forward suddenly towards the plate of cake.
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Post  Masaki Chiyo Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:31 pm

"Thank you. Misaka will keep that in mind, says Misaka as she commits the number to memory."

It was nice to have another friend, especially one Chiyo could relate to at some level. She didn't have too many opportunities to make friends so something like this made her very happy. Even more so then the cake she was presently devouring, though it's delicious flavors were certainly vying for her happiness. Though that happiness was soon to turn into disaster.

"We were just enjoying some afternoon tea together like all good roommates should. Isn't that right, Natsu-chan?"

Just then the blond hair Tokiwadai girl all but tackled the brown haired Tokiwadai girl in what could have only been described loosely as a "Hug". The resulting force of said hug along with the brown haired girl's jolting reaction sent her reeling into the back of Chiyo's chair and sending Chiyo's face on a one way trip towards cake. That is, had Chiyo not had the additional vantage point of Mio, who was sitting across the table from her and saw the events unfold. The extra moment of time was just what Chiyo needed to prevent certain disaster. She stuck her arm out in an attempt to push the cake plate away so she would just bonk her head on the table instead, however at the moment of impact her arm that was still outstretched crashed onto the edge of the plate, catapulting the cake through the air and , breaking apart in mid air do to the force, splatering all over both Chiyo and the brown haired Tokiwadai girls' heads. The silence after the cake landed was defining as if no one knew quite how to react. Chiyo then shot out of her seat, spinning around to face the table behind her where the other girls sat.

"Aaahhh!!! My delicious cake!!! Do you know how much that is?!?!"


"Of course they do, they're eating here too aren't they."

"Hhhhh... that was like my allowance for the week... AHH!! Now its dribbling down my uniform too... this is the worst."


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