Disclaimer: I do not own Tokyo Mew Mew.
(A.N: This was written on request for galabad. I hope you like it!)
Too Many Tea Breaks
By Silver Sailor Ganymede
It was business as usual that day at Café Mew Mew; Ichigo, Pudding and Retasu were all busy serving customers… and Minto was sitting at her private table at the back of the café, sipping tea and doing no work whatsoever. Ichigo watched as Minto sipped tea from a china cup and surveyed the rest of them with a snooty look on her face. Ichigo paused for a moment and glared over at Minto, her eyes green with envy; why should Minto be allowed to do nothing while the rest of them did all of the work?
"Get back to work," Minto snapped at Ichigo. "You can't affored to be lazing about like that, can you? Unless of course you want me to tell Ryou and make you loose your 'all you can eat of the cake' privilage."
Ichigo felt fury rise in her chest; how dare Minto order them about like that when she was doing absolutely nothing? How dare she! Something had to be done, and fast!
"Ichigo-onee-chan, why has Minto-onee-chan been being so mean lately?" Pudding asked as she, Ichigo and Retasu began to clean the café that evening. The customers had all gone, as had Minto who had a 'dance lesson' and had to leave early.
"I don't know," Ichigo replied. "But then again when isn't she a stuck-up, snooty little brat." She growled quietly as she said that.
"Woah Ichigo-onee-chan must really be angry," Pudding gasped.
"What makes you say that?"
"Ichigo-onee-chan's cat ears have popped out," Pudding giggled. "Pudding no like it when onee-chan is angry. Pudding no like it when Minto-onee-chan is a meany."
"I know," Retasu sighed. "She's been calling me stupid and clumsy… and I know I am but I try not to be, I really do."
"Minto needs to be taught a lesson," Ichigo hissed. "She seriously does. I want to get her kicked out of here for good considering how mean she is!"
"Kicking her out wouldn't do any good," Retasu pointed out. "Besides, we just need to be nicer to her and try harder and then…"
"Whaddya mean we need to try and hard and be nicer to her!" Ichigo groaned. "I've had enough of this, Retasu, Pudding; she's the one that needs to work harder and be nicer to people!"
"Ichigo-onee-chan, Retasu-onee-chan, Pudding has a plan!"
"What's your plan, Pudding?" Retasu asked. Pudding grinned slyly and began to explain.
"You want me to do what?" Ryou asked, staring down at the three girls with a look of disbelief on his face.
"We want you to help us give Minto a taste of her own medicine," Ichigo repeated. "She's been downright horrible to us these last few weeks and we're all sick of it. She needs to start do her fair share of the work and stop being so mean."
"I still don't think that's any reason to…" Ryou began, but Keiichiro cut him off with a wave of his hand.
"To be honest, Ryou, they do have a point," Keiichiro stated. "Minto has been taking a few too many teabreaks lately, and the others are having to suffer for it. Also she's been rather unpleasant lately, coming to me with all sorts of tales about the others, mostly Ichigo, slacking off at work, which I'm sure isn't true."
Ryou opened his mouth to protest against this but Keiichiro cut him off again.
"Yes I know Minto is from an extremely privileged family and isn't used to working, but I still don't think its fair that we let her off when everyone else is working."
Ryou sneered in response, "I still don't see why I have to get involved in this childish affair."
Keiichiro rolled his eyes, "Ryou, you know as well as the rest of us that Minto needs to be taught a lesson. And besides, you're the one who really is in charge of the girl's uniforms for the café, not me, so it'll look far less suspicious if you do it."
Ryou groaned, "Fine." 'How did I get myself into this situation?' he wondered.
The next day Minto was the first to arrive for work at Café Mew Mew. She rolled her eyes when she realised this; she wasn't even that early, the others were obviously just being lazy, as per usual. She headed into the changing rooms and changed into her uniform, and just as she had finished there was a knock on the door.
"Come in," Minto called and Ryou entered.
"Morning, Minto," Ryou said, "Are you the only one here?" he asked, though he knew that she was.
"Yes, no one else has arrived yet" Minto said cheerfully; she had to try and be nice to Ryou and Keiichiro at least.
"Well, seeing as you're the first one here I suppose you'd better be the first one to know about my new project," Ryou said.
"Project?" Minto asked. "Does this have anything to do with the aliens?"
Ryou shook his head, 'at least she's enthusiastic about defeating the aliens no matter how poor a worker she is.'
"No," he said, "It's got nothing to do with the aliens. Actually my new plan has to do with the uniform."
"The uniform?" Minto asked; this definitely wasn't what she had been expecting.
"Yes," Ryou nodded. "You see I realised how uncomfortable it must be to be wearing shoes to work seeing as your on you're feet all day, so I decided to make these part of the uniform." He handed Minto a package, which she unwrapped. In the package was a pair of…
"Bight blue fluffy ballet shoes?" Minto raised an eyebrow.
"No," Ryou shook his head, "Ballet slippers. They'll stop your feet hurting so much if you wear them. I'm getting all of you to try this for a while; hopefully it'll help."
Minto couldn't help but feel that Ryou was trying to trick her into something, but she shook any doubt from her mind; why on earth would Ryou want to trick her? She wouldn't put it past Ichigo and the others, but not Ryou. Besides, he really was in charge of the uniform so there was nothing to worry about, was there?
She slipped the slippers onto her feet and stood up. They looked pretty strange even with her uniform, but they weren't too bad. They were certainly more comfortable than her usual shoes were: and besides, all of them would be wearing these, right? Right?
"Now get to work," Ryou said as he left the changing rooms, Minto glaring at his back as he did so; how dare he order her around? Ordering people around was her job!
Business was slow that morning so Minto didn't have to do much work before the others arrived. Still when they did Minto immediately realised that something wasn't quite right: then she realised what, all of them had their usual shoes on; there was not another pair of fluffy ballet slippers in sight. She had been tricked! She glared at Ichigo as she passed, sure that the pink-haired catgirl was the only one who could possibley have thought up such a dumb idea, then she stuck her foot out and caused Ichigo to trip as cakes flew everywhere.
"Having a nice catnap on the job are we, Ichigo?" Minto asked. "Now get back to work."
Ichigo hissed at her as she walked past and continued with her job. It was then that Keiichiro appeared behind her.
"Is everything alright, Minto?" he asked.
"Yes," Minto lied, "it's all fine."
"Good," Keiichiro smiled, "I hope you like your new footwear, by the way."
"He told me everyone would be wearing it," Minto grumbled.
"Yes, but you're the one whose trying it out first of all."
"Becuase you're special," Keiichiro replied. "Anyway, I was wondering whether you would like to try some of this new tea I've made: you deserve an early tea break after coming to work so soon this morning."
Minto tried to detect even a hint of sarcasm in his voice but found nothing: besides, why would Keiichiro want to trick her? Maybe he was telling the truth and that was the reason she was the only one wearing comfortable footwear. She smiled at Keiichiro as he poured the tea for her and began to walk away. Minto noticed that the tea had a somewhat strange aroma but took no notice of it; it was probably just some strange foreign spice Keiichiro had found. Yes, that was it; it was definitely a spice of some sort. She took a sip of the tea then choked as she felt her eyes begin to water.
"Keiichiro!" she called and he came back over to her.
"What is it, Minto?" he asked. "Don't you like the tea?"
"It… it's hot…" she panted, wondering how to get the spicy taste out of her mouth.
"Oh, yes, I must have forgotten to mention that," Keiichiro smiled. "It has chilli oil in it, to perk up the taste a bit. I'm sorry if it came as too much of a shock, it was my mistake for not mentioning it."
He walked off again and Minto glared at him; something was definitely up, and she had to find out, one way or another, exactly what it was. She stood up and began serving for a while; she was bored and wanted something to do for the time being, perhaps ordering the others about would help.
"Minto onee-chan!" Pudding laughed as she skipped up to Minto. "Why has Minto-onee-chan got such funny, fuzzy slippers on her feet? They look really silly."
Minto heared muffled giggling and noticed Ichigo and Retasu trying to hide their laughter behind their hands. Retasu qickly turned her laugh into a cough, but Minto had seen enough to realise; she was being pranked! The slippers weren't part of the uniform at all, and the chilli-oil tea certainy wasn't one of Keiichiro's no concoctions.
She raced out of the café and into the changing rooms; she had to get out of these awful slippers, and fast! She sat down and tugged at one of the slippers, trying to get it off: it didn't budge. She tugged again, harder this time, but all it did was stick tighter to her foot.
"What the hell?" Minto griped as she tugged again: it still didn't move. "Why aren't these things coming off?" She wriggled her toes about then pulled: it still didn't work. She tried different ways of getting them off for about ten minutes, but nothing happened. If anything the slippers continued to stick tighter and tighter onto her feet. "Damnit!" she growled, realising that she was going to be stuck in these riddiculous things for the rest of the day. How wonderful.
There was a knock on the door and Ryou entered.
"Is everything alright in here?" he asked.
"Of course," Minto smiled. "I just came in here to find my, erm, extra hair pins. I've found them now though." She couldn't tell him about the fact that the slippers were stuck to her feet, could she? Besides, what good would it do; he was probbably in on this whole affair too.
"Well seeing as you've found your hair pins then I'm sure you wouldn't mind getting back to work," Ryou said, smiling slightly at her as he walked out again. Minto glowered at him as he exited the room; when she found out who had come up with this idea, they were so dead.
"Minto-onee-chan, Minto onee-chan" Pudding's loud voice echoed out above the usual chatter of the customers that afternoon. "Why are you wearing such funny slippers to work? Are you tired, Minto-onee-chan?"
Minto shot a venomous glare at Pudding; ever since just asfter she had re-entered the main dining area after attempting, and failing to get the slippers off her feet, her strange footwear had been the target of snide comments from not only the customers but from the other mews as well.
"Yes, Pudding, I am tired" Minto snapped, sneering; she had had just about enough of that sort of commnet. "Tired of brats like you messing around and doing nothing. Now get back to work."
Pudding's lip trembled when Minto said that, and Ichigo came over to her, glaring furiously.
"Minto, that was uncalled for. It was mean of you to say that, especially when you're the one who's doing absolutely no work at all!" Ichigo told Minto, who simply stuck her nose up in the air in response.
"So what? I'm sick of this!"
"Sick of what?" Ichigo asked, though she was pretty sure what Minto meant.
"I'm sick of being the butt of this stupid joke you played, Ichigo," Minto hissed, tears of anger coming into her eyes. "Then again I'm surprised you had the brains to try and pull this sort of thing off!"
Which that she stormed out, not caring about the scene she had caused; she had just had enough of it. Did the others think she actually wanted to waste her time working as a waitress in a stupid little café? She found herself back in the changing rooms then, more annoyed at the others than she remembered having been before. She tugged at the slippers again but they still refused to budge; in the end Minto gave up. This had been a very long, very annoying day.
In the end Minto went back into the main dining area again after Café Mew Mew had closed for the evening. The others were all clearing up, except for Ryou: Keiichiro smiled at her when she entered.
"So, how are you, Minto?"
She didn't reply, she just sneered at him and asked, "So who was it that was behind this idiotic joke today then?"
Keiichiro sighed, "Well to be honest it was all of us."
"What?" Minto gasped, somewhat shocked; she thought that Ichigo and Ryou had been behind it, but not all of them… "But… why?"
"To be honest you haven't been being very nice lately," Keiichiro told her, "we just thought we ought to show you how mean you were being by giving you a bit of a taste of your own medicne; it's not nice when people do mean things, is it?"
She shook her head.
"I thought you'd understand why we did it when we told you," Keiichiro said. "Well, I guess you want to get these slippers off then, no?"
For the first time that day, Minto felt her eyes light up and her heart rise with relief; finally she'd be able to get rid of them, finally! Ryou was the one who took her foot in his hand and, having stretched the material sideways instead of downwards, pulled the slippers off.
"You see, they're like finger traps," Ryou explained. "The tighter you pull, the tighter they get, but if you stretch them sideways they come off. That's a bit like what you need to be like with the others; don't pull them and pull them until their tempers snap, just stretch yourself a little, be a bit more helpful and everything will be fine. You just need to stop taking too many tea breaks, that's all."
Minto sighed and nodded; she'd try and be nicer and a bit more helpful, but that'd didn't mean she'd stop taking her teabreaks; they couldn't do that to her, could they?