The Wild Cat Cafe has some very strange rules of etiquette that must be followed. RyuxKatt

Wild Cat Cafe

Ryu, Katt, Nina and Rand handed their belongings to the bouncer at the entrance of the Wild Cat Cafe, who promised he would return them on their way out. So far, the eccentric rules of etiquette of the Wild Cat Cafe they had heard about didn't appear to be so out of the ordinary. For Jean's sake they needed to go to the cafe and had agreed that following the rules would be the best way to go, they had no time to lose. They had to find the royal ring and prove who the real prince Jean was.

Upon entering the next section of the cave, the group found a sign on a wall which they read. The sign instructed them to leave their hats there. It sounded normal enough. Certain establishments often had hat racks at the entrance and asked their guests to leave their hats there. However, it felt a little bit unusual for an establishment located inside a cave. Even so, they followed the rules and continued.

The next area of the cave came with another sign. Ryu stared at the sign incredulously. "Is this really necessary?"

Nina wondered what it was about. She read the sign and her eyes widened. "It has to be a joke."

"Let me see," Katt poked in her head between the two and read the sign herself. "That's easy!" Nina looked at her like she did when they were about to break the spell on Jean.

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Katt stood in front of the giant frog and spoke of how easy the kiss would be. "It's just a kiss, that's easy," Katt had paused and looked towards Nina. "It's easy, right Nina?"

The black winged princess thought the woren girl was merely searching for support before she made the noble sacrifice. She never could have guessed that Katt had something up her sleeve. "Yes, you're right Katt. It's just a kiss, it's to help someone."

Katt smiled. "At it girl Nina, that's the spirit, gotta be brave!" Katt gave Nina a gentle push towards Jean.

Nina's face showed absolute surprise. "What? Me? Kiss?" She was so shocked she couldn't even put together a coherent sentence.

"Yes you. You know how the stories go. There's always a handsome prince from a distant land who is turned into a frog by an evil witch. Only the kiss of a fair princess can break the spell and turn the prince back to normal. Then the prince and princess fall in love and live happily ever after," Katt narrated.

Nina blinked. "Well yes, but that's just a fairy tale. Nifumu said the kiss of any girl would work."

"And you're a girl," Katt pointed out.

"So are you," Nina argued.

"You're royalty," Katt said.

"It doesn't make a difference," Nina insisted.

"Oh how terrible, no mademoiselle wants to kiss me! Oh the pain, I shall be forever stuck in this terrible form!" Jean cried.

"It is kind of sad," Rand commented.

Ryu nodded his agreement. "It's alright, we'll find a girl to break the spell."

"What about Bow?" Rand reminded.

"I'm sure he'll understand the delay. We can't leave Jean like this. We'll find a girl who wants to do the noble task of kissing him back to normal. I'm sure we'll be able to find a kind hearted girl to save him," Ryu declared.

Nina felt a sudden surge of guilt, "I'm sorry."

Katt also felt guilty, 's noble kind hearted girl,' she thought.

"I'll do it!" Nina and Katt announced at the same time.

"It's okay, Nina you don't have to," Katt voiced.

"No, it's alright, I'll do it," Nina offered.

"Allow me," Katt insisted.

"No, no, allow me," Nina continued.

"Really, I can do it, it's easy," Katt repeated.

"You said it yourself Katt, that's how the fairy tale goes. The princess needs to kiss the frog," Nina recalled.

"But like you said, any girl can do it," Katt retorted.

"Two beautiful mademoiselles are fighting over me?" Jean cheered. "I am honored!"

Rand shook his head. He never would have thought it would take that long for them to decide who would kiss the frog and he certainly didn't expect the tables to be turned in such a way.

Ryu placed a hand on Katt's shoulder. "It's okay Katt, just let Nina do it." So it was decided.

"But I'm a noble and kind hearted girl too" Katt pouted.

"Yes, I know you're both noble kind hearted," Ryu smiled.

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"I don't think this is so easy," Nina left her memories and returned to the present. Her cheeks had started turning pink.

"This is very suspicious," Rand agreed.

Nina nodded, "maybe you should stand guard, I mean, maybe I should-"

"You're right," Rand agreed before Nina could correct what she said. She meant to volunteer to stand guard herself. Before she could stop him, Rand went to stand guard. "Ryu, come with me for a moment. Let Nina and Katt go ahead." Ryu caught the hint and followed Rand.

"I guess we'll have to continue," Nina grimaced and Katt nodded. The princess placed her clothes on the box and put on napkins tying them together as well as she could. She resolved for wrapping her black wings around herself. Even if the men were in another section of the cave, she was still somewhat embarrassed. How she would walk into the cafe, she didn't know. Even so, she would be as diplomatic a she could and show respect for different customs.

Katt did the same as Nina, leaving her clothes in the box and putting on napkins, although she wasn't as embarrassed as the princess. Then they both moved on.

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"Ryu, maybe you should follow them," Rand voiced after a few more minutes. "I'll stand guard."

"Alright I think they must be done in the next chamber by now." Ryu also left his clothes on the box, wearing napkins tied together. He felt extremely ridiculous, but if Nina and Katt did it, he had to do it too. He waited until he was sure they must be past the next section of the cave, then continued.

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Nina and Katt were almost to the cafe. Nina was currently rubbing salt and pepper on her body. "I can't believe I'm doing this." She finished with the salt and pepper then wrapped her black wings around herself again.

"Do you think its part of some kind of odd ceremony?" Katt asked.

Nina thought about it, that might explain it, "probably." There was only one way to find out and they would find out soon. Each section of the cave was divided in two Nina walked to the second half of the section. "I'll be waiting. I have a bad feeling about this. Maybe we should let Ryu catch up."

"I agree, but didn't you say you would be embarrassed? I'm not sure why, I mean we're all friends and it's not like we're naked or anything," Katt replied.

"I would hardly call napkins clothes," Nina shook her head.

"You have wings and I have fur. Ryu has, well he has the napkins alone, but that's not the point." Katt's words of support didn't come out exactly how she had expected, but Nina felt better anyway.

"Hopefully, someday we'll look back on this and laugh," the princess sighed.

"Yeah, I'm sure we will," Katt had always been the carefree one.

While Nina waited up ahead, Katt got to work on the salt and pepper except she had misunderstood and thought it was salt or pepper.

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Ryu had found a sign indicating that he should exchange his shield and weapon for a plate and fork. He saw the girls' shields, Katt's staff and Nina's ring on the box. Leaving his sword and shield there, Ryu grabbed a plate and fork and continued.

He saw Katt and immediately turned around to give her a chance to finish the next step in the strange etiquette, whatever it could be, but she heard his footsteps first. "Hey Ryu, come over here for a moment."

Ryu approached, feeling totally ridiculous in napkins. "What is it Katt?" He tried to sound as casual and natural as possible.

Katt didn't appear to be bothered at all. "Give me a hand with the salt, okay? We're supposed to rub it on our bodies. Is it okay if I take the salt? Do you mind taking the pepper?"

Ryu took a moment to analyze her strange request. That had to be the weirdest etiquette he ever heard of. "No problem, I'll take the pepper."

"Oh good, then put some of this salt on my back." She took a hand full of salt in her hands. There was hardly any left in the container.

Although the request was strange, Ryu figured that if they had followed the Wild Cat Cafe's strange etiquette so far, they might as well obey it completely. Ryu received the salt and gently rubbed it on Katt's back, his cheeks took a pink then red color as he did.

"Here, I'll help you with the pepper," Katt offered. Ryu only nodded. She took a handful of pepper and rubbed it on his back. "There you go." They each finished off with the salt and pepper respectably, all over their bodies. Before leaving, Katt took one last look at the odd sign. "Wait it said salt and pepper, not salt or pepper. I thought using both was optional."

"But there's no salt or pepper left," Ryu looked at the empty containers.

"I can solve this, it's easy." Most of the time, when Katt declared something was easy, it didn't always turn out to be so easy. She then extended her arms, "hug."

Ryu blinked and felt his cheeks become a deeper shade of red. "Sure, a hug." He hugged her, feeling the salt in her soft fur stick to his skin, while the pepper on his skin was mixed with her fur. She moved her hands along his back giving him some of her salt and obtaining some of his pepper. He did the same for her.

Nina poked her head in from behind the stone wall of the cave and stared in disbelief as her cheeks burned. "Um, excuse me. I don't mean to interrupt or anything, but we really should get going."

"Right, we need to find Jean's ring. C'mon Ryu we're almost there," Katt took his hand, leading him to the next area where they were asked how they liked their meat.

"I like it well done," Nina answered.

"I like it normal," Ryu replied.

"Rare! Let's eat it rare!" Katt insisted.

"Well, I don't like meat all that much anyway," Nina admitted.

"You should try it rare, that's how it tastes best," Katt cheered. At least they would be fed, or so she thought.

Ryu shrugged, he couldn't think of food at a time like this. "Sure let's eat it rare. Is that okay Nina?"

"Yes, If I'm willing to follow this etiquette, I'm definitely willing to try a new recipe," Nina agreed.

The next room was darker than the rest of the cave. It didn't give them a good feeling. They were starting to think it had all been a big mistake, until suddenly the only thing they could think of was the heat. Ryu, Katt and Nina jumped around a giant grill, until the heat stopped and a big cat came by, surprised to find that they had not been cooked.

A battle soon came, resulting with Ryu, Katt and Nina as the winners. "We cook the weak to feed the strong," the cat had explained.

They were led to the main area of the cafe, where there was a witch convention. Katt wondered why they were wearing clothes instead of napkins, but didn't question the issue too much. Ryu and Nina were embarrassed, but Ryu's mind was elsewhere, still on the feeling of being so close to Katt with nothing but salt, pepper and napkins between them. Nina made a mad dash towards the bathroom.

"Oh my, I'm sorry. I didn't know there was someone here," Nina found Nifumu crying in a corner of the bathroom, which was thankfully equipped with a tub.

"It's alright, nobody cares about me," the sad witch sobbed. "The bathroom's all yours," she headed towards the door.

"Wait Nifumu, do you have Jean's royal ring?" Nina inquired.

"The ring that frog gave me? That wasn't a royal ring, no one would give something that important to me," Nifumu was disbelief. "Anyway, that old thing must be in the sewers by now, I dropped it," she left.

Nina twitched, as if she hasn't had enough obeying the strange etiquette of the Wild Cat Cafe that turned out to be a trap, almost being cooked alive and suffering the embarrassment of a life time. She most certainly did not want to crawl around a stinky sewer. She wanted to take a bath. She decided that it was best to inform her traveling companions later and let them come up with a plan. First she wanted to get cleaned up and dressed. Surely, Jean could wait just a little bit longer.

Nina opened the door to the bathroom slightly and stuck her head out. "Could you bring me my clothes please? Thank you." She spoke quickly and didn't wait for a reply as she didn't like the odd stares she was getting, so she hastily closed the door.

"I'll go," Ryu offered as he dashed out of the main Wild Cat Cafe room to find their clothes and equipment. Nifumu left the cafe after that, as did the other witches, their convention was over.

"I guess that leaves you young lady, do you want to learn a special technique?" The chef asked Katt.

"Sure!" Katt didn't care that people were looking at her strangely as they left.

Ryu soon returned accompanied by Rand, who was helping carry all the boxes with their things. "Katt, could you hand Nina her clothes?" Ryu requested.

"No problem," Katt picked the box with the princess' dress and knocked on the bathroom door. "Nina, here are your clothes."

Nina opened the door a little and took her clothes, "thank you." A few moments later, she emerged fully dressed and clean. "There's a tub in there so you can go get cleaned up easily. Did Nifumu tell you about the ring?"

"Yes, she mentioned it on her way out," Ryu replied.

"I'll go, I don't feel like I've done enough this time," Rand volunteered. However, he encountered technical difficulties. "There's a little problem." He paused as the others looked at him confused. "The entrance to the sewer is too small."

"Looking for a ring in the sewers, that's-" Katt paused.

"Easy?" Nina asked.

"Actually, it's yucky," Katt finished.

"It has to be done, I'll go," Ryu volunteered.

"I wonder if there are any monsters down there to try out my new technique with?" Katt wondered. "Ryu wait for me!"

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Finding the ring wasn't too hard, but after the mission was accomplished, Ryu and Katt badly needed another bath. "You can go first Katt, I'll wait," Ryu offered.

"That's nice of you, but by the look on your face, I know you can't wait to get cleaned up so jump in. I'll help you just like before," Katt had a smiled filled with such innocent it was amazing.

"Help me?" Ryu blinked.

"Yeah, I'll wash your back and I'll need your help washing mine. That's what friends are for right? You know what they say, good friends wash each others backs!" Katt cheered.

"Actually, it goes good friend watch each others backs," Ryu corrected.

"Really? I never thought of that, it does kind of make sense," Katt laughed. "Good friends watch and wash each others backs. How's that?"

Ryu decided to go with that version, "sounds good to me."

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Nina and Rand wondered what took Ryu and Katt so long, but the sounds of splashing water and laughter, indicated they were not in the sewers anymore, they were in the tub. Nina decided not to overanalyze the situation.

End

Disclaimer, I don't own Breath of Fire II.

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