Fukurou's mouth started moving practically before he got the door open, which wasn't new or surprising in any fashion to his fellow CP9 agents, all seated in the break room.
"Chapapa, have you heard that Jya–"
And that was all the got out of his mouth before Jyabura raced into the room after him, shoulder-checked him against the wall, and zipped his mouth shut.
"Oh no you don't," he growled, and turned back around to face his assembled coworkers. "I have an announcement to make. He gets all the other ones."
Blueno raised an eyebrow. Kalifa tilted her head to one side. Kaku looked at him expectantly. Lucci gave him a blank and unimpressed stare. Kumadori opened his mouth, probably to make some sort of loud and convoluted statement that would throw off Jyabura's speech, so he pointed a warning finger at Kumadori and bristled threateningly until he thought better of it and shut his mouth.
This done, he strode purposefully to the table in the middle of the room and slammed his palms down on it, glaring around at everyone as if to make sure that they were listening. He glanced over his shoulder and jerked his head at Fukurou, motioning to a chair. Fukurou took it, looking disgruntled and defeated.
"I," Jyabura began, once he had everyone's attention, grinning madly, "have a date."
Everyone stared. Fukurou made a displeased noise that came out muffled through his zipper.
"With whom?" Kaku asked eventually, attempting to be polite.
Jyabura's grin widened, clearly enthralled that someone had asked. He smacked the tabletop with one hand to emphasize his point. "Gatherine."
"I see," Kalifa ventured after a moment, adjusting her glasses and crossing her right leg over her left. "And what manner of coercion did you use to secure this…date?"
"You didn't threaten her, did you?" Blueno asked suspiciously. "She's a civilian; that's against government policy."
"And grounds for a sexual harassment suit," Kalifa pitched in. Blueno nodded.
"I doubt that Jyabura has the guts to actually speak to a woman, let alone threaten one," said Lucci, sipping his coffee mildly.
"Now, I'm sure that he didn't actually do anything that would put his job in danger or cause harm to an innocent woman," Kaku insisted bravely, and then faltered. "Right?" he asked Jyabura.
Jyabura, meanwhile, was staring at them all with a mixture of confused disbelief and impotent rage. "No!" he finally managed. "I asked her out again and she said yes! What's wrong with you people?! I'm not a complete monster!"
A panel of unconvinced faces was his answer.
"It's just that all of your past efforts have been unsuccessful," Blueno said, raising his hands in a calming gesture.
"And it's known that she has feelings for, ah, someone else," Kalifa pointed out. Across from her, Lucci smirked into his coffee.
"We are only curious as to why she agreed this time," Kaku said soothingly, and gestured to a chair, but Jyabura didn't take it.
"I don't know, she just said yes!" he snapped, grinding his teeth. "That's the important part, isn't it?!"
"I'm happy for youuuu!" said Kumadori, brightly.
Kumadori lifted his massive hands in apology and reached for the coffee pot with a tendril of hair.
Fukurou, unable to remain silent any longer, unzipped his mouth and prefaced his withheld information with a grating laugh: "Word is that she's finally gotten over Lucci and decided to give someone else a try, and she apparently thought that she might as well agree to go out with Jyabura, considering that he's been after her for months now, but I really think she could have done better. I mean, it's not like her list of suitors is a mile long, but still–"
"Shut up!" Jyabura roared, and Fukurou snapped his mouth shut with a disgruntled clack.
"Well, that's very nice, then," Kaku said placidly, smiling. Jyabura glared at him suspiciously, and then turned to glower at Lucci when he decided that Kaku's intentions were innocent.
"You hear that? She likes me better than you!" he informed his leader, standing straight and smugly crossing his arms over his chest.
"I fail to understand why I should be concerned about the preferences of a homely waitress," Lucci replied, staring coldly and calmly back at Jyabura as he drank his coffee. A vein throbbed on Jyabura's forehead; he cracked his knuckles and tossed his hair over his shoulder as if gearing up for a fight.
"Would you like some coffee?" Kaku interjected, before things could get out of hand. "Kumadori, please get Jyabura some coffee. Why don't you sit down? You can tell us about it."
"I don't want any damn coffee," Jyabura snapped, livid.
"It's a new brand," Kaku tempted. "Come on, I'd like to hear more about this. Wouldn't you?" He said forcefully to the others. Fukurou and Kumadori dutifully nodded; Kalifa and Blueno gave Kaku twin looks of "you must be joking". Lucci frowned slightly and raised an eyebrow.
Jyabura glowered, but sat down. Kumadori offered him a mug of coffee, which he accepted somewhat reluctantly. "Well," he began, and launched into a diatribe to rival some of Fukurou's more impressive rants.
Once assured that Jyabura was off in his own little world and not actively paying attention to anyone else in the room, Kaku glanced over at Kalifa with a weary expression that said When I signed up to be a professional peacemaker, I didn't mean it this way.
Kalifa smirked and sipped her coffee delicately. I prefer to let them fight, was her nonverbal response. It's much more interesting.
And much more damaging to the staff room, Blueno's displeased look put in. He glanced off to one side as if mentally counting off, and the break room, and the training room…
And team dynamics, said Kaku's lofty expression.
He has a point, I must admit, said Kalifa with a dip of her head and lowered lashes, brushing her long hair over one shoulder.
At least their fights provide good fodder for the rumor mill, added Fukurou's bright grin.
I really think Jyabura is oooverreacting, Kumadori's exaggerated expressions conveyed. It seems like he just waaants attentiooon.
Kaku frowned slightly and drew his eyebrows together. He got the date, didn't he?
Oh yes, for sure, Fukurou's vehement nod assured them. Then a frown. I'm not sure how…
Blueno shrugged and adopted a patented melancholy neutral appearance. It doesn't matter. Perhaps he will be more cooperative now that he is not competing with Lucci.
That's never what the competition was about, Lucci's sharp gaze reminded him. I'm stronger than him, and a better fighter. He takes offense to it.
I always thought the girl was part of it, though, Kalifa's raised eyebrow and down-turned lips informed him. Lucci shook his head and glared over the rim of his mug.
That was only the icing on the cake.
I feel a little sorry for him, to be honest, said Kaku's pensive look, and then an innocent one answered What? to the round of shocked and admonishing expressions.
"Are you listening?!" Jyabura finally snarled, and all eyes turned to him.
"Of course," Kaku said, and before Jyabura could pull the "then what did I just say" technique, "More coffee?"
"I'm not finished with this," Jyabura replied, only slightly mollified. "Anyway, she said she'd meet me at 8:00 p.m. on Friday."
"Well, that's good," said Kaku. "I hope you have fun."
"Hmph," was Jyabura's suspicious response. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were all talking about me behind my back."
"Jyabura, we weren't speaking," Blueno said calmly.
"Hmm," Jyabura conceded. There was a moment of silence in which coffee was consumed and glares were exchanged between Lucci and Jyabura, and eventually the latter stood up. "I'm going to go take a nap," he announced, as if this were very important information.
"Have fun," Kalifa purred, her voice skirting the edge of sincere and mocking with expert precision.
Jyabura put one hand on the doorknob and turned back around to glare at everyone in the room. With narrowed eyes and a clenched fist, he said I hate you all. A second later, his feral grin concluded, But I'll let you live.
And with that, he left the room. A moment passed, and then Fukurou started to laugh, and so did Kumadori, and then Kalifa joined in (albeit in a much more sophisticated manner) and even Blueno chuckled a little.
"See," Kaku said, amused. "I think he might be smarter than we give him credit for."
"Possible," Lucci deadpanned, "But not probable."
"At least now he has a date," Blueno said.
"Yes, he might calm down slightly," Kalifa added, nodding.
"Possible," Kaku replied, glancing at Lucci.
"But not probable," Lucci finished.
"I heard that!" came a muffled shout from just outside the door. Poor Kumadori promptly choked on his coffee amid the laughter.