My first go at a Working! fic! Though I have another, this was my first try, so you have to promise to go easy on me. I'm also warning you of the slight OOC-ness that will happen. I just wanted to make the characters a little deeper so it could add to the romance aspect ;3 Despite that, I hope you enjoy.
Disclamer: I do not own Working! :(
It was just another normal day at Wagnaria.
You already know where this is going.
The employees all arrived early to open up the restaurant and get things started; Popura, Takanashi, and Inami cleaned off the tables and floors while Souma and Satou began making preparations in the kitchen; Yamada and Maya were off at the moment.
Kyouko walked slowly in through the lobby, standing precisely where Takanashi was trying to sweep. "Ah, Manager? Do you think you could move, please?" He asked irritably; he was pretty sure she was doing this on purpose.
"What's in it for me if I do?" Kyouko wondered flatly. "Will you make me a parfait?"
Takanashi was about to rip his own hair out, which he thought unhealthy since it had only been 5 minutes since he had walked into the restaurant.
"Yes." He responded without really thinking. "If you just, please move, I will make you a parfait, Manager."
"Ha. Funny. That was a joke." The black-haired sadist replied. "I'll only eat Yachiyo's parfaits. Where is she anyway?"
"How should I know?" The boy simmered through gritted teeth. "You're avoiding the issue! I need to-"
"It's drizzling out. I wonder if she's late because of the weather?" The manager wondered aloud to herself. Takanashi held in his frustration and closed his eyes, imagining a scene of cute plushies in his mind.
Just then, the doors to the entrance swung open and the final employee walked in, panting.
"Yachiyo-san!" Popura exclaimed, dropping her mop and racing over to the taller girl. "Are you okay?"
Yachiyo's long, blonde hair was soaked until it was brownish, her clothes sticking to her body as she trailed in puddles of water.
"Ah, yes I'm fine, Popura-chan. It just seems the weather's not on my side today. As soon as I got here, it just started pouring." She said with a bit of fatigue in her voice, although she still gave her usual smile. "Ah! Good morning, Kyouko-san! Oh my, I'm getting the floor wet, aren't I?" She fretted.
"Don't worry about it." The manager said. "I'll just have this kid clean it up." She stated matter-of-factly, jabbing her thumb over her shoulder at Takanashi.
"Wha-?" He began to protest, but was cut off when Popura added on, "I'll help you, Takanashi-kun!" before she scampered off to get her mop. Kyouko gave him a somewhat smug look and he just pouted and looked away.
"Come on then, Yachiyo. I don't want to rush you when you just got here, but I'm kind of hungry."
"How is that not rushing her?" The boy mumbled.
"Yes! Right away, Kyouko-san!" The blonde eagerly brushed past her co-workers and headed into the back to hang up her jacket.
She greeted Inami and Souma before she entered the kitchen, gathering her usual ingredients for a strawberry parfait. As she began compiling them together in a glass, she was unaware of the approaching footsteps nearing her.
"Really?" Satou sighed, leaning his back against the counter she was working at. "She wants sweets first thing in the morning?"
Yachiyo squeaked at the sound of his voice in her ear and she jump, dropping the spoon in her hand.
"G-Good morning Satou-kun. Y-You startled me." She stammered, shaking slightly; she was still nervous around him, ever since their little revelations about their love lives. It still hurt him a bit to see her like that, but now he was less concerned about that and more focused on the fact that the blush on her face was so irresistibly cute.
"You know, this isn't even about the fact that we're getting low on ingredients this time, but don't you think eating sweets this early in the day isn't exactly good for you?"
"Ah...Ah...I'm sorry." She apologized for some reason, and he sighed helplessly. What am I doing? He wondered.
"Well, get going then." He sighed again, giving her a firm pat on the back. She stumbled a bit and picked up the glass.
"Ah...yes..." and with that, she scampered off to find her beloved manager. Satou watched her go and mentally cursed himself. Dammit. Why does this seem harder than it usually does? He scratched his head before turning back to his work.
Not many customers were at Wagnaria around noontime, aside from the few stragglers who had ran in to get away from the rain.
The workers all did petty tasks to pass the time, re-cleaning everything that was already immaculate.
"It's nice to have mellow days like this every once in a while, right Takanashi-kun?" Popura asked.
"Definitely. I could do with a day like this a lot more often." He agreed.
"Really? You guys like this?" Inami queried. "I hate rainy days like these. They make me want to go back to sleep."
"Yachiyo, parfait." Kyouko's voice rang out from where she sat lazily at one of the tables in the back where the employees often took their breaks.
"Yes, Kyouko-san!" The air-headed girl replied instantly and dashed off like a loyal puppy to please her master. Souma smirked and nudged Satou in the side as she entered the kitchen and the blonde boy scowled at him.
"I think I heard someone calling for me." The blue-haired boy said airily as he began to walk away. "Don't mess things up anymore than you already have, Satou-kun." He warned quietly as he walked out of the kitchen; Satou glared daggers at him as he went, growling quietly.
"How are things on the floor, Todoroki?" He wondered as she began to make her second parfait of the day.
"It seems very slow today." She responded casually, trying her very best not to sound uncomfortable, lest she hurt his feelings. Of course he knew that she never intentionally tried to hurt him, but he could not help but wish she was a bit more aware of the things going on around her.
Then again, her cluelessness was probably one of the main characteristics he loved about her so much. Her ditzy personality always made him want to jump in and help her out, though in real life, he knew he would never dare to do something like that. Although she did not always think things through, she always put her heart into whatever she did, and did it as best she could. And though she carried the unsettling katana at her side, she was more or less harmless. He believed that her unique personality and beauty on both the inside and outside were what made him so drawn to her.
To make a silent excuse to stay near her as she continued to make the parfait, Satou moved toward the sink, closer to her, and began washing dishes. I am such an idiot. He informed himself. What am I doing? I'm so pathetic. He repeated to himself. What do I think I can accomplish by standing next to her...Then again...I think I deserve at least that much, right?
He realized then that his face had turned sideways slightly to look at her without his consent and he was about to focus his eyes back onto his dishes when he noticed the red tint on her cheeks. The possibility that she was blushing from being near him wanted to make its way into his mind, he knew it, but he did not allow it.
Immediately, he knew something was wrong. To anyone else, except possibly Kyouko, she would have looked perfectly normal, but Satou assumed that since he was always looking at her so much that he could tell instantly when something was amiss with her. Her eyebrows were furrowed ever so slightly, and her mouth was a bit ajar, as though she were having difficulty catching her breath.
Crap. She doesn't have another fever, does she? This'll be the second time in only a few months. He recalled.
"Oi, Todoroki," he glanced over at her, past his long bangs. "Are you feeling alright?"
"A-Ah, yes! Why do you ask?"
"You just seem a bit...out of it." More-so than usual. He stopped himself from adding.
"Oh, is that so? I'm sorry if I'm worrying you." She dipped her head in apology.
Idiot. Why are you apologizing? He wanted to yell at her, frustrated. But that was his own fault; now he was causing her to think she was troubling him, so she would try even harder to try and hide if something was wrong from now on. Dammit. That's the exact opposite of what I want!
"I-I'm sorry, Satou-kun. I'm going to go take this to Kyouko-san now." She murmured, picking up the glass.
"Wait, Todoroki..." he began, wanting to take back what he had said or at least make it better on his part. But he was interrupted when a heavenly sound reached his ears.
Yachiyo squeaked a high-pitched sneeze that made the chef freeze for a moment to suppress his blush. But he could not remain still for too long, for as she sneezed, Yachiyo lost her grip on the glass, which fell to the floor before either of them could react.
"Watch out!" Satou warned as soon as his brain had processed what was happening. But from then, everything just got more chaotic.
The glass shattered into thousands of bouncing pieces, spreading ice cream and fruit all over the tiled floor. Simultaneously, Yachiyo sneezed again in the confusion, and slipped on what once was her beloved manager's parfait. As her weight shifted, she fell sideways and hit the edge of the counter before Satou shot forward and steadied her, catching her in his arms.
"Todoroki! Are you alright?" He asked frantically. She did not reply right away, but he felt her hunch forward slightly and realized that his arms were locked firmly around her stomach and across her shoulders.
Satou had no idea what to do at that point. His body was telling him to keep holding her like that because he knew damn well he would never get to do it again. However, his mind was screaming at him to let her go, lest she become even more uncomfortable around him.
After debating internally for about what seemed a year, Satou slowly loosened his embrace on her and let her go. "S...Sorry..." he mumbled quietly as he took a hesitant step back to be sure she would not fall again. He wished he could see her face at the moment, but her back was still turned to him, her arm gripping the counter for support. "Hey, are you okay?" He repeated, moving to her side now. His eyes widened in alarm when he saw her face. "Todoroki? Oi! What's wrong?"
She was leaning heavily against the counter, her free arm gripping her stomach as she gasped for breath. Satou stared in horror as he saw her knees tremble and reached forward just in time to save her from collapsing.
"S...Sorry...Satou-kun..." she wheezed. "I hit...the counter really...hard..." she managed to sputter out with a lopsided smile that sent a pang through him. Stop that. He wanted to tell her. Stop acting like it doesn't hurt, idiot.
Then, he felt her being to slump and he hugged her tighter before he slowly helped her down to the ground. She knelt down and he squatted beside her, patting her back gently as she tried to regain her breath.
"Oi, what's going on back here?" Their manager's familiar voice rang out just then and she and the rest of the staff appeared at the entrance to the kitchen. When she saw the scene before her, Kyouko's eyes widened; be it at the sight of her injured employee or her departed parfait was sadly, unknown.
"Oh no!" Inami's frightened voice sounded first.
"Y-Yachiyo-san! Satou-san!" Popura cried out, trying to run over to them.
"Careful, senpai!" Takanashi stopped her. "There's glass all over."
"B-But Yachiyo-san looks hurt!" She protested.
"Let's all just calm down and let Satou-kun take care of her, okay?" Souma suggested. Satou blinked at his companion's words, and for once he was grateful to his fellow chef.
"What happened?" Kyouko asked.
"She slipped and hit herself on the counter. I think she's really winded." Satou explained.
"I see. That's no good."
"D...Don't worry about me." Yachiyo tried to reassure her friends. "I'll be fine in a moment."
"Either way, there's hardly anyone in here right now, so just take a break." Kyouko decided.
"You looked kind of sick before, too." Satou added.
"No buts." Kyouko stated firmly.
Yachiyo gazed helplessly up at the person she admired most; to see those stern eyes looking down on her was more than she could take.
"Yes...Kyouko-san..." the girl replied, sounding so heartbroken that Satou winced.
"Satou, help her out."
"Right." He nodded. "Come on." He turned to Yachiyo. "Can you stand?"
"Yes." She replied softly. Nonetheless, he pulled her arm across his shoulders with one hand and wrapped his other around her waist, helping her stand. Her balance was still a little shaky as she hesitantly leaned against him. As he assisted her out of the kitchen, the rest of the employees dispersed. "Inami. Could you clean this up?" Kyouko asked.
"Yes!" The androphobic girl declared instantly, dashing off to get supplies.
Only Kyouko and Takanashi stood there for a moment then, looking down at the broken glass.
"What a waste." The manager sighed.
"...You're horrible, Manager." The boy chided.
As Satou led Yachiyo into the break room, he gently helped her into a chair before letting her go.
"Sorry, Satou-kun." She smiled hopelessly.
"Stop that." He scolded, gently tapping a finger atop her head. Then he noticed her face was still contorted in pain. "Does it still hurt?"
"A bit." She lied, still holding her side. "When I fell, my katana hit the counter."
"You should take it off for a moment." The chef suggested reasonably. But she gasped loudly at such an action.
"Just for a minute. Keep it right on the table." He told her.
She seemed to go into deep thought for a moment before she deemed his words to have some truth in them.
"V...Very well." She agreed. But as she reached to her sore side, she stiffened and bit her lip.
"I'll help you." Satou offered, leaning down next to her. Swallowing while trying to maintain his composure, he carefully slid the weapon, still sheathed, away from her waist. Judging from the angle which it hung at her side, he assumed that when she fell, the hilt must have dug into her ribcage; just the thought of it made him flinch.
At last he placed the sword on the table beside her and straightened up again. "Does that feel any better?"
"Yes. Thank you, Satou-kun." She nodded with a small smile. He coughed once and turned away from her, hiding his face. She's so cute.
"Do you...need anything?" He felt obliged to ask.
"No. I...I'm okay." She mumbled, her face also slightly flushed.
"You're not sick, are you? This whole thing happened because of a sneeze, after all."
"Oh, I think that was because of the rain this morning, that's all."
Then, an additional voice entered the conversation.
"EH?" Popura cried. "Yachiyo-san is sick? H-Hold on, I'll go get your jacket!"
"Wait, Taneshima-" Satou attempted to correct her to no avail.
"Oh my." Yachiyo commented.
"She never listens." He sighed.
"But she's always so cheerful and helpful." She mused.
"She's not the only one." Satou murmured under his breath.
"What was that, Satou-kun?"
But before she could get her answer, Popura returned with Yachiyo's jacket.
"H-Here, Yachiyo-san! Ah, Satou-san, take care of her! I need to go serve a customer!" She exclaimed, shoving the jacket into his hands before scampering off.
"So energetic." Yachiyo smiled.
"Here." Satou walked around her chair and draped her jacket over her shoulders.
"Oh. Thank you."
"You're welcome." He smiled.
There was a moment of comfortable silence between them and Satou wished it could have lasted forever; even if it did not, he could have died happily then and there.
Their silence was broken at the approaching sound of light footsteps as Inami stepped shyly into the room.
"Um...Yachiyo-s-san? Taneshima-san said you were sick, so I made you some tea. Oh! And I made some for you too, Satou-san."
At the mention of his name, the young man blinked in surprise.
"T...Thanks." He told her accepting the cup carefully from her; when she passed it off to him, she squealed before jumping away and he only just managed to keep the tea from spilling.
"Thank you very much, Inami-chan. I'm feeling a whole lot better now." Yachiyo beamed as the younger girl presented her with her tea.
"I'm glad!" Inami bowed quickly before exiting the room again.
"Ah, what wonderful people work here, indeed." Yachiyo said airily. "Satou-kun, sit down." She invited. "You can't drink tea like that."
"T...Then pardon me." He dipped his head politely before pulling out the chair opposite her.
They drank their tea silently together and Satou had to remind himself momentarily that this was, in fact, reality, because it felt far too good to be true. The sword kind of kills the atmosphere though. He thought, glaring at the weapon as though willing it to disappear.
The silence between them was slightly awkward but mostly casual, as though they were both putting forth great efforts to make it feel that way. When they each had finished their tea, they avoided looking at one another, neither finding means to begin a conversation or make a suggestion.
Then, Souma came in and Satou felt all happiness drain away before him.
"Todoroki-san? The manager says that if you feel better yet, you can...oh my." He trailed off, feeling the atmosphere. Satou-kun, what exactly have you been doing with this golden opportunity?
"Does Kyouko-san need something?"
"Ah, not really. She just said you can go back to working on the floor whenever you feel like it."
"Okay." She nodded.
"Then, Satou-kun, would you come with me for a second?" The blue-haired chef wondered. The blonde was already on his feet, stalking toward him to grab him by the collar and dragging him out of earshot of the room.
"What the hell do you want, you bastard?"
"What, it's not like I was interrupting anything, now is it?"
"That's not the point." Satou growled.
"Yes, yes. I apologize for taking away from your sacred time with Todoroki-san. But are you even making any moves right now?"
The silence that ensued gave him his answer. "I see."
"Shut up." The blonde growled.
"Well I just hope you think of something within the next few minutes. She seems keen on getting back to work." And with that, Souma headed out, flipping a wave that said 'good luck' over his shoulder at his friend.
Gathering his bearings, Satou re-entered the room to find Yachiyo on her feet, sliding her katana back into place at her side.
"I just wanted to thank you again. Y-You've taken such good care of me today." Was that a stammer he had heard in her voice? "I'm really appreciative of all you've been doing for me all this time."
All he could do was look at her as he listened to her words; her formal posture, her long, golden hair falling neatly down her back, the pink blush on her cheeks, her soft, thankful smile...
But there was something in her words that made him wonder if she actually was recognizing all the times he had been looking out for her, and not just today. Satou began to see a new side of her in that split second, feeling horrible that he had always thought her to be dense or unobservant; perhaps she was just the type who saw everything but said nothing.
The thought only then crossed his mind that her clueless personality may just be an act, but he shook it off. As a million different thoughts flew through his head, he finally managed to focus on one in particular.
"You're...You're welcome." He replied. "But...thank you too, Todoroki." He blurted out.
"Eh? For what?" She tilted her head to one side.
"For...just..." he fumbled for words, knowing he had never intended to actually say this out loud, but it was too late now. Might as well just tell it like it is, no matter how dumb it sounds! He decided then. He stared down at her with a new determination and she turned her face up to him with a slightly confused expression.
"Thank you for just...working here...with...me..." he mumbled, turning his face to the side.
Yachiyo was silent for a good long moment as he awaited her reaction; this would be the thing that either pulled them closer together or broke them apart completely. She was silent for a little longer than he thought she should have been, and he had to check to make sure she was still breathing.
He was about to make sure she was conscious when her face suddenly turned bright red with a hearty blush.
"Oh my." Was all she managed to say before she felt her knees begin to give. Satou quickly caught her, relishing the feeling of holding her in his arms once more; this was the second time he had done it today, and he never thought he could have done it once in is entire lifetime.
"Hey, take it easy." He steadied her.
"Ah, I'm sorry!" She cried. "I...I just don't think my heart can take this."
"Huh? What does that mean?" He wondered. Then, a possible explanation began to flicker to life in his mind. "Todoroki, you..."
"A-Ah, is that Kyouko-san calling for me?" She wondered absentmindedly.
Her mentioning their manager was like a stomp on the foot to him, but she did not push away from him as he had expected her to. Rather, she stayed put, almost as if she did not want to leave his embrace, even though she knew they should not be doing something like this during working hours.
Satou was unsure of what to do, but he knew one thing for certain; he had been wrong about her all along. She knew his feelings perfectly well, she just did not know how to respond to them yet.
He assumed this was all just a dream, but he honestly could care less at this point.
He let the moment last as long as it should, but then he decided to end it, not wanting to push it.
"Right. You should go now." He informed her, patting her head a few times and slightly ruffling her hair.
"Y-Yes." She took a dainty step back and smiled up at him irresistibly; had he been a less controlled man, Satou surely would have shot forward and kissed her right then and there, but he would save that daring endeavor for some other time. "Thank you, Satou-kun."
She bowed her head a little before stepping lightly around him. He was content to watch her go, but then she turned back around to face him.
"Also, thank you for helping me with...falling."
At first he had no idea where she was going with this, but he decided it would be best to just acknowledge her gratitude once more.
"No...well...o-of course, I meant thank you for helping me when I slipped," she turned to him with a more serious expression for an instant. "But thank you for helping me in...the other method of falling as well."
The fact that she had now completely dumbfounded him proved that she was aware of more than she let on; much more.
Still he was unsure of what she meant.
"What do you mean?" he quirked an eyebrow.
"Well, you know." She took one step closer to him. "There's the physical kind of falling, and then there's another kind..." She trailed off before she finished, her serious expression then fading away back into her usual, light-hearted smile.
There was no other word to describe Jun Satou with at that moment than shocked.
"Ah, ah, ah!" She tisked. "Now, now, Satou-kun, we wouldn't want to reveal everything too quickly, now would we?" And with that, she spun on her heel and headed out toward the restaurant.
But Satou was not going to let it end like that.
"Todoroki!" He shouted, quickly reaching out to grasp her wrist. She froze in her tracks as he tugged her back toward him slightly, spinning her back around to face him. He saw the surprise on her face, heard it in her little gasp, felt it in her fluttering pulse.
"Todoroki. Just...just know...whenever you fall..." he gathered himself and raised his head proudly and seriously as he finished his statement. "I'll always be there to catch you!"
A moment of silence drifted by once more before her smile returned.
Satou had not realized how tightly he had been gripping her wrist until now, and so he gently let go. But before their hands slipped away, Yachiyo caught his in both of hers again. She said nothing, only squeezed his hand in hers softly before slowly letting it fall. As her fingers slipped over his skin, Satou smiled back up at her.
"Thank you, Satou-kun." She said again.
And he took his cue for his line as well.
And at that time, they were both sure of it; there would certainly be many more opportunities between them in the future to help one another deal with their cases of 'falling'.
A/N: The end! I reeeally had fun writing this, so I hope you had fun reading it :3 Ever since the beginning of season 1, I've shipped Satodoki like nobody's business, so I decided to take action and write for them. They may have been a bit awkward but thank you for bearing with it till the end!