A/N: Oh wow, so I got super busy around the holidays (and Shin is a pain in the butt) and wasn't able to update my Christmas fic, but that's okay! Even if it's in the middle of summer, I totally plan to complete it! Anyway though, on to this fic. It was inspired by a fanart I saw on Pixiv of the heroine feeding Ukyou a piece of cake; I can't remember the artist's name, but even though you'll probably never read this, thank you for drawing such a lovely picture!
A couple of things to point out: I hadn't intended on using a name for the heroine in this fic, but it got rather lengthy, as you can see, so writing 'her', 'she', etc. got rather tedious, so I fell back on the name I gave her when playing the game. I may or may not stick to calling her Alice from now on in my fanfiction; I haven't really decided yet. Also, I tried to use the proper honorifics when the characters called one another by name, but I'm not 100% sure that they're all right; I had to rely on my drama CDs for this, so it's as accurate as I can get it.
I really had a lot of fun writing this fic; there are parts that don't flow as smoothly as I'd like, but overall, it came out very nice, I think. I was kind of hesitant concerning the actions taken during the cake-feeding scene, but ah, in the end, I really have no regrets; they are a couple, after all. So I do hope that those of you who read this really enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I don't own Amnesia, but if I did, there would probably be more crying Ukyou scenes only because I love how convincing Miyata Kouki is. XD
Busy was an understatement for Meido no Hitsuji that late-autumn Friday. It was true that the small café had quickly gained popularity since it had opened three years ago when most of its employees were in high school, but it was rare to have people crowding inside just moments after the sign was switched over to 'open'. Shin and Mine – the only two workers who were still in high school – had explained that it was a school holiday, and with the weather as nice as it was that day, it was no surprise the middle and high school students were taking advantage of their free time and treating themselves and their friends and their sweethearts to a meal.
"Alice-senpai!" Mine called over the older girl as she was just stepping away from a table. "Shin has an order ready for table 12. Could you please get it? My hands are full."
"Sure thing, Mine-chan." The brunette smiled brightly at her colleague before changing her path and taking a detour into the kitchen. "Hey Shin, Where's that ord—"
But Alice was swiftly cut off as a tea-and-pie-laden tray was shoved into her hands. "Here, take it to table 12." Shin said – clearly in no mood for small talk.
"You know," she began in a playfully chiding tone, "This is the reason why Tenchou-san prefers to keep you in the kitchen. You have such a grumpy disposition and you'd probably scare off the customers with that sour face of yours." She was sorry (and Shin was glad) that her hands had recently been preoccupied with the tray or else she would have taken great pleasure in poking at his cheeks.
"Idiot," he scoffed, "Quit standing around unless you want the orders to get backed up."
She pouted, but all the same, she turned to leave since – even though he was being his usual pointed self about it – she knew he was right.
"Shin, don't be so mean to her." The reprimand came from Toma as he entered the kitchen.
Alice restrained herself from triumphantly sticking her tongue out at the younger boy; there would be no point in adding insult to injury, and though she adored both her friends equally, she had always sensed that there was an underlying rivalry between the two boys beneath their friendship. In recent years, it almost seemed to her that their playful banter had become less friendly and felt more as if they were doing their best to stay civil toward one another. Although, she mused, that could have just been Shin's general irritation with Toma's seemingly easygoing demeanor.
"Keep up the good work." Toma softly said as she passed by him. She paused for a moment and looked up at him, and since the young man's hands were empty, he obliged her with a gentle pat on the head before she ventured out into the café's dining room. "She's like a stupid puppy tryin—" She heard Shin griping, and this only succeeded in making her smile. How many times had Alice heard him compare her to a puppy? And even though he usually said it with annoyance in his voice, there was no denying that he really used it as a fond term of endearment for her.
"Let's see," she murmured as she scanned the crowd. "Table 12 is…" When her eyes fell on the inhabitants of the table, she wondered if Mine had set her up; no one – sometimes, not even Ikki-san – wanted to deal with those girls. But on the bright side, among the group of four giggling girls, was Rika – poised and beautiful and elegant as always. "Well, if Rika-san is there…" she hesitantly concluded – resolving not to be intimidated by the other fan club members.
"Sorry for the long wait." She apologized with a bow as she placed the heavy tray at the center of the table.
But the three girls hardly seemed to notice her apology as they immediately launched into complaints about how they wanted Ikki to serve them. This made Alice feel a bit uneasy, but she kept up her smiling face.
"That's enough, all of you." Rika firmly scolded them, and instantly, they were silent. "Let's be gracious and thank Alice-chan for her hard work."
Alice was grateful for the older girl's intervention, and taking a moment to glance down at their orders, she began distributing everything.
"Rika-san gets the royal milk tea," she started, placing the mug in front of her friend. It was Rika who had introduced Alice to the joy of royal milk tea, and now it had become one of her own personal favorite drinks. "Miki-san and Maya-san both ordered chamomile tea," she quickly read off the paper again before giving them their beverages. "And Taiko-san, that means the rose—"
As she picked up the cup of hot tea to give to the girl, Taiko also lifted her hand, and according to her, quite by accident, knocked the cup out of Alice's hand.
Wincing, Alice frantically grabbed for a towel as the still-hot tea seeped through the entire front of her uniform. It took a great deal of self-control, but she also managed to keep the colorful language that hovered around her lips from escaping her mouth.
"Are you okay?" Rika had jumped to her feet and was furiously wiping at Alice's soaked uniform.
Again, Alice found herself appreciating Rika's kindness toward her, but at the same time, she was well aware that Rika could just as easily be someone very scary, and she wondered – feeling some pity for the girl at fault – if Taiko would fall victim to that terrifying wrath.
"I'm fine," Alice breathed out, "It's just really hot is all."
"What happened over here?" A concerned-looking Ikki followed closely by an unhappy Toma appeared behind Alice and rested his hands on her shoulders. As he took in the state of their immediate surroundings, he could clearly see that she had something spilled on her and that the cup that once held the offending liquid had been shattered on the floor. "Toma," he turned to the blond. "We have spare uniforms in the back, don't we?"
"Then please escort our lovely princess to the back so she can get cleaned up." As he spoke, Alice caught Ikki exchanging secret glances with Rika, but said nothing as Toma held out his hand to her.
"Shall we go then, Ohime-sama?" Toma asked.
She responded by slipping her hand in his and allowing him to guide her away from the table. "I hope Tenchou-san won't be angry with me." She worried as they left the noise of the main room behind.
"It wasn't your fault." Toma remarked darkly. "That girl is responsible for the whole thing; I saw it happen."
Alice swallowed the lump in her throat. "Really, Toma-oniichan, it was an accident; no one is to blame." She rubbed her hands together nervously and looked away.
"You didn't get cut by the shattered glass, did you?" he asked – refusing to acknowledge that there was any truth in her words; he knew what he saw, and it did not please him.
She shook her head and then accepted the fresh uniform he held out to her. "Thank you," she said. "I'll be back out there in a few minutes. Please don't let me keep you from your job any longer."
Toma hesitated, but after a few seconds, he excused himself and left her alone to change.
"Sometimes, Toma-oniichan, you worry me." She laughed awkwardly as she removed her damp clothing.
Folding it up nicely so that she could take it home to wash, she momentarily neglected the clean uniform as she examined her abdomen for any potential burns. Though her skin was still rather hot in places and quite tender to the touch, she could see no lasting effects from the spill.
"That's a relief," Alice sighed, and then put on the new uniform. She looked to her side and was about to open her mouth to address someone, but there was no one there. She wasn't sure when it had happened, but she had been frequently inclined to want to hold conversations with thin air. Laughing at herself, Alice finally left the backroom and returned to her job.
The first thing she heard was Sawa greeting a customer.
"Okaerinasaima—" But Sawa had halted her greeting upon seeing who it was who had entered the shop. "Oh my! Ukyou-san!" Sawa raised her voice to draw Alice's attention to the front of the store. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?" she joked with him amicably.
He replied with a pleasant laugh. "Yes. Two whole days, in fact."
"Eeeh, that long. Really?" She exaggerated her words which only served to make the two of them laugh again.
"I-I'm here." Alice panted as she came skidding to a stop in front of her boyfriend and best friend. "Okaerinasaimase, Goshujin-sama," she breathily said, and as she attempted to complete the greeting with the customary bow, she lost her balance and toppled into Ukyou.
Of course he caught her. He wrapped his arms securely and protectively around her shoulders and pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
"She did that on purpose," Mine quietly observed as she came to stand by Sawa.
"Shhh." Sawa hushed her.
"I thought you said you wouldn't be done with work until tonight." Her voice was muffled as she spoke into his shoulder.
"It wrapped up earlier than I expected, so I thought I'd stop by my favorite café for a visit." He explained. His hands were now busily massaging her shoulders and upper arms.
"Mmmm, I love surprise visits like this." She sighed contentedly into his neck.
He slightly shifted as the feeling of her breath against his skin tickled. "I know you do."
"So," She raised her head. "What'd you take pictures of today, hm? Beautiful women?"
Ukyou stroked her cheek fondly. "Why? Would you be jealous?" he asked teasingly.
Alice scowled at him, but he pretended not to notice. "You'll just have to find out once that issue is published."
"If that's the case, then I guess I have no choice." She pouted.
He noted that she gave in much too quickly and decided when he got home that evening to hide his camera…his film…and his developed photographs. She could be devious when she wanted to be, and he didn't need her going through his things with her Christmas gift only half-finished.
"Goshujin-sama," she called to him, and it was only then that he realized that she had removed herself from his embrace and had readopted her role as his maid. "Please follow me to your table. Will you be having the usual?"
"Ah, thank you. Yes." He answered as they walked through the aisles of tables – leaving Sawa and Mine behind them.
"Ne, Sawa-senpai, when do you think he'll really be "Goshujin-sama" and "Anata" to her?" Mine asked – playing with the ends of her hair.
"I bet she already calls him those things when they are alone." Sawa answered, turning to retrieve the next order from the kitchen.
"You mean you think they role-play being husband and wife?" The youngest of the waitresses was practically bouncing on the balls of her feet.
"Probably," Sawa nodded.
Mine trailed after the older girl – forgetting that it was her turn to greet the customers as they came in. "We should ask Ukyou-san when he's going to propose to her then!"
"You just want her to be 100% out of the way so you can pursue Ikki-san." Sawa pointed out as she reached the kitchen's entrance. "You should go back to the front of the café now."
"Sawa-senpai, you're terrible." Mine sulked, but did as she was told – preferring to avoid angering Waka.
As Mine departed, Alice strolled up – the color of love blooming brightly in her cheeks. She was holding a list of her next orders, but hardly seemed aware of her surroundings.
"You left him already?" Sawa asked, letting Alice enter the kitchen ahead of her.
"I had to," she replied. "Other people were waiting to have their orders taken, too."
"And even more people are waiting to be served," Kent interjected into their conversation. "Don't stand around here gossiping; you're in the way."
The two girls grumbled at being so rudely chased out of the kitchen when they were only trying to do their jobs, but taking the orders presented to them, they hastily got out and busied themselves with serving the customers.
"Shin," Alice poked her head in the kitchen a few minutes later. "Is Ukyou's order ready?"
He pointed to a tray on the counter. "Mine tried taking it, but Sawa dragged her off."
"Oh, thank goodness." She picked up the tray, thanked Shin and then left.
The content of the tray wasn't exactly what Ukyou had ordered, but that had been her intention all along – an excuse to spend just a little more time with him during work.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting, Goshujin-sama." She flashed him a cheerful smile as she set his coffee down in front of him. "It's just as you like it." She promised, but to make her point, she picked up the cup and took a sip from it. "Yep, perfect. See?" Alice then leaned forward and dropped a light kiss on Ukyou's lips. He responded in turn by softly tracing the outline of her mouth with his tongue before gently attempting to slip it in her mouth.
But she pulled back and grinned at him.
"You're so forward today, Goshujin-sama," she teased.
"I believe you started it." He reminded her. He picked up his coffee, but before it was even level with his face, Alice was feeding him a bite of cake.
"I didn't order that," he said when he had swallowed.
She only replied by sliding another forkful of the yellow cake into his mouth. And then another, and another after that.
However, instead of following up with a fifth bite of cake, Alice kissed him again. But this time when he wanted to deepen their kiss, he met with no objections and was permitted entrance into her mouth. Eyes closed and fork forgotten on the plate, her hands clumsily reached out until she was tightly gripping his shoulders to stay on her feet. His hands, too, sought refuge on her body, and soon, he was firmly holding her against him.
As they separated for a moment, he asked in a husky voice, "Are you sure this is alright?" But like magnets, their lips were joined together again before she could answer him.
"I'm," she breathed out, "just trying to make the experience more pleasurable for you."
Abruptly, Ukyou ended the kiss and studied her face; her hair was a bit tasseled where he had stroked her head, her cheeks were flushed with color, and her lips were swollen, but like that, she was most beautiful to him. "So, do you try making the experience more pleasurable for your other patrons?"
"Why?" she asked with a devilish smirk. "Would you be jealous?" she teased, stroking his face tenderly as he had done to her upon speaking those same words.
"I would," he strongly affirmed it and without much warning stole another kiss from her. The hold he had on her was tight, but not possessively so; Ukyou didn't have to forcibly bind her to him because he had her and she had him, and there were no other people in the world that could ever hope to take their places in one another's hearts.
But the prominent clearing of a throat from behind Alice drew them back into reality, and she stumbled backwards a few steps. Ukyou's face took on a lovely shade of crimson as he averted his eyes and they both exclaimed a very shocked "Tenchou-san!"
"You have other customers waiting for you." Waka was unfazed by their obvious discomfort and embarrassment over being caught kissing. "remember that," he told her.
"Yes, sir," she answered – expecting more of a scolding than that. "I'll get to them right away. I'm sorry."
Ukyou echoed her apology, and the manager accepted it in silence before taking his leave.
"I better go before he really gets mad at me."
"Yeah," Ukyou agreed. "But before you do, I heard about the incident with the tea and Ikki's fan club. Are you okay?"
Unconsciously, Alice brought one of her hands up to her diaphragm. "I'm fine," she assured him. "It still hurts a little bit, but there aren't any actual burns; the tea wasn't hot enough for that."
"Are you sure?" He didn't seem convinced.
"Are you that worried?" she asked with a smile. "I can let you check for yourself when we get home if you are."
"I am," he confirmed with a nod. "And I think I'll take you up on that offer."
"I was hoping you would."
Ukyou reached for his coffee, but after only taking a small sip, Alice could see in his expression that the coffee had grown cold. "I'll bring you some more."
They shared a final chaste kiss before she left him, and he watched her with unconcealed amusement as she approached her next customers' table.
"I'm sorry for the wait." She blushed when she realized that she and Ukyou had been kissing when there was a child in such close proximity to his table. "Are you ready to place your order?" Then suddenly she looked closer at the pair. "Oh hey, wait a minute, I know you!"
"Uwaaa, do you really remember us, Onee-chan?" the younger boy exclaimed.
"Yeah, I do! You gave me my handkerchief when I dropped it a few months ago, right? But I never asked your names. I'm Alice, by the way; I'm so pleased to be meeting you again."
"That's right!" The silver-haired boy smiled broadly up at her. "My name's Orion, and this is Neil-sa…n." He indicated the man (at least Alice thought he was a man) sitting at the table with him.
"Orion…" she repeated his name, and for the briefest of moments, an aching feeling settled over her heart.
"Are you okay, Onee-chan?"
"Ah, yeah! I'm great! I'm just really happy to finally know your names!" she replied cheerfully.
"We're happy for you, too. We're so glad that you and your boyfriend are still together."
For a child, Alice decided, Orion didn't necessarily strike her as being young; there was something that seemed a little more mature about the way he spoke.
"Oh, y-you didn't happen to…"
"Happen too…?" Orion prompted.
"Oh, it's nothing! Are you two ready to order?" She was quick to change the subject to a less embarrassing topic. If she turned around, she was positive that she'd meet Ukyou's laughing gaze; she could certainly feel his eyes fixed on her. "I hope you'll let me treat you to lunch today; please consider it a thank you for helping me."
'Helping me? No, that's not really right, is it?' There was something wrong about the phrasing of her words, and yet, she couldn't shake the feeling that she knew Orion beyond just that random meeting in front of the station.