dude I've written this fic over and over again, and I think, finally, I've written a version that I can be happy with.
Please bear with me!
Disclaimer: Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee is owned by Hiroyuki Asada. I only own my own characters and the story line. Please support the series!
Chapter 1: The Ivory Tree Tavern
Lag was alone, bored and completely unsure what to do with himself. Sylvette had gone off grocery shopping, and had taken Niche with her, which left Lag with at least half a bell to himself for whatever he wanted.
…..but he had no idea what he wanted.
You'd think after the few months he'd been living in Central he'd have some idea on how to entertain himself while his housemate ran some errands, but apparently not.
And so, Lag Seeing found himself wandering random streets of Central, window shopping.
Central Yuusari was nice this time of year, a warm breeze washed through the streets, kicking up leaves and flower petals that sprinkled the cobblestone roads. As Lag wandered through the streets, he found himself outside a small café. It was kind of cute, the structure was made from mahogany, with two large stained-glass windows at the front. Small flower plants lined the front of the store, as well as a wreath which decorated a small menu chalkboard.
Lag stopped and stared, should he go in? He wasn't that hungry, but if he did go in, he could use it as an excuse to get out of Sylvette's soup.
He would blame it all on Connor.
Yes. It was a flawless plan.
He opened the door, and a bell rang out through the small place. It was mostly empty, there was a total of five tables in the room, each with a small bouquet in the centre. There was a dusty piano against the far wall to Lag's left, and an old record player beside it. He guessed it got too expensive for live acts these days. A girl with cropped red hair looked over her shoulder from where she was serving an elderly couple.
"Oh, welcome!" She said cheerfully, she turned towards the kitchen, "Bree! You got a customer!"
There was an audible groan, "Dammit, Julie, I just sat down!"
Julie sighed and apologized to the couple, who just chuckled, seemingly used to the shouting. Lag seated himself at a table and took of his hat, looking around.
"Welcome to the Ivory Tree tavern, can I get you anything?"
Lag looked over towards the voice to be met by a girl with long brown curls and blue eyes with a stare that seemed to cut through him. Guess this was Bree, then.
He stared back at her, kind of taken back by her eyes, before awkwardly fidgeting, "U-Uh, I haven't been here before, so…uh, what do you recommend?" He chuckled nervously.
Her mouth twisted as she considered his question. Honestly, she worked here, so eating here was kind of a no-go, however…
Her eyes lit up with an idea and she quickly glanced around, as if she was about to tell a terrible secret and no one else could hear.
"How about I get you the special and if you don't like it, it's on me." She grinned, leaning on the table.
"Uh, sure?" It wouldn't hurt, right? Lag pondered this as the girl turned towards the kitchen, her grin noticeably wider now that he had agreed to what he feared was a scheme.
In the kitchen, Bree patted the back of her co-worker, a petite girl with long, straight black hair and dark eyes. "Hey, Zallie! One order of today's tea, please!"
The girl, Zallie, looked up at the other with confusion in her eyes, "But…Bree, it's not on the menu…"
Bree sighed in annoyance, "Zailia, listen. Your tea is the best in Amberground, I swear. We need to teach the boss that just because he's in charge, he doesn't know everything about everything, okay? So, one tea of the day, yeah?"
Zailia's eyes widened with childish excitement as she hugged Bree around the waist, "Oh, thank you very much, Miss Bree! I'll do my best to make the best tea I can!"
Bree patted her head and chuckled, "Knock 'em dead, tiger."
Bree moved to sit on the bench next to a girl, with features similar to that of Zailia, except her hair was pulled into a messy braid.
"Thanks." The girl muttered, earning her a grin from Bree. "My li'l sis needs some recognition around here."
"Don't worry about it, Azalea. I'm expecting you to buy me snack though on our break." Bree sang, giving Azalea a wink.
"Don't bet on it. I've got a boy coming 'round."
"Ooh, a quickie in the kitchen, hm? How romantic." Bree teased.
Azalea shoved her, snickering, "Shut up. You know nothin'."
"I know enough~!" Bree sang, slipping off the bench, heading back over to where Zailia was placing a tea cup on a tray, ready to be served.
"Today's tea is lavender." The small girl informed, handing the tray to the other.
"Got it. Thanks, Zal."
The brunette girl carried the tray to Lag's table and placed the cup in front of him. "I heard its lavender today. Hope you like it."
"Thank you…" He murmured, gingerly picking up the cup. It was gorgeous, perhaps one of those vintage ones he saw at the markets once. He had no idea what they were called, but the floral pattern on it was pretty. He took a sip, and the warmth that enveloped him was in describable. "It's….delicious." He breathed. Bree was overcome by a look of joy.
"Yes! See, I knew her tea is the best!"
Lag looked up at that comment, "Um, if you don't mind me asking, who's 'her'?"
"Oh, her name is Zailia. She works here, and makes most of our beverages. Her tea is to die for, but because our owner is an arrogant asshole, he won't let anything but booze be on our drinks menu.
"Oh…that's a shame." He took another sip.
"Alexanders!" There was a roar from the kitchen, making Lag flinch.
Bree sighed, "Speak of the devil…"
A burly man wearing a dirty white shirt and dark trousers glares at Bree from behind the counter. The brunette girl rolls her eyes and saunters over, seemingly bored.
"How many times have I told you that we are a tavern and not some pancy ass cafe?!" He roars, slamming his hands on the counter.
"And how many times have I told you that Zailia's tea is at least a hundred times better than the piss you sell!"
She's going to get herself fired if she talks to her boss like that, Lag mused.
"There will be no tea in my tavern! You mention it again and I'll put you and the other girl out on the streets, you hear me?"
Bree visibly faltered at that, making the man smirk triumphantly.
"Well, it's your loss then. It's your business going broke so what do I care if I get kicked out."
"What did you just say to me?!"
The old couple at the table against the wall excused themselves quickly, leaving some money on the table.
"I said you're going to go broke." Bree then pointed at Lag, "You see that gentleman right there? You see his uniform? He's a Bee, and the Beehive director is quite a fan of tea. He's come here because word on the street is we serve the best tea in town. It'd be a shame if we had to turn away his business."
The owner's gaze turns to Lag, who shrinks in his seat at the heated glare.
"Boy! Is that true?" The owner roars. Lag takes a quick glance at Bree, who gives him a curt nod, her eyes hard. It's as if she's telling him if he screws this up, blood will be spilt.
"Y-Yes, sir. Director Lloyd is willing to come here personally…b-but if there's no tea served here I can tell him…"
The owner's eyes narrow and he straightens up, watching Lag carefully, to see if he's lying. He then looks to Bree, who nods with a smile, as if to confirm Lag's statement, and then marches over to Lag's table.
Lag stares fearfully up at the towering man before him as he glowers down, but his fear soon turns to utter befuddlement as the burly man breaks out in a sheepish grin.
"Ah, sorry you had to see that! I'm Rupert Geodes, owner of this tavern. Please tell, uh, Director Lloyd, was it? Please tell him we'd be happy to serve any tea he would like. We'll even have a board posted outside the shop with the tea of the day! How does that sound? What's your name, boy?"
"Um, Lag Seeing…"
Rupert tooks Lag hand and shook, "Well, Mr Seeing, I look forward to doing business with you!" He laughed, and Lag shot a glance at the smirking brunette waitress.
"You lied to your boss!" Lag exclaimed in a hushed whisper as Bree took the now empty teacup from his table.
"Yeah, and we made a girl's life better because of it." Bree didn't seem to understand the concept of respecting your superiors.
Lag looked over towards the kitchen and spotted Zailia watching them, upon being discovered, the small black-haired girl quickly busies herself with something else.
Bree chuckled, "Zallie won't say anything because she's too shy. But she's really grateful for what you did."
"Yeah…But what will happen when the owner finds out we lied…"
"Then, we don't let him find out?"
"I told him the Director will come here personally!"
"Then convince to actually show up? You'll figure something out, you're a smart guy; I'm sure."
Lag sighed, there was no point arguing now. This girl was way too carefree.
"Anyway, Lag Seeing. I'm also super appreciative of your lovely cooperation in my schemes. You're welcome to the Ivory Tree tavern anytime! Stop by on your way to work tomorrow morning! I got an early shift, I'll shout you breakfast as thanks, sound good?"
Free food equals less spending money and less Sylvette's soup.
"Sure. See you tomorrow then."
Lag is at least forty percent sure he just got himself involved in something he shouldn't have.
Yup. So, uh.
There it is.
Next chapter will show up whenever.