Author: Green Phantom Queen
Summary: Kiyojiro Bando and his adopted daughter take care of three cases of forbidden love in Zawame City, all through the power of desserts.
Note: Takes place in the series "Kamen Rider Gaim" and is related to the "Horseshoes and Hand Grenades" universe". Also has features of non-consensual sex between men, cursing, blood and other sorts of gory stuff later on.
Prologue: Low-Hanging Fruit
Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?'" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from that tree in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will certainly die.'"
"You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
-Genesis 3:1-5 (NIV)
Kiyojiro Bando looked at the patrons at his little fruit parlor. It made him smile to see the young kids and teenagers taking a bite out of his homemade parfaits, especially couples who scooped up a strawberry or banana slice for their lovers to savor in. It was a nice break from the Beat Riders and Invase battles that went on a daily basis, especially since he stated that Drupers was neutral territory. The last thing he needed were those creatures running amuck in the parlor and scaring his customers!
"Father!" cried a voice. "We have a special guest today!"
Kiyojiro set the glass he was wiping onto the counter as a young girl with long brown hair dressed in a white blouse, black skirt, a pair of boots with fishnet stockings, and a bright red and white striped apron rushed in, carrying a notepad in her hand. Following behind her was a man with black hair dressed in white, carrying a briefcase in hand. His eyes were stern as he looked all around him, as if inspecting something out of place. Kiyojiro swallowed a lump in his throat as he leaned in close.
"Ah, you must be Takatora Kureshima," he said. "What can I do for you this fine day?"
"I heard you made delicious parfaits here, right?" Takatora replied.
"The best in all of Zawame City! Why do you ask?"
"I want you to make an order of your special parfait...the 'Berry Sweet Love' parfait."
The young girl nearly dropped her notepad in alarm, her mouth agape as she turned to Takatora pointing to a sign in confusion. The sign read, 'Couple's Special: Berry Sweet Love!' in red with hearts surrounding it. She then looked back at Kiyojiro in worry, seeing Takatora and Kiyojiro nod their heads in silent agreement.
"Lovely," Kiyojiro began. "Prepare the parfait for our esteemed guest, and do not forget the secret ingredient. Also, supervise him for this...experience."
"Y...yes, sir," said Lovely, picking up her fallen notepad. "Coming right up!"
"And one more thing Lovely," Kiyojiro added, picking up the same glass he set down a minute ago. "I'll need you to help prepare a few more orders to-go: a Grape-fruit parfait, a Nuts and Melon Bolts parfait, another Berry Sweet Love parfait, and a Berry Bananza Parfait."
"A...are they all for the same people?"
"The Berry parfaits are for our...'regulars'," Kiyojiro's lips curled into a smile at Lovely. "The Nuts and Melon Bolts is for some very 'unruly' boys who need to get along, and give our esteemed guest a Grape-fruit parfait on the house. Now let's get to work—do not disappoint me."
"C...coming right up, sir," Lovely rushed toward the kitchen, muttering the orders to herself over and over again. Kiyojiro turned to Takatora who proceeded to hand the proprietor a few thousand yen bills from his wallet.
"I'm sure this will be enough to keep this secret between the three of us, correct?" asked Takatora.
"Just so you know, there's no turning back from this," Kiyojiro explained, placing a hand over the money. "Will you regret this decision?"
"I never regret my decisions," Takatora leaned forward. "Especially when it comes to the people I love."
"I can see..." Kiyojiro cleared his throat and pocketed the money. "Please wait right here. I'll have your order prepared and my daughter will go with you to 'assist' you by any means necessary."
"And why exactly do I need your daughter to eat a parfait?"
"It's not the eating part that she's assisting with," Kiyojiro chuckled, shaking his head. "She deals with more...supernatural dealings. Do you know the story of the Berry Sweet Love parfait, by any chance?"
"I don't have time to deal with daily gossiping."
"It's not gossip, it's a true story. The Berry Sweet Love parfait was a dessert made by a young lover to give to her sweetheart. She and said sweetheart had it underneath the light of a full moon, and when they both had a taste, they felt instantly enamored with one another. It is said that the lover put a secret ingredient that caused the two to fall into eternal love."
"And how does this have to deal with your daughter coming with me, again?"
"Let's just say that she's always a lover of romantic get-togethers and leave it at that," Kiyojiro smiled. "Now, what else can I get for you today?"
Lovely mashed a mixture of raspberries and blackberries in a bowl with a fork, watching as the berries expelled their sweet juice. Once she saw that the berries were squished long enough, she began to pour the bowl of chilled cream mixture into two tall parfait glasses. After finding them evenly leveled, she slowly scooped the berries over the cream. She smiled to herself at her creation—she loved it whenever she made Berry Love Parfaits!
After placing more cream and berries in the glasses, Lovely went to the cupboard and pulled out a glass jar filled with pink sugar. She smirked to herself, licking her lips at what she would be observing tonight. The Berry Sweet Love parfaits were said to join two people into eternal happiness, and she loved it when people could be truly in love with one another.
The ringing of an egg timer caught her attention. Lovely set the jar of pink sugar down and went to the open, slipping on a pair of pink oven mitts over her hands. She opened the oven and pulled out a tray of freshly baked meringues that smelled of vanilla. Carefully setting the tray onto the counter, she closed the oven shut and rushed back to the jar of pink sugar. Opening it, she pulled out the silver spoon resting over the sugar and kissed its handle.
"Lovely!" said Kiyojiro, entering the kitchen. "Do we still have a bottle of Ambrosia Sparkling Grape Juice?"
"Purple or White?" asked Lovely, scooping up the sugar.
"White this time, dear," Kiyojiro answered, opening the refrigerator. "Also, prepare a small vial of stardust with the usual instructions."
"Yes, sir!" Lovely giggled, sprinkling pink sugar all over the two finished parfaits. The sugar glistened in the bright light. "This will be such a fantastic day in Zawame City, won't it?"
"It certainly will," Kiyojiro answered, picking up a bunch of grapes floating in a bowl of water. "It certainly will."