|Invertebrate Night at the UR|
And entering the Usual Restaurant is a blue-haired high school student. He's not alone, either; Yoru is with him, floating just over his shoulder. Ikuto pauses when he sees Himet. After a moment he offers, by way of greeting. "Yo."
"I'm starvin'! What'cha got for food here-nya?" Yoru inquires as he approaches.
The mollusc and associated mass of suspended water wander into the restaurant with no particular speed. An Elvis dance number is very faintly audible from the rhinophore-cuff computer and its rhythm more evident in the pattern of Ren's ripples. At the moment, though, Ren's not attempting anything like hips-swiveling, but just heading over to the bar. Ren offers a flash of the fins on one side to those already there before sliding in between a couple barstools neighboring Ikuto's.
Himet gives Yoru a smile that could almost not be called a smirk. "Haven't you been here more than I have yet? You name it, the cooks can probably come up with a reasonable facsimile it. They can even cater to her, afterall." She points to Serenity with the thum of the hand holding the rag she was wiping down the glass with. She then turns her face more towards Ren. "Speaking of which... I think we have a jar of what passes for a usual for you."
Ikuto looks in Serenity's direction as Yoru starts wondering about food. It's very possible he's heard the music, because there's a raised eyebrow as he regards her. However, he offers a polite nod of greeting to the mollusc, too, since he's now used to seeing her. Himet's response gets a nod from Ikuto, but before he can say anything Yoru pipes up, "I want some sardines!"
"I'll have yaki gyoza, if they have them," Ikuto supplies. Though the mention of 'what passes as usual for Serenity' gets a raised brow.
"Hello," Ren cheerily rasps, tapping the computer to cut off the music. Ren still briefly gives Yoru a puzzled look that even fuzzy fellows or blue giants didn't get, but then offers a smile to Ikuto and Himet. Ren nods in agreement with Himet's observation. "Hh. Thank you," Serenity says in reply to the offer. Folding in half, Ren bends over to the black disc hovering near the floor to retrieve the double-bagged empty jar from the storage box, then straightens with the jar held in the edges of both pairs of fins to slide it onto the bar. "I hope that you're both as well-settled today as you appear to be?" Ren offers along with the edges of a pair of fins to Himet and Ikuto.
Himet jots down the order for Yaki Gyoza and sardines. If they can't make the orders, they'll tell her when she tries to place the order in the kitchen, she figures. Putting her order sheet into her apron's pocket, she then ducks down below the counter to retrieve Serenity's expected well-sealed jar. "I'm doing well enough, all things considered." She carefully takes the returned jar into her hands. "I've not run into any monsters yet, thankfully. Though I did run into a guy that looked like he sure did. Be right back, folks." She turns and heads briefly to the back to place orders and return the jar from whence it originally came.
Yoru notices Ren too, and offers a merry wave. "Hi there-nya!" he offers. If he noticed the weird look Ren gives him, he doesn't comment on it.
"Thank you," Ikuto replies to Himet as he takes a seat. He also nods to Ren's statement as Himet goes to put the orders in. "More or less," he answers. "I'm starting to figure the place out, I think."
Serenity nods to Himet, and carefully takes the jar from her. Among other, less-identifiable things, the jar seems to contain fuzzy sliced-off portions of cheese, meat, bread, and various vegetables (though it's unclear whether their fuzziness was the cause or effect of the chopping). Ren leans over again to set this in the storage bin before continuing to 'stand' at the bar. Ren inquisitively leans rhinophores forward a bit as she mentions a monster contact. "Though I've been here longer, it seems as though I am starting, too," Ren remarks with a smile and a gesture toward Ikuto. "What have you figured out so far?"
Himet returns from the back with a small plate of sardines! Turns out some people like the things on pizzas, so they have a few tins in the back. "The Gyoza will be ready in a few minutes," she tells the teenager. She then goes quiet, seemingly interested in what Ikuto has figured out, as well.
"This place is weird," Ikuto responds immediately to Serenity's question of what he's figured out. "But that's about all I need to know. That and to be careful." Which is a given, really.
Yoru sees the plate of sardines and quite literally POUNCES on it! Himet has time to pull her hand away, though. And he wouldn't be eating her hand anyway, unless it smells like sardines. Ikuto looks to Himet and nods. "Thank you," he offers in return. And then a look at Yoru. "Slow down, you aren't going to a fire."
Serenity looks to Himet as she returns, then back to Ikuto. "Indeed it is weird, but-" Ren 'blinks' eyes partly inward as the character attacks the fish. "...I still haven't given up entirely on reason and expectation. Cause and effect still seem to be in effect, gravity seems to operate more often than not, and most people seem to repay trust with trust."
Himet says, "Well, those are fairly clear observations. Weirdness is definitely the norm as far as I've seen, as well... But I've seen plenty of weird things across my own galaxy, as well, so who am I really to judge. Starfish trying to be humanoid are kind of common where I'm from." She once again takes that cup and rag into hand and begins wiping it down again. She's never actually served anyone a drink in that cup, it's just there for the classic bartender appearance. "And I'm quite glad that the gravity bills are well paid here, as well." She actually said that with as straight a face as she ever seems to have."
"That's the one thing that never changes-- people," Ikuto replies. Despite his earlier chastising, he reaches down to pet Yoru between the ears while he eats. Which results in a rather comical and feline 'nom nom nom' noises from Yoru. Though one hand flails about and the little Character's eyes are shut tightly, so these may not be happy noises. Perhaps this sheds light on the same noises from actual cats!
As for 'starfish trying to be human'? "...Well, they do have two arm-limbs, two leg-lmbs, and a head...limb, right?" OK, so maybe that one fell flat, but it's probably still understandable. A blink, though. "...Gravity... bills?"
Serenity seems to consider Ikuto's remark for a moment before nodding. "I continue to be surprised by cultural diversity, but the areas of overlap are encouraging, limited though they are. When this town manages to create political parties," Ren says, motioning 'wings' outward, "I predict some improbable coalitions of interest groups." Ren looks to Himet curiously. "Starfish... as in radially-symmetric?"
And as if on cue, the talk of weirdness summons a non too regular denizen to the Usual Restaurant.
There's a sound of a turbine engine on the outside getting dangerously closer, and with a resounding slam, the doors of the Usual are thrown open and in comes a screaming creature holding on to what seems like flying motorcycle for dear life.
The mini space ship thing slams nose first into the restaurant's floor, miraculously not damaging it, and the rider is catapulted forward sprawling all over the ground.
It would be almost comical if it weren't for the fact this his HEAD apparently got detached from the rest of his body. A large sized worm flies out of the space suit and lands with a splat in the middle of the room. "I.. meant.. to do that..." Jim wheezes while his eyes spin.
Yep, that's a giant talking worm with bug eyes.
Himet sets down the glass to count things off on her fingers. "The two arm, the two legs, that's actually all the limbs they have, so they have to make do with not really having a head. They have a very large eye in the center, though. Friendly folk, usually." She then nods. "I've lived on a few space stations, so... yes. Gravity bills."
At the sound of the crashing, however, she flat out ducks for cover behind the bar. Once everything out there sounds to be settled again, she slowly peeks above the bar. At a talking worm. Well, in the long scheme of things, when she's talking with a mullusc about an intelligent species of echinoderm, is a talking annelid with eyes really that hard to take? Wiping a slight bead of sweat from her brow, she stands up fully again and asks Jim, "Are you all right?"
Ikuto huffs a laugh. "When politics start happening here, let me know to run for cover. I expect debate by ballistic missiles," Ikuto quips dryly. Ikuto sits sideways on a barstool, elbow propped up on the bar and his chin propped in his hand, legs crossed at the knees-- a position that really only a woman ought to be capable of doing with any degree of competency. At least, without injuring things that shouldn't be injured! And on the bar at his side a little blue-haired catboy fairy that looks a great deal like Ikuto sits, facedown in a plate of sardines that he's about three-quarters of the way through.
That is, until the flying motorcycle comes in. Ikuto looks up and his eyes go a little wide. Suddenly, with a sparkle and a pop, ears appear on his head and he leaps from his position, landing in a crouch somewhere he can be out of the way of the effects of any explosion that might occur. When he looks back, suddenly... talking worm? Hey, isn't that...?
He straightens, and then begins to approach the scene slowly, ears riveted forward as if he expected something else to jump out at him.
Yoru, however, is still facedown in his plate.
"I see," Ren remarks thoughtfully as Himet explains. Ikuto's joke gets a small frown from Ren. "I certainly hope not. But that scenario is not quite implausible enough to be funny, in my op-" Ren may be just as jumpy as the others, but is apparently not quite as quick to actually jump. Jim is already on the floor by the time Ren reacts by shrinking lengthwise and quickly twisting eyes and upper portions to look. It takes a few moments of looking around for any spaceship-chucking monsters before Ren relaxes enough to regard Jim with a concerned expression and starts to slide out from between the barstools toward him.
"NEVER BEEN BETTER!" Jim answers from the ground almost immediately, sounding completely serious even if his eyes are quite clearly still spinning. Those oversized bug eyes of his pop open again as they finally stabilize and he straightens up as best as a worm can, shaking his head with a rattling noise like someone shaking an empty metal can with a rock inside. "Whoa nelly! Sorry about that, folks! I really oughta work on my pocket rocket's brakes!" Yeah, a really bad name to call a vehicle of any kind, even its literally a pocket rocket. Case in point, the suit that Jim was riding stands and grabs the motorcycle, stuffing it down its pocket as it shrinks to size. Then the headless space suit walks up to Jim and places him back on the neck portion of the suit. "That's better!" He grins goofily just as he glances over to the crouching Ikuto on the bar. "Oh hey, what's up waffles!?" He waves. Apparently, the only thing he remembers about Ikuto is that he once asked him if he liked waffles. So naturally the catboy has now forever become 'Waffles' in Jim's eyes.
"Uh, sorry, did I interrupt something?" Asks Jim as he begins to look around at all the people staring at him thanks to his entrance. At least until he notices an alarmingly colorful sea slug swimming towards him. "Well! Hello there, beautiful! How you doin'?" Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder.
Himet says, "Well, um, that's... Please try not to destroy the building?" She does still seem a bit of a loss for effective words, but then she looks to Ikuto's new ears. "Hrm. Is that common around here?" she asks as she reaches forward with the clear intention of touching one of said ears."
Ikuto looks to Serenity. "It's fine now," he says once he's convinced things are indeed OK. Looking back to Jim, he watches as the suit puts the rocket away and then puts Jim back where he belongs. Though his brow twitches as Jim calls him 'Waffles'. "My name is Ikuto," he reminds Jim.
Himet's question gets at least part of a response. "What, people coming in like bats out of hell? It's not unexpected now--" Here he stalls, though, feeling the touch on his ear. The ear is warm and of similar body temperature as Ikuto appears to be. Plus, it flicks back as the fingers touch it. Ikuto pulls his ear away from the hand. "Quit that."
When Ren comes to a stop, Serenity seems too preoccupied with staring at a sudden recovery, four-dimensional origami, and headless robotics to properly register the compliment. "Hhh.. Hello," Ren replies uncertainly, shifting back to seated-at-the-bar height before slipping back between the seats. "I'm glad that you are all right." Ren motions downward with the edge of a pair of fins and glances for a moment to Himet to observe, "Actually, the nanite assemblers will eventually repair the building, given sufficient time." Ren continues to Jim. "However, not all the people here are as durable as you seem to be. I'll second the request not to drive high-powered vehicles indoors." Ren looks to the pocket with the rocket and adds, "Maybe not even in town, until the braking is fixed."
"Oh, that's nothing a lil' bit of spit won't fix." Jim tries to defend himself when he's told he probably shouldn't destroy property. His bug eyes stare at Ikuto momentarily as he clarifies what his name actually is and he grins at him. "Oh, see, I didn't actually know that." What with how they met and all. "Hey! Are those cat ears?" The worm points out desperately trying to change the subject of how he was being irresponsible by flying his pocket rocket indoors.
"I tell y'all what. How's about the next round's on me?" There we go, buying everyone a drink ought to calm everyone down. "Name's Jim, by the by. Pleased to meet y'all. Especially you." He winks and grins at Serenity.
Himet says, "Actually, I was talking more about the ear thing," before turning back to Ren. "Oh... Like what makes the apartments? That's a nice feature." She winces ever so slightly at the mention of buying a round, her left ear actually twitching slightly along with her eyebrow. "A round of what, sir?""
"Or until you learn how to drive," Ikuto adds to Serenity's list of conditions.
From the plate Yoru pipes up, "Yeah, not everybody's able to tank a rocket to the face-nya!" Ikuto looks over, and then snags a napkin to wipe the dregs of sardine off Yoru's face. The little Character is a messy eater, it seems.
The pointing out of his cat ears gets Ikuto to realize they're still there. So he banishes them, with a sparkle and a pop, just as they appeared. "Yeah. Feline powers. I'm sure it's not the weirdest thing here." He quiets though, and takes his seat again since it wasn't wrecked, and sits as he had been doing before. He nods to Himet's question. "They're real." He looks at Yoru. "So is he."
"A round of what??" Jim blinks his mismatched eyes at the question. He'd imagine that the answer would be obvious considering the establishment where they all are, though judging by the wild assortment of individuals that surrounds him, perhaps its not so obvious as to what kind of beverages these fine folk are ingesting.
One quick look around tells Jim all he needs to know. "Sardines!" He says feeling like he has figured it out. "A round of sardines for everyone!" Little Yoru was happy stuffing his mouth with the stuff, so Jim figures everyone ought to enjoy some too.