pairing: Cake/Tea; and everyone else
notes: Highschool!AU stfu my life is a bad shoujo manga FOR CYN HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU AWESOME BEAUTIFUL AMAZING PERSON!! Have a great one!! I'M SORRY IT'S SO CHEESY BUT IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY SO HAVE SOME CHEESE!!
So this is what it feels like when you walk in inside a very awkward situa-- no, it's not awkward, Joe pauses, almost taking a step back to check if he's in the right room. It's far from awkward. If at all, Joe can call it hostile as he can feel the murderous intent mixed with hate that is so intense he can even call it passionate.
What pushes him back in the room is the sight of Ahim who is smacked in the middle of it. Student Council Representative for Student Activities, Ahim de Famille, in her autumn blazer and low ponytail, has her feet planted firmly on the polished floor as her brows curled in concern.
"You can't just dismiss my club activity on grounds of social immorality and acts of lasciviousness." The tallest man in the room smugly points out. Joe is sure that Basco ta Jolokia, the extremely popular transfer student, swept a tongue over his lower lip in purpose as he drops the word lascivious. It makes Joe shudder. "Plus 60% of its income will be donated to charity. You don't want old ladies be deprived of their new mahjong sets do you?"
The Student Council Room aka where they usually hang out because it's generally quiet and airy aka Let's Abuse Don and Ahim's Student Council Privileges is now crowded. Curious first years are camped outside and a bunch of girls (and a handful of boys) with BtJ badges...and god forbid, are those banners blocking the hallway.
"Basco-san, it's not like that. It's not going to be dismissed because it's immoral, it's being reviewed because we don't know how the school board will respond to it." Ahim responds, her voice unwavering, her chin tilted up to meet the taller man's eyes. Oh how Joe hates it. If Marvelous hates the man for reasons bigger than the universe, Joe despises him for the sole reason that he seems to poison...Ahim's...puri-- He pauses again when he hears the sound of a chair being pushed back and Marvelous is on Basco's face.
"You have the nerve to show up when we both know that you stole that idea from me?" Marvelous scowls as his hands ball up on his side. Joe and Hakase step in time before Basco's hand makes contact with Marvelous' shoulder as they hold their Captain back and save everyone from a day in detention.
Basco runs a hand through his brown hair and motions to Sally, a tiny sophomore with the most fluffy hair Joe has ever seen. "It's a matter of who put it to writing first ne, Marvy-chan." Joe is pretty sure the man winks at Ahim before he closes the door behind him and graces his fans club outside with a victorious smile. "Don't be so afraid to lose against me. I promise I won't perform to the best of my abilities."
"What did he want?" Joe asks after the commotion dies down.
It's Luka who responds. "Permission to set-up a kissing booth for the school festival,"
Joe seeks Ahim's eyes as Marvelous announces that they will not, never, not gonna happen, lose to Basco.
Joe nearly chokes on his tamago roll when Marvelous tells him that they'll be having a french maid cafe. Before he can offer other alternatives (LIKE A PASTRY STAND?) Luka talks over him about projected sales and kicking Basco's arrogant proverbial butt.
Joe is pretty sure he'll be put on labor duties such as making the props, or checking the lighting but no one prepared him for serving pastries and cakes (he did mention the idea to Hakase though too bad, Marvelous heard him) to squealing kouhais and sempais who will later call him Joe, their knight in shining armor.
He's pretty sure they are in serious trouble when Marvelous tells Ahim to have legit french furniture shipped that are so romantic even Romeo and Juliet will weep over it. Joe's pretty sure Romeo and Juliet aren't french. But that's not his problem.
A week before the festival, Luka tells Don to code an app that allows them to view the menu and choose a special serifu that can ask the maids and butlers to say upon serving.
"I can't." Joe blurts out one afternoon to Ahim after helping her sort out curtains of silk and lace and tablecloths. He regrets saying it right away because now he has managed to drag her to his petty misery.
"I can help you practice if you want," Joe shakes his head. No way, there is no way he'll be practicing lines with her (without meaning it). "Mmmm, you can think of a person whom you're most comfortable talking with and just imagine them."
Joe thinks it over. There's Don but he can't say It's more fun eating this cake with you to him. Luka is too frightening. And Marvelous is totally out of the question because all he can imagine is stabbing him with a fork.
His eyes shifts on Ahim and he knows in his heart that his high school reputation is over.
"It'll be cool if you blush but you're gonna take away Don's selling point." Joe closes his eyes and wishes for this nightmare to be over.
It takes everything he knows about self control to not make his jaw rendezvous with the floor, thank god for years of Kendo. But without it, he's pretty sure he'll be like Luka who is blushing to death when Hakase pulls her beside him so they can take a photo together in their french uniform. Luka punches Don on the arm afterwards, saying JUST BECAUSE!! a little too loudly.
Joe swears that Marvelous is having the greatest time of his life. The guests engages him so they can buy him cake and watch him eat. He eats it without pretention.
Luka enjoys verbally abusing a group of young boys with glasses while Don impresses the guests with his ability to memorize pages of custom orders on the spot. And Ahim--
"You're too close," Joe speaks from behind. Good thing his voice is strained (and angry and maybe a bit protective but definitely not jealous) enough to stop a train and make one of the guys who are sitting too close to Ahim to jump out of his seat. Of course it's uncomfortably close and sure Ahim is capable of protecting herself when it comes too uncomfortable but heavens help him because Joe won't let it go that far.
Ahim stands up and touches him on the arm. "Thank you, Joe-san."
Sid-sempai personally stops Basco when the he tries to go in the maid cafe to ask to be attended by Don and Luka.
Marvelous Maid Cafe wins by a thousand yen but it doesn't stop Basco from gloating and parading his indecently low yukata. Sally trails along in her red and orange kimono that is perfect for autumn while consoling two girls who seem to be truly devastated by their Basco-sama's loss. No one dares to ask what happened in the kissing booth.
"Did you get to say your lines?" Ahim asks Joe as they clean up after the festival. Joe shakes his head and picks up the handpainted tea set. He's just glad that the day is over and he can continue on being his calm and collected self. Well maybe the latter part should come after Ahim changes back to her normal clothes.
About to remove his bracelet, one that is designed by Hakase so it beeps when they are needed, his begins to beep, a sound that has conditioned him to be trapped in perpetual state of internal panic. He looks around to find Ahim seating comfortably on one of Marvelous' legit romantic french furniture.
"I also didn't get to eat cake," Joe surprises himself by going to the pantry to retrieve a round strawberry shortcake he saved for no one in particular. He sets it down and with his practiced butler bow (Marvelous had him do it until he perfected it without looking like a cross between a constipated person and a prisoner of war), he smiles at her that comes so easily because she is Ahim.
"It's more fun eating cake with you." And that is not practice.