Kenya doesn't get it. He probably won't, ever, but that doesn't make him any less annoyed. He leans against the back counter, watching ebb and flow of the customer who have already been served and the coworkers doing spot cleaning on the floor. Yukimura stands next to him, doing the same, prepared to issue orders if necessary. He obviously thinks it is interesting, otherwise he would have gotten onto Kenya ages ago for being lazy.
"Kachou," he ventures.
Yukimura looks at him for a moment, head curiously cocked to the side. Then he turns back to Shiraishi and Tezuka, sitting at a lone table near the front of the store. For once, he doesn't feel like eavesdropping. The quiet is nice.
"Do you think Sanada and I are weird?"
Kenya shakes his head. "Everyone on staff knows you switch hit, kachou."
It is a crude phrase and Yukimura's lips twitch in response. They watch as Shiraishi leans forward, head propped on his hand. There is a playful curve to his lips as he says something to Tezuka.
"Then why is Shiraishi any different?"
"Because it's him. I don't know. Why would anyone want to get with a guy that only speaks in monosyllables and is completely out of place in time?" Kenya looks over at Yukimura. "Oh. Almost forgot. Your old man's the same."
"So he is," Yukimura chuckles. "But surely you don't think that Shiraishi's type is limited to loudmouths who insist on driving fast?"
Kenya's eyes widen. He is now completely convinced that Yukimura is a spy. Or a ninja. Perhaps a ninja spy. First, he figured out his relationship with Yuushi and now his crush on Shiraishi. He hadn't even made it obvious, dammit. Which is completely unlike some people on staff.
"No," he sputters out. "I just don't think that guy's his type."
"And how would you know?" Yukimura's smile widens into something sadistically amused.
"I don't!" Kenya exclaims more loudly than he intends. Shiraishi turns to look at them and Yukimura doubles over in laughter. Kenya groans as Shiraishi mutters something to Tezuka and leaves the table, coming up to the counter.
"Good morning Kenya, Yukimura-kachou."
Yukimura waves from his bent-over state, trying to regain his composure. Kenya's face contorts into a mix of uncomfortable, embarrassed, and apologetic.
Shiraishi smiles at him, then turns to the manager. "Yukimura, you don't like people to discuss your relationships, so why are you discussing mine?"
"He started it," the manager says, slightly breathless. He stands back up. "For your information, I was defending your right to be with any one you choose."
The blond barista looks crestfallen as his eyes focus on Kenya. "Ah, well, my break's almost over, so I'll start in the back when I return."
Yukimura crosses his arms. "That's fine."
Shiraishi walks back to Tezuka. A short conversation follows and he squeezes Tezuka's hand quickly before leaving the table. He slips into the back as Tezuka packs up his bag and exits the store. Kenya spares a glance towards the door Shiraishi just vanished through.
"Go fix it," Yukimura commands, voice lacking its previous mirth. "Send Niou up."
"Right. On that," Kenya says quickly, disappearing before Yukimura adds injury to insult. He practically runs into Niou when he bursts through the back. The white-haired barista waves him away as he pushes on through to the front, but he shrugs it off. He finds Shiraishi unboxing the autumn-coloured hot cups. "Hey."
"Hi again," the barista says brightly, stacking the ventis next to the grandes. "Did kachou send you back to help?"
"No." Kenya shuffles his feet. "He kinda got all commandeering and shit. Told me to 'fix it.'"
"What did you break?"
"Me?! I didn't break anything. That was Momoshiro."
"Kenya," Shiraishi says in warning.
"Really! He's a clumsy fuck. I swear the espresso machine wasn't me." He takes a deep breath. "Listen, I'm sorry I was talking smack about you and what's his name."
Shiraishi gives him a long look. "You don't need to look out for me Kenya. I can take care of myself."
"I wasn't insinuatin' that you couldn't. I just don't like the guy. He's not right for you. As one of your oldest friends, I think I have the right to be concerned about who gets to fuck you."
"I don't know, man. He's him and you're you and I just think it's weird."
"Dammit, Shira. Fuck. It's fine, right? I mean, you're happy and shit, so I shouldn't care, but you're like my best friend and I'll be damned if i just sit back and ignore it if he fucks you over. I'll rearrange his four-eyed face. Don't think I won't."
Shiraishi bursts into laughter, grabbing onto Kenya's arm. "Oh, Kenya, I appreciate it, but it's unnecessary. I'm not a damsel in distress."
"I know that! I mean, you look good in a dress and all. I'm just sayin' that I got your back."
"Thank you," he says, quieting down into nothing more than a chuckle. He lets go of Kenya's arm, going back to unpacking the box. Kenya sighs next to him and sits on the edge of the table. "Are you busy tonight?"
"Do you want to go out?"
"You have a boyfriend."
"That doesn't mean that I automatically stop hanging out with my friends."
Kenya snorts. "Uh huh," he says skeptically. "When was the last time you went out with kachou since he started dating his old man?"
"Last Sunday. We went to a local nursery and picked out a few perennials."
"You've got to be kidding me."
Shiraishi shakes his head. "It's a mutual hobby. We go every weekend. Our lives don't revolve around our significant others. I promise. Anyway, how about oden and karaoke?"
"Oden?" Kenya asks, immediately distracted.
"Yes, oden. My treat. All you can eat if you can find one."
"Fuck, Shira, you rock. Is what's his name gonna mind?"
"Stop acting stupid, Kenya."
"Fine, fine. Is Tezuka going to come after me with a blazing tennis racket?"
"No," Shiraishi replies with another chuckle. "He has night practise and we don't spend much time together before he has a tournament."
Kenya crosses his arms. "That seems a bit rude."
"It isn't. We work. I have my own studies too, you know," he says, tapping Kenya on the forehead.
"Yes. How could I forget? You study plant poisons and how they can be altered for human consumption."
"Not entirely accurate." Shiraishi smiles. "That's just mean. What did plant life ever do to you?"
"I got poison ivy once. It was a bitch."
"That's not enough to hold a grudge."
Kenya huffs. "Whatever. Anyway, oden at like seven or whatever?"
"How about right after our shifts end? You can have me the whole evening if you want."
"We can ride my bike."
"I'll walk next to it."
"Why is everyone like that?" Kenya asks, throwing his hands into the air.
"Maybe because it's broken down how many times now?"
"No more than-- Well-- I've been working on it, okay? Fine. A lot, but I'm savin' up to get this one Yuu showed me. Fuck, Shira, this machine is gorgeous."
Shiraishi passes over an empty box. "I'm sure it is, Kenya. When you get it, you can take me on a ride. I promise."
Kenya slices through the last of the tape with his knife and collapses the cardboard down, adding it to a stack near the back door. "All night, seriously?"
"Yes. Now stop sulking and help me finish."
"Sweet! If you decide to stay over, don't wake me up at some awful hour with your yoga crap."
Shiraishi shakes his head, another soft laugh bubbling past his lips. "Noted," he says, cutting open another box.