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"Enjoy your meal!" The customer gave a faint smile in return along with their thanks, and didn't hesitate as they began eating. Master Attendant smiled back, before turning their heel as they began to make their way back towards the kitchen, even greeting a few fellow customers on the way.

 

 

It was only just the middle of the day, and, thankfully, everything was going smoothly. Well, so far, anyway, each day has its own significant 'catastrophe' one way or another. Though Master Attendant couldn't complain (actually, they do sometimes), those events were bearable. Some of them, anyway.

 

 

They swing open the kitchen doors, and walked towards the stove, where Omurice and Hawthorne Ball stood in front of it. It wasn't very surprising when they immediately heard the familiar tune of Jello's album being blasted, but they didn't bother. Hawthorne was a bit bothered by it at first, however grew accustomed to it as time flew. In fact, the food soul even catches herself humming along out of habit. She was actually doing so while mashing potatoes. Omurice hummed as well and danced along here and there, all the while doing so as he's pouring drinks. It's a miracle that none of the juice has spilled. Perhaps they shouldn't jinx it.

 

 

"You two seem to have everything handled so far." Master Attendant remarked, walking over towards the duo. Hawthorne glanced over and nodded her head, forming a small smile. Omurice couldn't hear much since he even had headphones on, despite the music blasting from the speakers, so he just grinned towards his Attendant.

 

 

"I take it that the two of you can handle the rest of the afternoon?" Master Attendant asked, receiving a nod from Hawthorne, to which she answered for both herself and Omurice. "Though a break would be nice, I won't have enough energy to play after our shift." Hawthorne told them, receiving a chuckle from Master Attendant. "Alright, alright, I'll see what I can do." They wave their hand shortly after as they face their back towards the two, about to leave the kitchen when Hawthorne had noticed the weather outside.

 

 

"It's more cloudy than usual.." Hawthorne remarked, taking note of the clouds. Omurice manages to hear this slip into his ear and he stopped briefly, taking off his headphones as he followed her gaze towards the weather outside. It was, in fact, quite cloudy, though people would normally think that it wasn't much of a bother. Still, he couldn't help but have this weird gut feeling that resided in his stomach.

 

 

Master Attendant returned to the duo, noticing the clouds. "Ah, I heard from one of the VIPs that it might rain later." They mumble underneath their breath, although it was loud enough for both food souls to catch. "It's just a shower though, right?" Omurice asked, seeming to be slightly worried. He gulped when his Attendant shrugged their shoulders. "Not too sure about that, honestly. I think the news mentioned something about a storm last night...?"

 

 

"Will it be that bad?" Hawthorne asked, a look of worry crossing over her features. Master Attendant thought for a moment, before shrugging their shoulders once more. "Again, I'm not too sure about that. Though I can't just shrug it off, I don't want to underestimate the weather, last time I did so it wasn't entirely pretty..." They muttered the last bit towards themselves, before glancing over towards the two, "...I might close earlier than usual, just to be sure."

 

 

Omurice couldn't help but stay quiet, along with growing a tad bit nervous. Will the weather really be that bad that Master Attendant has no choice but to close the restaurant early?

 

 

"Alright, whatever you think is best, Master Attendant." Hawthorne sighed, before returning to her work. She was slightly disappointed, mainly due to the fact that she was looking forward to playing outside at the front yard after the day ends. Master Attendant replied with a simple nod, before exiting the kitchen shortly after. Hawthorne glanced over towards her fellow food soul, noticing how silent he was.

 

 

"Is everything alright?" She asked, raising a brow as she tilted her head slightly. Omurice let out a faint chuckle and nodded along with a smile, reassuring her that he was okay. In all honesty, he couldn't help but feel nervous as he felt his astraphobia kicking in slowly, however surely. He takes in a deep breath, reassuring himself that it will just be a shower, not a storm.

 

 

Though perhaps Master Attendant was right about not underestimating the weather.

 

___

 

"T-Thank you for coming.." Jiuniang manages to form out, gripping on to her hood as she bowed slightly, "...we're sorry for closing early..." The customers reassured the young food soul that it was perfectly alright, before thanking her and Master Attendant for the food and paid, leaving the building shortly after. Master Attendant grabbed ahold of their keys, locking the front doors as they switched the sign from 'OPEN' to 'CLOSED'.

 

 

"...Maybe I was right about it storming..." They mumbled, noticing the dark clouds not too far from the restaurant. Jiuniang let go of their hand, walking towards the direction of wherever her brother figure, Yellow Wine, was as of the moment. "I'll just hope that it won't be too bad..." Master Attendant let out a sigh, before proceeding to close the blinds of each window, until they stopped shortly after remembering something.

 

 

"Omurice?" The mentioned food soul perks up, turning his head towards the direction of his Attendant. "I know you're not too fond with one another, but could you fetch Pudding for me? He's in his room last I recalled." Omurice's look soured for a moment at the mention of the management soul, but reassured himself that he was just fetching him; it'll be over as soon as he started it.

 

 

Letting out a sigh, he replied with a reluctant nod as he stood up from his seat, walking towards the stairs. As he climbed upwards, he flinched for a moment when he heard the pitter-patter of the rain, along with the cheers and groans of nearby food souls. He lets in a deep breath. 'It's just a shower.' He told himself, 'it's just a shower..' he repeated the same four words even faster when he heard the rain grow harder within the minute.

 

 

He never recalled as to exactly why he had such a great fear against storms. It was just stuck to him as far as he could remember. But oh God he hated his astraphobia so much, yet he couldn't help it.

 

 

Omurice didn't even notice that his pace quickened as soon as he reached the final step. Clenching his fists and hearing his heart thump faster, he manages to reach the designated room as he raises an arm, knocking perhaps a bit too loud on to the door. He takes a step back when he hears shuffling from inside, and yes, he did grow a bitter look on his face the second the door opened, revealing the food soul from inside.

 

 

"...You must have gone here reluctantly, then." Pudding remarked, noting the bitter look on Omurice. He crossed his arms, "No kidding." The management soul rolled his eyes (though it wasn't that entirely noticeable because of the shades), clearly unamused. "I know you didn't come here willingly, so please state your purpose of coming here before I shut the door."

 

 

"God, do you—..." Omurice's voice falters as soon as lightning struck, and he immediately tensed up, fully aware of what's coming next. Pudding stood still by the door, confused at the latter's actions.

 

 

Surely enough, a loud thunder roared, and the power went out.

 

 

Pudding wasn't even a chance to respond as his wrist was immediately grabbed tightly, causing him to lose balance although he manages to catch himself rather quickly. He shot a glare towards Omurice, however it was replaced with confusion when he saw the look of utter terror on his face. Well, what he could make out of it, anyway, it was rather dark in the hallway.

 

 

"S-S-Sorry..." Omurice squeaked out, although he lets out a yelp when another clap of thunder boomed. This time, he gripped on to the latter's wrist even tighter, and he was visibly shaking. Pudding winced at the grip. "Could you let go?" He asked in almost a hiss, although Omurice was obedient enough to let go, hesitantly, anyway. "S-Sorry...again..." He apologized in a quiet voice, gripping on to the edges of his sleeves as he repeatedly took in deep breaths to calm himself down, though that fails rather quickly as soon as another roar of thunder strikes the earth.

 

 

Pudding took note of this, and let out a defeated sigh. Composing himself, he opens the door even further and glances towards his fellow food soul. "Come in." He told him, although that seemed to be more of an order than anything. Omurice seemed.. confused, before Pudding raised a brow, "Would you rather I leave you out here in the dark hallway?" The R soul shakes his head profusely, entering his room. It wasn't any different, it was still completely dark.

 

 

Without even asking, Pudding grabbed ahold of the latter's wrist and began leading him towards a nearby chair. Omurice didn't find the strength in him to retort, he was still completely shaking and possibly on the brink of tears from fear. Letting go, he told him to sit down, and eventually the food soul followed. Pudding adjusted his eyes into the darkness as he walked towards his drawer, opening it as he searched for the matches and possibly a candle, though he was mildly interrupted by another whine from Omurice when lightning flashed once more, and surely enough another yelp from him when another clap of thunder struck.

 

 

Minutes later of the same (somewhat irritating) noises from the strength soul, he places both objects down on to his desk and lit a match, lighting up the candle as he threw the used match into the nearby bin placed against his drawer. He holds it by its handle and places it beside Omurice, taking off his shades shortly after, because, well, it was already quite dark, he'd rather not add difficulty to it.

 

 

"I only have one candle." He stated, before Omurice could reply Pudding turned his heel and walked towards the bed. Omurice couldn't make out what he had just grabbed until he made his way towards him.

 

 

"...A...blanket...?" Omurice whispered out, still visibly shaking, however less than before. Pudding doesn't reply and began wrapping it around him, making Omurice even more confused. "I had figured you needed it." He simply responded, before sitting next to him. "Now, please don't pay any bother, just try to calm down." He stated, pulling out his notebook and began working on.. something Omurice didn't plan bother on knowing.

 

 

"...You know I hate you, right?" Pudding replied with a hum, not even lifting his head once. "I'm well aware, and you must be rather ignorant if you haven't known that the feeling is quite mutual." Omurice gripped on to the blanket, scoffing a bit. "I've known that for a long time, just..." He trailed off, casting his gaze towards the side, "...why are you doing this?" That sounded offended, he didn't mean to sound it like that, whoops.

 

 

"I can drag you out of this room and leave you into the hallway if you'd like." Omurice glared towards him, though it wasn't returned since the latter's eyes were literally glued on to his notebook.

 

 

"...Thanks..." Omurice slipped out, wrapping the blanket even further around him. He manages to take a whiff off of the blanket, don't ask. It... smelled just like him.

 

 

He takes that statement back that sounded weird and uncomfortably creepy.

 

 

Pudding raises a brow, not even lifting his gaze from his notebook, "For what?" The R soul gave a quick glare, however shakes his head as he let out a sigh. "For, uh... trying to help me to calm down, I guess." He mumbled, however loud enough for the management soul to hear. Pudding replied with a hum, not even bothering to give his fellow food soul at least a glance.

 

 

Well, not until he rested his head on his shoulder. "...What are you doing?" Pudding asked, surprised that the food soul even bothered to do such, though he tried not to show it. Omurice didn't reply, heating up a bit from embarrassment. "Shut up, just pretend I'm a pillow or something, maybe pretend that I'm not even here." Pudding didn't retort back, instead continued on with his work.

 

 

They remained like that for quite some time, though the silence was rather suffocating. The sounds of the rain filled up the room, along with the occasional lightning and thunder, causing Omurice to flinch and yelp, which only interrupted Pudding's work as he repeatedly told him to ignore it, with Omurice retorting back though their bickering didn't last long until another flash of lightning or a clap of thunder struck the earth.

 

 

Surely enough, perhaps half an hour had passed, and the weather seemed to have (thankfully) calmed down. Pudding also seemed to have finished his work, and set his notebook aside. Not much time had passed and he had just remembered the food soul that was resting his head on to his shoulder. He turned his head towards him, surprised to find him still awake. Well, somewhat, he looked as if he were about to sleep.

 

 

"...You're sleepy?" The management soul asked in surprisingly, a whisper. Omurice responded with a thumbs up, plopping his arm next to him shortly after. He didn't notice the latter had taken off his glasses, with it being placed gently nearby, no wonder he felt a weight on his shoulder leaving him for a moment. "Just... shhh... let me sleep..." Omurice replied, letting out a short yawn as he inched even closer, seemingly not bothered by how uncomfortably close he was.

 

 

Pudding could only sit still as he watched the latter drift off. Well, try to drift off, he seemed to have a bit of trouble with doing so. Doing whatever came to his mind, he lets out a reluctant sigh and raises his arm, surely enough running his hand through Omurice's pale, blond hair. It was surprisingly.. soft, he would admit that. Omurice didn't even seem to be bothered, well, seem to be, maybe he was weirded out a bit though he (thankfully) kept those comments to himself.

 

 

The food soul continued to do so, he ran his hand through the latter's hair repeatedly, and he wouldn't lie when he said he was a tad bit confused on why Omurice wrapped both arms around him. Pudding found himself playing with a few locks now and then, though he couldn't stop himself from doing so, and perhaps he wouldn't lie when he said he felt himself heat up just a bit when Omurice hugged him even tighter. It was too late to be released from his grip.

 

 

"...Omurice," Pudding sighed out, raising his hand from the latter's hair, "although I understand your actions for doing so, perhaps you would be kind enough to let go of me?" No response. The management soul lowered his head, noticing that the food soul was fast asleep. Yep, too late to be released.

 

 

"Omurice." He blankly stated, no response. "Omurice." Still nothing, all he received was a light snore from the R soul. Pudding silently cursed in his head as he tried to pry off the food soul's arms from him, leading to absolutely no avail despite his attempts. He lets out a sigh, pinching the bridge of his nose. Is he going to wait here until the latter woke up?

 

 

...There wasn't any other choice, was there? Not to mention waking him up from his nap was quite.. rude.

 

 

Reluctantly (though surprisingly he didn't seem to mind?), he wrapped both arms around him as well, adjusting his position into a more comfortable one. Raising an arm, he ran his fingers through the latter's hair again, this time a somewhat.. gentle expression crossed his features. A still silence crossed the two, with the sound of Omurice's light snoring filling up the room and the rain, which was thankfully lighter than before, accompanied it. Instinctively, he rests his head on to the latter's, continuing to stroke his fingers through Omurice's locks as he didn't bother moving his other arm; wrapped gently around the R soul.

 

 

Though fainter than before, a flash of lightning lit up the room, with, surely enough, a (fortunately) light clap of thunder. This still didn't stop Omurice from tensing up slightly, and without second thoughts, Pudding began to shush him as he merely continued to run his fingers through the food soul's hair. Omurice calmed down eventually, though flinched a bit once more when another roar of thunder filled up the silence in the room. Pudding proceeded to do the same process; shushing him and didn't hesitate to stop running his hand through his locks.

 

 

This felt... rather nice. Perhaps setting aside their differences for just a while never ought to hurt.

 

___

 

"It's been three hours.." Ume had noticed the worried look that had crossed her Attendant's features, causing her to set aside her pot for a moment. "Master Attendant, I assure you, they're perfectly fine."

 

 

"Yeah, just... you know how those two feel about one another." Attendant retorted, the worried look not about to leave their expression any time sooner. Ume places a hand on their shoulder along with a reassuring smile, "Perhaps check on them to see how they're doing? If they had bickered, I'm certain we would've known much sooner."

 

 

"Yeah... yeah you're probably right, I'm just overreacting a bit..." Master Attendant sighed, standing up from their seat as they made their way towards the stairs. "I'll see what they've been up to real quick." Ume nodded, grabbing ahold of her pot once more and left the room, her plums following her like ducklings trailing behind their mother.

 

 

The power had thankfully returned an hour before, although they had requested Omurice ever since the storm began to fetch Pudding, and they couldn't help but feel worried about what the two had been doing. Did they actually bicker, however no one bothered to tell them or knew? Those kinds of thoughts immediately diminished when they reach the designated room. Raising a hand, Master Attendant knocked gently about three times.

 

 

"Pudding..?" They faintly called out, no response. "Uh, I just wanted to check up on you, I requested Omurice to fetch you about three hours ago and he still hasn't come back, I haven't heard of him from Orange Juice so that worries me a bit. Is he in there?" Still no response. They had noticed that the door was unlocked, yet they figured that it would be rude to just barge themselves in.

 

 

Ah, screw it, they'll just hope whatever they will witness won't be too scarred for their mind.

 

 

Hesitantly, they open the door, and peak inside. They were shocked to find the two food souls they had been looking for had their arms wrapped around each other; Omurice's arms were wrapped against the management soul's waist, Pudding's had his around his neck and one arm rested on his head.

 

 

Well, they haven't been bickering, that's... something, they assumed. A knowing look crossed their features as they couldn't stop a slight smirk from forming, before closing the door in front of them as they left the two alone to continue dozing off for who knows how long.