( SEES, Mitsuru/Yukari. In which Yukari doesn't wear her choker and everyone reacts in various ways. )
Yukari was looking forward to an entire day of leafing through catalogues with bubble tea from the corner store in hand, away from the usual annoyances (Junpei) when she heard frantic whispers in from the kitchen table that told her that her plans were going to get shot to hell soon. She tried to ignore them.
"I'm going blind," said Junpei. From the glass of the tall windows, Yukari could see him grab at Hamuko's arm for support; inwardly, Yukari bristled. "Please tell me I'm dreaming, or I'm stuck in some sort of alternate reality like in that episode of--"
Oh please, thought Yukari, rolling her eyes. Would it have been in bad taste to remind him that January was still far off, or would it have gloriously fucked up the rest of the gameplay?
She blinked. Wait, what? She brushed the thought of as one of those days -- maybe she'd skipped her period by a day and got into one of her more paranoid moments again, the kind where that little voice inside her kept insisting that she'd seen this situation before and it was not going to end well, but, well. She was probably a little crazy from all the bubble tea she'd been inhaling since yesterday. It was just so good. When she reached for it to still her nerves, the paper cup was crushed flat in her hand, empty. Damn.
"You didn't use it as a chew toy, did you, Koromaru?" said Ken, curiously, and Koromaru whined, looking affronted.
"You guys," said Yukari, "I'm right here." She'd have to go out and get some more if she wanted to keep up her good mood; maybe she should get one of the boys to do it for her, just because.
"I don't get what the big deal is," grumbled Akihiko, but everyone pretended not to hear him -- except for Junpei, who was probably bleeding out of his ears by now and wailing about how he needed to join a cult or something to save his soul. Akihiko looked as put-upon as Yukari did, and contemplated the merits of killing himself with the bendy straw Yukari had. Was death by choice better than death by insanity? Would Yukari even lend it to him? "It's just an accessory."
"Just an accessory?" gasped Junpei. "That's travesty! You know that choker is her default equipment! That's like, seeing me without a hat!"
"... are you sure you're okay, Junpei?" said Fuuka, sounding increasingly worried.
In the corner, Shinjiro was sulking. Maybe he was even crying, but Yukari couldn't be bothered to check. If he were, his thoughts probably ran along the lines of why am I here what am I doing why is everyone an idiot. The same thing was steadily becoming Yukari's mantra by the minute.
"Well, it can't have gone very far," cried out Hamuko, and Yukari was very tempted to point out that, yes, it was just a stupid choker that couldn't walk much less go anywhere without being moved by an animate object, thanks for asking, only Hamuko had turned to Mitsuru-senpai and Akihiko-senpai with the determination of a thousand raging balls of fire in her eyes, the same kind she always got just before she throttled the living daylights out of one of those frisky-looking golden hands that probably belonged to some middle-aged wealthy pervert in another life time. Maybe. "Right, senpai?"
Mitsuru looked alarmed, but didn't stop eye-raping the nape of Yukari's neck, although she did have the delicacy to look somewhat ashamed, to her credit.
"Shall I commence operation search and destroy, then?" intoned Aigis, and when Hamuko clapped her hands, obviously enjoying the idea, Yukari threw her empty cup at all of them and screamed.
( Kaoruko/Mizuki. In which Mizuki corrects Kaoruko, repeatedly. )
"No," says Mizuki, looking vaguely horrified at Kaoruko's attempt at speaking Italian. Mangled Italian. "No no no no no."
Kaoruko tries, again. Mizuki stabs the remaining meatball on his platter with the impatience and finesse of a starved man. His other hand, outstretched and toying with the bumps of Kaoruko's knuckles, is far more gentle.
"You're supposed to be Japanese," grumbles Mizuki. "Sound out your rs, god damn it. And stop slurring."
At least she doesn't mess up the ls; it rolls off her tongue as neatly as the napkin she folds and sets beside her plate, finished despite the abnormally slow manner she'd picked at her prosciutto.
"My language teacher thought my Italian was passable," says Kaoruko, chin raised in defiance.
"Your Italian teacher was a fraud," says Mizuki. "He paid more attention to your... mouth than to the crap you spouted out." He wants to replace 'mouth' with something more undignified, only he's pretty sure his line of sight is giving him away. Kaoruko doesn't seem to notice. Small mercy, that.
He clears his throat, continuing, "We should go to Brussels, next."
"I thought your German needed some work," says Kaoruko, dryly, only half paying attention. Her vocabulary, he hasn't nitpicked yet. Pehaps hers is wider than she thinks, or he is all talk, no wit and no substance.
Mizuki's fingers curl, into her palm. "Please, says Mizuki, "my German is perfect."