Chapter 1: First meal of the day
It was a sunny day and really hot outside. Maik and his Friend Kenji just sat down at the table the Steenee pointed at. Maik still wasn't hungry, but he knew saying that wouldn't help. He hasn't eaten anything in a while, so Kenji would 100% force him to.
Maik was a rather timid and quiet guy, with slightly longer, wild brown hair and green eyes, under which bags started to form. "Man, you look like a wreck." said Kenji rather bluntly. Kenji was the complete opposite of that. Short black hair, lively brown eyes and a slight tan on his muscular body. He's always been really popular, especially with the girls, why he even bothered to hang out with him was beyond Maik. He didn't mind his company though, quite the contrary even, he really liked Kenji and appreciated him and how patient he was with Maik. He alwas struggled making friends due to his shy nature, but Kenji openly confronted him one day and didn't leave his side ever since. "Shut up..", answered Maik.
Kenji had to laugh at that and continued:"So, how's work?"
They just got out of Pokéschool and Maik started working at a construction site, while Kenji was lucky enough to get a Job as Professor Kukui's Assistant. Kukui was the extremely well regarded and most important Professor in the Alola Region, he even built up a Pokémon League from the ground up. Once that was done, he got back to studying Pokémon attacks, while still checking up on the League from time to time. Since that was a lot of work, he started looking for an assistant. Or rather his wife Burnett, also a Professor, forced him to. Kukui tended to overload himself with work and she couldn't watch that anymore, so Kenji got into the job due to his fathers connections. He probably would've gotten in by himself, though. He was one of the smartest kids in class, back in Pokéschool, while Maik sat somwhere in the bottom half. He wasn't dumb, but didn't really participate much in the class activities, much to the distaste of the teachers. They gave him bad marks to "force" him to come out of his shell more, but it seemed to have the opposite effect, the teachers realized that way too late, though and so school ended with an even more closed off Maik.
"It's going well. The building's almost done.", said Maik bluntly, while looking over the menu.
Kenji peeked over his to look at him. "Oh, really? What's it gonna be once it's done?"
"Dunno.", said Maik even more bluntly. "Probably just an apartment complex." Many new people started moving to Alola since the League was built. Kukui's goal of turning Alola into a more attractive place to live and making it more lucrative to start business there, made Alola bloom and boom as a region like never before, which is why more and more buildings had to be built, much to the displeasure of many citizens, who feared that the nature of Alola was at stake, which would anger the guardian deities of Alola, but it went well. Even better than expected. "What about Kukui? How's that going?"
"Ah, that.", began Kenji. "He's a really cool guy, we didn't work much yet, he mostly just lets his Pokémon tackle him, while i write down what happens, but it's fun. He's kinda crazy, man. Why's he letting his Pokémon do that?" He started laughing and Maik had to join him on that one. Kukui was as weird as the rumors said, but still a very kind and passionate guy, with a big heart.
"So whatcha gonna get?", asked Kenji after calming down. "Dunno", answered Maik. "All of it sounds good." And it was true. Maik still wasn't hungry, but the menu sounded so inviting and delicious, that he couldn't help himself.
"I know, right? I heard the Daughter of the Owner comes up with a lot of these recipes. She's got a good taste, it seems.", explained Kenji. "Speaking of the devil.." He looked at the swinging Door next to the Counter and Maik followed his vision and there she was. A young, greenhaired Beauty with bright green Eyes and an even brighter Smile. She wore a dungaree-apron, with a legitimate Apron on top. Her long hair was tied into two Pigtails and she wore a Pink Flower, pressumably a Mallow in it. She was carrying two Plates with delicious looking food in her tanned Hands. "Steenee, give me hand. This one's for table 5." She basically beamed at the small Pokémon. She walked towards Table 7 and Maik couldn't help but stare at her. Kenji raised an Eyebrow at that. Maik never really paid much attention to the girls around him, mostly because Kenji snatched all of the attractive ones away. But also because Maik was everything but confident in himself and his ability to charm girls. He wasn't necessarily ugly, but also not that good-looking either. He was as plain as it can get and he knew that. One guy jokingly called him 'generic Anime protagonist number 17' once, due to his looks. His Skills as a Pokémon Trainer were also quite lacking. He had three Pokémon, a Psyduck, a Gligar and an Aipom. They were not necessarily weak, but not really strong either. They were average at best. Kind of like Maik... He still loved them, though. He had them ever since he was a kid. Kenji always tells him to 'put himself out there more', but what was he supposed to do? He doesn't know how to talk to people properly and his looks could never carry a conversation. So he just kept staring at the girl, her long brown legs and her brightly shining smile. A weird warmth started spreading throughout his chest and reached his stomach. She was the first girl that made him feel like this. Damn, he was really checking her out, it wouldn't surprise him if he was drooling right now. He just hoped Kenji didn't notice.. He tried his best to avert his eyes from the bubbly girl, that just reached the table to serve the ordered food. She bent down slightly and Maik caught a glimpse of her nicely shaped butt. Her tight dungarees complimented her body really well, he thought and immediately slapped himself in his head for this. He was able to look away after that and finally noticed Kenji's fat grinning face, that stared right at him. Maik gulped audibly.
"I knew you're not hungry, but you still keep staring at the Snacks here, huh?"
The blush on Maiks face grew even more and he could feel his face heat up at that. "N-NO! Not at all, i just thought...she's..doing a good job.." Maik couldn't even convince himself with that stupid lie. Kenji just kept grinning and leaned back a bit, hands behind his head. "Man, i already thought you're gay." Maik almost choked and blurted out a loud "HUH?". Now everyone was looking at him, even that cute girl. Maik was deeply ashamed and forced out a small giggle. Everyone averted their gaze and focused on whatever they were up to, while Kenji held back a laugh. "Dude, i was just joking, calm down." He said, giggling. "Not that i would have a problem with that. That would be totally cool. Robin's gay too, did ya know that?" Maik couldn't care less. He just wanted this moment to end. "You just never really seemed interested in girls, yknow. C'mon, no hard feelings, 'kay?" He said, smiling at his Friend. "Sure. No worries." Maik said, more to himself, though.
Kenji leaned forward on his chair again, to get closer to his friend and that dumb smile formed on his face again and he asked the question Maik dredded the most:"So, how will you approach her?"
Maik's face heated up again and he had to look at her once more. She was a natural at handling costumers, she delivered the orders fast, smalltalked a little, but didn't let others wait while doing so and all that with a genuine smile on her face. You could tell just by looking at her; she really loves this job. "Not at all." Maik answered in a defeated tone. "What the- Why not? You find her attractive, right? I saw you staring, man. You almost started drooling there."
"Just let her focus on her job."
"Then we'll wait 'til her break starts."
"Dude, no. She probably gets hit on all the time. I'd just annoy her."
"You won't know until you try."
Maik was getting annoyed and looked away from his friend. "No. Just forget it."
"Listen, Maik. We never ate here before, so she doesn't know us, if she says no, then we'll just leave and never get back in here and she'll never see our asses again. You have literally nothing to lose. Worst case, you'll never enter one out of millions of restaurants again. Best case, you'll have a date with a cute girl. What's even there to think about? Just go for it, dude."
Maik hated to admit it, but what Kenji said made sense, in some way. He took a deep breath and asked what he should say.
"Easy, first, we order some food. She makes rounds in here, so at some point she'll end up here again and ask how the food is, then you'll say how much you love it and ask questions about it and the restaurant. Act interested and smile at her. Oh, and.." He rolled up the sleeves on Maik's grey hoodie. "You gained some muscles on your job, show them off a bit, that'll help. Also, why are you wearing a hoodie at such high temperatures? You wanna die, or sumn?"
The Steenee walked past their table and smiled at them.
"So I'm...just supposed to act all interested and..lie to her?"
"But i'm genuinely interested in this restaurant."
"Great, then you won't have to lie about that."
"What if she thinks i'm lying, though?" Maik looked down on his fidgetting hands, he never knows what to do with them, in situations ike this.
"There you go overthinking everything again..." Maik gulped. "Just take a look at her, Maik. She's as cheerful as it can get, do you really think she could hold any ill will against anything or anyone?"
Maik followed suit and looked at her again and he was right, she was extremely cheerful, like she doesn't even know what sadness is.
"I'll just drag her down.."
Kenji smacked the back of Maik's head. "Ouch! What the hell?"
"Don't say that! You're not nearly as bad of a guy, as you think you are. Ask her out and you'll see."
"...Sorry. Ok, i'll talk to her."
"Dear Arceus, finally!"
"You won't ask her out, right?" Maik couldn't face his buddy, he probably just asked a terribly stupid question, but the though lingered in his mind ever since she stepped out of that door. Kenji was confused.
"No, why would i? You like her right? That's reason enough not to do anything. Also, the happy-go-lucky girls have never really been my type. I prefer the quiet ones."
Maik knew that he wasn't lying, but he was still worried, Kenji had a reputation and was a well known womanizer, even if he didn't really mean to be one. He was just attractive and could handle people well. It came naturally to him.
Before Maik was able to apologize for the weird question, the Girl stood at their table and beamed at him. Maik could already hear his heart pounding and Kenji gave him a reassuring nod. "Hey, you two! Sorry for taking so long, have you decided on a meal or drink yet?", She asked happily. She was basically bouncing on the spot. "N-no problem.." Maik looked up at her and saw how she was smiling at him, he couldn't help but blush at that. He also noticed the name tag on her appron. 'Mallow'. Like the flower in her hair.
"Hey, i'll have a...Berry salad and a water. A cold one, if possible." Kenji said, to break the awkward pause. Mallow turned her attention to him and wrote it down on her small notepad. "I'll make sure to get you an extra cold one!", she said with a giggle. "Is your friend okay?", she added and looked at Maik again. "Ah, yea, Maik's just under the weather a bit."
"No wonder, by that Hoodie!", she laughed. "So Maik's your name? Should i put your Hoodie to the wardrobe?" Maik looked up again and noticed there was some worry on her face. Still smiling, but the concern for his wellbeing was visible. "A-Ah, no, sorry. I'll do it myself. Sorry." He got up and walked towards the wardrobe, feeling like an complete idiot.
Mallow looked after him and Kenji spoke up:"Y'know, he's originally from Sinnoh. He's still used to the cold i guess." Mallow looked back and her eyes widened:"Woah, Sinnoh? That's really far away, is he on vacation here?"
"Nah, he's lived here for a few years now, but i think he never really got used to Alola. But I'm sure he still likes it here."
Mallow looked back at Maik, who was hanging his Hoodie at the wardrobe now and audaby sighed at his dumbness. She also noticed his surprisingly muscular build, he really didn't look half bad...
Maik slowly made his way back to the table, Mallow used the chance while he was still away:"Is he..yknow..?" "Single? Yea." Kenji actually couldn't believe it, SHE was interested in Maik. He didn't even need to do anything. Kenji couldn't help but giggle a bit. 'I knew you had it in ya.' He thought.
Mallow had a slight blush on her face, tanned or not, it was clearly visible.
"I'll have a Sitrus-Steak.", Maik said from behind her. Mallow shrieked in a high pitched voice and Maik made a surprised tumble backwards at the sudden sound. He accidentally startled her. "S-sorry!" He barked out. "N-No, I'm sorry, oh my gosh, are you ok?", she bent down to help him up, both blushing at the sudden handholding session.
'Like a bunch of grade schoolers..' Kenji thought, while watching this soap opera scene unfold in front of him.
Maik finally sat back down and Mallow wrote his order down. She smiled at Maik again, asked if he's okay, apologzed again and made her way to the counter, where a man in a cook attire and long green hair stood to watch the scene as well.
'Probably her Dad', Maik thought. 'Must be a literal family restaurant.'
"I fucked up.." Maik said, looking down at his sweaty hands.
"Are you kidding me?" Kenji barked out. The sudden exclamation startled Maik, who now looked directly at his Friend. "This couldn't have gone better, i mean you gotta work on that landing, but still!" Maik just blinked in confusion. "You look like your Psyduck right now.", Kenji joked. "Huh?"
"Anyway, you pay for my food."
"You owe me something."
"She asked a buncha questions while you were gone and she seemed very interested in you, she even blushed when you took off your Hoodie. She really checked you out. Didn't think she was that kinda girl, to be honest."
Maik's face was as red as a tomatoe's. "Really?"
"Yea, dude. I told ya!"
Maik couldn't believe it.. I mean, he technically didn't know her, not at all. They were complete strangers, but the fact that a cute girl like her was interested in him at all, made him really happy. More happy than anything else that happened in the past few months. He couldn't help but smile at that.
"I told her you're from Sinnoh."
"She seemed surprised. Also kinda worried, i'd say."
"You wear hoodies at this time of the year, i'm honestly worried as well, dude." Kenji laughed.
Maik had to laugh as well. "Shut up, dude. I ike hoodies."
"Ey, i like'em too, just not when they're barbecuing me."
Both of them had to laugh at their silly little exchange. All the tension from Maik's shoulders was suddenly lifted. He felt good. He couldn't remember when he last felt like this. So at ease. He was constantly anxious, stiff and on edge, but all that was gone for now. He couldn't explain why, or how, but he felt good for the moment.
The door to their left swung open and Mallow jumped out, two huge plates in her hand. 'Our orders..' She walked towards their Table and put the plates down, smiled, quickly made her way to the door and closed it behind her. The Steenee was just as dumbfounded as they were, that seemed uncharacteristic for her, even though they were not really in the position to know that.
Maik noticed a piece of paper underneath his plate. Kenji couldn't believe it. Maik grabbed it and read what was written on it. "A bunch of numbers.." He blinked twice while looking at it. "Maybe a code?" "It's her number, dumbass." "H-huh? Oh.."
Mallow watched them from behind the door and giggled at Maik's silly side. "He sure is cute.."
After a long and exhausting day at work, Mallow threw herself onto her bed. Her room was decorated with all kinds of green attire, flower posters, even a few plushies were hiding here and there. A few bookshelves with all kinds of cookbooks, flower and berry books, even books about Alolan history. It was a very feminine room, but not too childish. She worked for more than 9 hours today and the sweat pearls, which decorated her body, were proof of that. She couldn't even muster the motivation to go showering. "I'll just do that tomorrow..", she thought to herself. Her eyelids were heavy and she struggled with staying awake, today took a lot out of her. Way too many costum- then she remembered. This guy...
She audably sighed and pushed her face into the pillow underneath, to hide the redness of her face. There was no need to do that, since she was alone in her room, but she felt way too embarrassed about what happened. She acted totally unprofessional back there. Handing out her number to a costumer, a STRANGER, just like that... What was she thinking..?
I mean, he was kinda cute. Maybe a bit too quiet and kinda meek? But he was really nice, even tipped me, really seemed to like our food and...His body-
She slapped herself.
Stop thinking like that! He probably won't call or message me anyway! He's way too reserved and shy and quiet for that! Also who wears a hoodie in Alola? I've never even seen a hoodie around here, what a dummy! Was he trying to fry himself? Also what's with his hair? It's too long and curly and wild, it would be way too tempting to play around with it, i couldn't focus on getting work done, with him around! He was also blushing way too much, he looked like a tomato. And his shaky smile was way too cute, it had to be an act!
Mallow stopped herself with another slap, to the other cheek.
She wasn't even criticising him...She didn't know anything about him and yet, she was weirdly captivated by everything surrounding him. She never felt like this before... There were some cute guys back in Pokéschool, sure, but no one ever left much of an impression on her. Well, not until now. Man, Lana would totally laugh at her and the way she acted around Maik.
That was his name.
The red on her cheeks grew even wider.
They didn't really exchange many words, after Mallow gave out her number, but they exchanged many curious glances here and there instead. That's how she knew that he liked the food, he smiled brightly while stuffing his cheeks. He's as easy to please as a little kid, it seems. It was kind of cute to watch. Especially since he almost seemed kind of down before.. She even overheard his Buddy say something about him barely eating anything, so him digging in like that, MUST be a good sign, right?
Suddenly it hit her, what if he thinks bad of her now? A girl that just gives out her phone number to a complete stranger? If Mallow didn't know any better and wasn't such a nice person, than she would've mistaken her actions for those of a slut.. What if he thinks badly of her now? Sure, he was still blushing at her and she could feel him staring at her sometimes, but... Oh gosh, was she even attractive enough? Were those just the stares one would give a freak, to make fun of her? She was sweating like crazy today and has gained some weight recently, what if-
She rolled around in her bed and her thoughts trailed around, she just didn't know what to think anymore, but one thing was for certain: She did like him. She couldn't deny that. That dumb smile he gave her, when he left, made her heart skip multiple beats. The way she thought about him, even overthink it all, it must be something more. Something she never felt before. But did he feel the same way about her? And if he did, why didn't he text or call her already?
She rolled to the other side of the bed.
She could always ask Lana for advice, but she would also ask tons of questions and Mallow really didn't want to give out any details yet, especially since she didn't know if he liked her back. Or if he will text her at all. Or if he-
"There i go with all the overthinking again!", she mumbled into her pillow. "Dammit.."
She whipped out her phone out of the little pocket on the chest area of her dungarees. She usually stored cookies for her Steenee in there, but there wasn't really a need for that, when they were working, so she just keeps her phone in there, whenever she helped out in the restaurant. Her father was totally cool with that, as long as she didn't use it too much, while working. That was never a problem for her, she wasn't much of a tech person anyway. Some people back in Pokéschool used to make fun of her for that, but she really didn't care all that much. She just preferred real interactions and contact more. Lana used to think the same way, but once they got out of Pokéschool, she used her Phone more and more often. Probably to keep track of all the Boys around her... It was weird, but Lana suddenly seemed to attract all the Guys around her and has plenty of experience already. Mallow not so much. Basically none at all. Lana always tells her that she could 'have them all', but she really didn't think so. She also didn't like the sound of that. 'Have them all'. Are they Pokémon, or People? Lana really changed a lot since their childhood days. She used to be so quiet and reserved and now she's loudly exclaiming how many guys she already had. At heart, she was still the good old Lana, but it all felt rather weird whenever they hung out nowadays. It wasn't the same. But Mallow was deadset on staying her friend. There was no way she could throw 10 years of friendship away just like that! She knew Lana thinks the same way! No Guy could ever get between the two. Neither Lana's current Boyfriend, nor Maik!
Did she just..? Oh gosh, she did...
She turned in her bed again and the blush basically covered her entire face. She didn't know if it was Alola's weather, or her embarrassment, but she felt like she was burning. It was burning hot all around her. She was fed up with this farce. She got up, gave both of her red, puffy cheeks a slap and finally flipped her phone open. It was an old model, a pink flip phone, with a few pendants dangling down from it. She couldn't really afford a new model, but since she wasn't using her phone much anyway, she didn't care all that much. She liked her old, blocky phone. While scrolling through her contacts, she noticed how rarely she sees any of her old school friends these days. It was rather depressing to see all their names. Lillie, Kiawe, Sophocles and many more. The sweet memories all their names sparked in her heart made Mallow smile fondly, with a little tear in her bright green eyes, at her phone. She felt silly for getting so emotional, but her years at the Pokéschool, were probably the happiest and brightest of her entire life. Every day was so fun and colorful. She knew that she smiled a lot more often back then. Not to say that she doesn't have fun these days, quite the opposite! She loves helping her Dad in the restaurant out, it's so fun to deal with all the customes, hear their stories, see them enjoy their delicious food and she would've never met Maik if it wasn't for her Job there.
Ah, Lana. There was the contact. How dumb of her to scroll through all of them. Lana's was the very first number she saved on her phone. She remembers it clearly. Back when she got it, she was so overjoyed, that she ran all the way to Lana's house to ask for her number and to show off the cute new phone she just got, then she ran all the way back home and called her. It was such a silly setup and situation, but it was fun. They talked on the phone for hours. She doesn't remember what it was all about, but the fact that she was talking to her best friend, even though they were so far apart, was amazing to her. She started typing a SMS and deleted it all again. Just what was she supposed to say? 'Hey lana, long time no talk haha, anyway there is this guy and..'
She sighed. Mallow was never good at texting, she liked it more to see the person she was talking to. She was extremely talkative and never struggled to keep the conversation going, but it was a lot more difficult like that.
"Maybe i should call her?"
She was fumbling the phone around in her hands and couldn't decide on what to do. That was until the phone suddenly started ringing! A loud and annoying theme started playing and she threw the phone up in the air, because it startled her so much. She immediately caught it again though, because her refelxes have always been good and schooled even more due to her work at the restaurant. Before she could even hope for it being Maik, the name Lana popped up on the screen. She was calling her. Mallow didn't hesitate for a second and picked up in an instant.
"Woah, that was fast! Hey, Mallow! How are you?"
Mallow chuckled at that. "I'm good, a bit exhausted from work, though. What about you?"
"Oof, same here. The fishing store, i work at, is treating me like a slave.."
Both of them laughed at that, even though it wasn't really funny. They were just happy to hear one another again.
"Anyway, I'm calling you, because i'm close to the restaurant right now and i thought we could hang out a little?"
"Oh, i'd love to! I should take a shower before that, though.."
"Sounds more than reasonable! I'll just go into the restaurant and annoy your father until you're done."
"You dummy. Don't be too harsh to him. Later!"
Both of them hung up and Mallow smiled widely at her phone. She could finally see her best friend again and maybe...even ask her for advice. Let's see what the evening brings.
After preparing some clothes and stepping into the bathroom, she took off her clothes and couldn't help but look at herself in the mirror. She really did gain some weight, not much, but she noticed some more meat on her bones. It didn't look too bad, but she would prefer a lower kilogram count. She also didn't shave in a while and the lower body fluff, looked a bit unkempt. She suddenly realized that she never cared this much about her appearance before. She wondered why though...
"Good evening, Abe!" Lana exclaimed loudly, while waving at him, from the restaurant entrance.
Abe, Mallow's Father, looked up from the counter, where he was washing the dishes and spotted the familiar looking blue haired little Girl. "Lana! Alola! What a pleasent surprise!" He walked towards the door and opened it for her. The restaurant was closed already, but he's always willing to let close Friends of the family in. "If you're looking for Mallow, she's upstairs in her Room."
"I know, i know. But she's taking a shower now, i think. So i thought i'd catch up with you, while i wait for her."
Abe had to laugh at that. "Oh, what a pleasent surprise indeed." He walked behind the counter again. "Can i get my favourite costumer something to eat or drink, while she waits? On the house, of course."
"Oh no, i can't take any-" Abe held an arm up, before she could finish her sentence and spoke up:"You totally can, especially since i haven't seen you, nor your parents, in a while and i'd like to hear what you guys are up to. And good food always helps to open up a bit, so what can i do for you?" Abe is like Mallow, a loving, kind and always smiling individual and Lana was happy that her friend's father was such an amazingly nice person. She always felt welcome and at home in here and she wondered why she didn't visit them more often-why she doesn't visit her best friend more often. "Thank you, Abe. I'll have the usual." "Now that's what i like to hear! Comin' right up!"
Lana sat down at the bar-like counter and looked around the place, while Abe focused on preparing the 'usual', for his guest. Not a lot changed in here, she thought to herself. Then she felt a little bit silly for thinking that. It's only been a few weeks. Nothing major changes in such a short amount of time. Lana smiled fondly at the place, that never really changed and is covered in beautiful childhood memories.
"So, how have you been, Lana?", Abe finally spoke up, to break the nostalgic silence. He broke Lana's trance and she answered happily:"I've been great! I work at a local fishing store now and have already gained some valuable experience! There aren't really a whole lot of customers, but the Owner knows a whole lot about water Pokémon and taught me a lot about them! He's very wise!" Abe, visibly happy that she's doing well, smiled at the small girl's stories, she told him about a few awkward customer experiences, how she caught a few really rare Pokémon in her Boss's care and how well her Family is doing recently, it's been a bit rough for a couple of weeks, because her Mother was ill, but she's doing a whole lot better now. Abe had no idea about the illness of her mother and immediately had to think of his Wife. How she laid there in the hospital bed. How helpless he felt. Cold sweat ran down his neck. He took a deep breath and found his composure again. That happens sometimes. The memories and pain suddenly, out of nowhere, take over his mind, he doesn't mind, though. He wouldn't even dare to forget about her. She was, and still is, the love of his life. Once he calmed down, he realized Lana was still talking. He felt bad that he missed some of what she said, but she looked so happy, that he didn't want to interrupt her, just to say that he didn't listen. He just kept nodding and prepared the usual.
"And what was going on in here? Any interesting developments?" Lana asked, after finishing the long presentation about her life.
"Ah, y'know... It's been rather quiet and normal in here." He reached for a long, shake glass. "Mallow has gotten a bit less talkative, i think. Since she doesn't go out that often. She prefers helping me out in here and i really appreciate it, but i'd rather have her do some things on her own accord. I think, she feels obligated to help." Lana nodded, Mallow has always been helping out at the restaurant and she clearly likes it, but she often puts the restaurant before her own desires. "But the costumers seem to really like her, there has been a bit of an increase in that regard, so that's nice. But still.."
Lana nodded again and started: "Yeah, she's always been a peoples-person, very open, very bubbly and very kind. It doesn't surprise me at all, that costumers would love her and her great service."
While pouring some of the fluids into the huge glass, Abe remembered:"Oh yeah, speaking of her good service, she seemed to be a bit distracted today..."
"Distracted? How so?" Lana was immediately interested. Mallow was very bubbly and seems rather simple and straightforward on the outside, but once she found something she wants to do, she's deadset on doing a good job at it and to make everyone involved happy in the process. She doesn't get distracted. She doesn't allow herself to give less than 100%.
"I'm not sure...maybe it had to do with these two boys?"
Lana's ears visibly twitched when she heard that word. Boys? Mallow and Boys? Oh, now it's getting interesting. Mallow is so lucky that her Dad was so dense when it comes to romance and stuff like that.
"One of them accidentally startled her and they were both kind of awkward around each other, after that, it was weird." Abe was done pouring the drink, but still lost in his thoughts. He composed himself relatively fast, though and served Lana's order. "Anyway, here you go! Freshly juiced Kyogre juice!"
Both of them laughed. It's been a while since they played through this little skit. Abe first made this joke, back when Lana was younger, it was her first time at the restaurant and it left such a strong impression on her, that she's telling similar Kyogre jokes to this very day.
Lana was taking small sips from the absolutely delicious and freshly made berry shake. It was her favourite drink by a landslide. After endulging herself in the perfectly balanced taste of the drink, she cleared her throat to get back on track:"So...About those Boys. What were they like?" Lana just NEEDED to know more about this and there was no way Mallow would tell her about it, she thought. They may be best friends, but Mallow always kept personal problems to herself. It is her worst habit, but she just eats all her problems up and stores them inside of her. She doesn't want to bother anyone and avoids absolutely every kind of conflict. She may be bright, happy girl on the outisde, she is exactly that to a certain extant, but shecarries a ton of heavy burdens on her shoulders and she would never share them with anyone. At least not yet.
"Hm, hard to tell, since i was in the kitchen and at the counter for most of the time, i mostly saw that one of them, a rather meek looking guy, accidentally startled her. He immediately apologized and helped her, before i could get angry at him though. He seems like a well raised kid. Maybe too reserved, though?" Over the years of working in the gastronomy, he developed a keen eye when it came to people. He could tell what most people were like, just by looking at them. How do they dress, how do they eat, how do they, if at all, speak, how do they gesticualte what they say, and so on. All of that gave Abe a rocksolid fondation of most of the things there were to know about a costumers character. And that Kid seemed like a good, yet very shy and quiet cookie, that prefers being on his own and is also carrying a lot of inner pain and problems with him. At least from what he saw..
"Hmmm...And the other one?"
"He did'nt do too much, he seemed to support the other one, because he was rather shy, y'know what i mean?"
Interesting... "Yea, gotcha, so they were nice! That's good. I was kinda worried when you mentioned that two Boys distracted Mallow from doing her work."
Abe visibly brushed that comment off. "Ah, not at all. My Mallow is a hardworking girl, she wouldn't get distracted by some Boys!" He laughed loudly afterwards, like he doesn't even grasp the concept of his daughter seeing the other gender in any kind of way.
Lana rolled her eyes at that, but understood where he was coming from. Firstly, she's his daughter. No father likes to see his babygirl grow up and starting to develop an interest in the opposite gender. Secondly, Mallow never really showed much interest in the other gender before anyway, so it makes sense that he wouldn't consider that a possibility. But Abe is a good father, he would definetely support her, once she gets to the that point. AND once he approves of her Boyfriend. He is kind, but he can become rather beastly, when it comes to his beloved daughter. He once rassled a damn Ursaring, that threatened his Mallow. He loves her very, very dearly.
After a few quiet seconds, both of them heard loud, fast footsteps, approaching them, from upstairs. Seems like Mallow was done showering and ready to go. Lana gulped down the rest of her shake, even though she prefers to enjoy it slowly, but she wanted to head out immediately, to ask Mallow all about those two guys. Especially that meek one. She thanked Abe for his time, the amazingly delicious shake and promised to come again soon. Abe smiled brightly at that.
A few seconds later Mallow ran down the stairs and stood, refreshed and freshly showered, in front of them. Her beautiful, long, green hair was open and still a bit wet. She wore short grey shorts, black tennis-like socks and a dark green hoodie, with a black stripe, that went horizontally over the chest area and arms. She smiled brightly and greeted both of them with a hearty Alola.
Lana greeted her back and raised one of her small eyebrows afterwards to ask:"A hoodie? At these temperatures?"
Mallow could already feel her face heat up a bit. She saw right through her. "Yea, it gets kinda cold at night. Besides..." She paused and looked down, to get a look of it and continued:"I just felt like wearing a hoodie today."
I wasn't sure about the Name of Mallow's dad, but after some googling i found out, hes apparently called Abe. I never heard them say that in the Anime, i think, but it's cool to know that. Also Mallow's Mother only got briefly mentioned in here, if you've watched the Anime, then you'll know why. But i'll definetely dive more into that later on, so get the tissues ready for that.
I also tried to put in some references, like Lana's Kyogre joke, in here, to make it a bit more rewarding to read, for fans, who like that sorta stuff. I certainly find things like that enjoyable.
Anyway, thanks a lot for reading and i hope you enjoyed this rather slow setup chapter, share your thoughts and I'll smell ya next time~