We Are Waiters.
"May I take your order?" Kakeru asked. He was wearing a waiter's uniform with a reindeer-horn-headband.
The female customer, whose orders Kakeru was taking, replied for herself and her friend, "We would like a slice of cheesecake, a red velvet cupcake and two cups of milk tea, please."
"Right away, miss!" Kakeru replied with a smile.
After relaying the order to Makki, who stood behind the counter which held the cakes, Kakeru asked him, "Remind me why are we here again?"
Shounen Hollywood, or rather the five unfortunate boys who are entrusted with that name, were working at a cafe to gain experience for their 'AIR BOYS' play. The boys were made to wear matching uniforms and different animal-themed headbands.
Makki, who was wearing a bear-ear-headband, replied to Kakeru, "We're here because we need to be flight attendants but can't, so being waiters is the next best thing."
"Right," Kakeru said, sighing.
This was their third day at work, and since it's only for experience, they would be done by the end of the week. The cafe they were working at was a rather unpopular one, thus causing the boys to object the idea at first. But after their first day, more customers came because someone spread the news about the five hot waiters at Harajuku Cafe. Not that the cafe had a full house or anything, but a steady line of customers came.
"I find this incredibly stupid," Shun whispered to the two older boys when he relayed the orders of a group of middle-school girls to Makki.
"I feel you," Kakeru replied solemnly.
While taking out the cakes and preparing the drinks, Makki told the other two, "Oh, c'mon! It's just for a week. And at least you guys get to actually be waiters. I'm stuck behind this counter!"
"Not to mention," Kakeru added, fondling with his 'antlers', "we have to wear these things." He said the last word like it was some horrid mind-control device.
Shun snorted. "At least nobody asks you what you're supposed to be," he said. Shun was wearing a headband with a pair of bird's wings on each side. "Some people asked if I was some moose with my antlers positioned wrongly."
Kakeru and Makki snickered in response. Makki placed the ordered cakes and drinks onto the waiters' trays to be served to the customers. Before they left, Makki told Kakeru and Shun, "There are some people who enjoy this job, y'know?"
As he said that, Makki's eyes glanced at Kira and Tommy. Kira was wearing a bunny-ear-headband while Tommy wore cat ears. If Shun and Kakeru were the 'cool guys', then Tommy and Kira were the 'hyper kids'.
"Welcome, nyan~!" Tommy greeted the new customers brightly.
"May I take your orders, pyon~?" Kira asked a a group of four girls.
Kakeru watched with a look of disbelief. He knew Kira was just acting like always, and he doubted Tommy was enjoying his 'job'. Kakeru sighed and carried on with his duty.
At least no one I know is here, Kakeru thought.
Then, the cowbell rang- there were new customers. After giving the customers their cakes and beverages, Kakeru looked up and greeted the new customers.
With the charming smile he practiced every day at the theatre, Kakeru said, "Welcome to Harajuku Cafe!"
A high-school girl entered first, and squealed at the sight of Kakeru before pulling her friend in, chattering quickly, "See? See? Told you this was the place!"
"Seriously?" said the friend, who was no other than Kakeru's younger sister, Sanaka. Noticing her brother, Sanaka gasped, "Onii-chan?"
"S-Sanaka?" Kakeru gasped, too. Oh, goodness. Kakeru didn't tell anyone about his 'job' because he didn't need his family and friends coming over to see him like this.
Before anyone else could say anything, Shun quickly got in between. "May I show you to your seats?" he asked kindly.
Taking the chance, Kakeru darted behind the counter, crouching beside Makki. Just my luck, he thought.
"That's your sister?" Makki asked Kakeru in a low voice as he took out some cakes.
"Yeah," Kakeru replied, sighing again. "Why did it have to be Sanaka? I don't want to have to explain this to my family. It would be so awkward."
"She only saw you for a moment," Shun told Kakeru, leaning over the counter to see the bluehead. "You can wait until she leaves and if she asks you, just say you weren't here."
As Shun said that, Kakeru's phone rang- he'd received a message. He pulled the device out of his pocket and read the text. It was from Sanaka, and it read: 'Onii-chan, I know you're hiding behind the counter. I saw you and I'm gonna tell Mom and Dad.'
Kakeru typed back rapidly, 'Please don't.'
'And why shouldn't I?' was the reply he got.
Racking his brain for an answer, Kakeru finally typed, 'Because why should you tell them?'
Nearly a minute passed before Kakeru got his answer: 'Fine. I won't tell.'
Kakeru sighed in relief, and then got another text saying: 'If you give me a 50% discount, I won't tell.'
A vein popped on Kakeru's head. He turned to Makki and motioned at him to bend over. When he did so, Kakeru told Makki of Sanaka's request.
"Fifty percent?" Makki repeated, concerned. "How much would that be? Ah... The formula is fifty over a hundred multiplied by whatever the original price is right?"
"Yeah," Kakeru said, nodding.
"Would it really be bad if your parents knew?" Tommy asked, peeping in from the left side of the counter.
"If you just tell them the truth, what's there to worry about?" Kira asked, peeping in from the right.
Kakeru sighed exasperately, and explained, "Let's say you told you families about this job, and they try to show their support by coming over to this cafe for tea, and they get to see you with these"- Kakeru pointed at his antlers, and continued, "Would you not feel your dignity slipping away as they stare at you?"
"I think the kids at my orphanage would like them," Tommy replied, fondling with his ears. He quickly left when a customer called for a waiter.
Kira nodded. "I've been wearing weird stuff since I was a kid. Animal costumes, skirts and dresses... All because my mother wanted me to for particular auditions. It doesn't bother me much anymore." He stood straight and took a menu to give to a new customer.
Kakeru's eyebrow twitched with annoyance. These guys were the wrong people to discuss his issue with.
"I think I understand what Kakeru means," Makki said while putting a cheesecake on a tray. "I mean, it'd be embarrassing if my gang saw me like this."
"I wouldn't want my mom to see me with these wings either," Shun said, sighing empathetically.
Right after those words were said, the door opened again and in came Shun's mother. Kira greeted her, but Mrs. Maiyama quickly noticed her son, who was desperately trying to hide his face behind a menu.
"Shun, dear, is that you?" Mrs. Maiyama said, surprised.
"Hi, mom," Shun greeted weakly, giving up on hiding himself. Luckily for him, Kira was the one to show Mrs. Maiyama to her seat.
Coming out from behind the counter, Kakeru said to Shun, "Now, you have felt my pain."
"Good thing my gang didn't come," Makki said, relieved.
"Why did you say have that!?" Shun hissed at Makki.
And as they have dreaded, the door swung open forcefully and in came three thugs, all of whom Makki recognized.
"Oi, Amaki!" a thug with his hair done in a short pompadour greeted boisterously. "Heard some chicks that you're workin' here. I thought you were an idol?"
A larger thug with slicked back hair laughed loudly, and asked, "Were you too lame and got kicked out?"
"Ooh! Ooh!" a shorter thug with a squeaky voice said excitedly. "Did the theatre go bust and the whole group get kicked out? That old building was lamer than you anywa--"
A chocolate cupcake hits the short thug in the face. The culprit was no other than Tommy, who glared at the thugs with narrow eyes and an angry frown.
"Don't diss Shounen Hollywood in front of me," he threatened them. "It makes me mad."
As the short thug cleaned the chocolate icing off his face, the thug with the pompadour approached Tommy, passing the other disturbed customers.
"What're you gonna do to us then, kitty?" he asked Tommy condescendingly. "Throw more cake at us?"
The reply the thug got was a menu between his eyes, knocking him back a few steps. Tommy was going to grab a plate to throw at the big thug when Kira placed a hand on his, shaking his head to tell the blonde to stop.
Kira turned to the thugs and said in his sweet-little-child voice with an angelic smile, "If you gentlemen are just going to cause trouble, then I would have to ask for you to leave. Or I'll have to inform the authorities." The air around him seemed to sparkle and glow.
"Your friend was the one who started throwing things at us!" the big thug said, irritated.
"Hadn't I told you gentlemen to leave?" Kira said again with his sweet smile, before his face switched to a more menacing expression. "Get the Hell out of my sight."
The sparkling glow Kira had around him turned into a black aura. The thugs got the message and quickly exited the cafe. After a moment, the black aura receded.
"Ah, now I'm glad that the kids hadn't come to the cafe today," Tommy said, back to his usual attitude. "I wouldn't want them to see me like that."
"Well, my mother would be quite proud to see me like that," Kira said, also back to normal.
"Why would she be proud?" Tommy asked him.
Back at the counter, the other three were watching Tommy and Kira with bewilderment.
"I don't know which I'm more embarrassed about- my mom seeing me here or the fact those two were the ones to chase away the thugs," Shun said.
"For a pair of kids with cat and bunny ears, they're rather formidable," Kakeru commented.
"I gotta ask Kira to teach me how to do that black aura thing!" Makki said.
At the end of the day, the boys met up at the kitchen where the President was waiting with Tesshi and Cat.
"So," President said, preparing to ask the same question, "How was your work today? What have you learnt?"
"Uh..." Shun fumbled. "It...was normal."
"Just like the days before," Kakeru added.
The five of them vowed not to tell the President of Kira and Tommy's 'personality change' to avoid any awkward questions.
"We learnt that..." Kakeru tried to come up with an answer, and said, "that we shouldn't keep secrets because they can be used against us."
The President raised an eyebrow, but said nothing more. He just turned to the exit, and told the boys, "You are dismissed."