Kyoko stared at the apparition making its way to their table. 'What the?'
"Breakfast is served," Kuri-chan said entering the dining hall with a serving trolley. She wore nothing as otaku friendly as a maid costume, but her attire wasn't far off enough to abolish such thoughts entirely. As always she looked fantastic in her outfit, but then she'd look fantastic in just whatever someone randomly threw at her. Then a more important question reached Kyoko's brain. 'Why is Kuri-chan working in the kitchen?' Kyoko bit her lower lip. 'Oh well, it's Kuri-chan. Count on her to do something strange.'
They were the only guests at the resort, so the trolley Kuri-chan pushed toward them carried all the breakfast they needed. If it could be called breakfast. Somehow part of it looked eerily like Urufu's midsummer's disaster earlier that summer. There was no miso soup and none of the pickled vegetables Kyoko had gotten used to during their time here. Even rice was lacking.
Across the table Urufu broke down in laughter and sat bent over the table coughing his mirth out while Yukio slapped his back in that friendly and all too hard way only boys did. Male friendship must hurt a lot.
"Kuri-chan, what is this?" Kyoko asked and directed her attention away from the boys' antics.
"I and the owner seem to share an interest in cooking, so I helped out."
A glimmer of hesitation passed over Kuri-chan's face during the explanation, and Kyoko suspected there was more to it than she said. Kyoko decided it wasn't worth probing. "OK, that's how it was done, but what is it?"
Kuri-chan started dumping plates onto the table. "Cereal, milk and sour milk, bread and butter, ham, pickled gherkins, cheese, boiled eggs and; Ulf listen up, pickled herring!"
That only had him bury his nose even deeper into the table.
Kyoko noted that the trolley had a lower section as well. She nodded at it and shot Kuri-chan a questioning look.
"Later," Kuri-chan said and emptied the last of the plates onto the table. She sat on her knees and pulled out three metal containers from the lower section and placed them on top. "Bacon, baked beans and scrambled eggs." She waved and ran for the kitchen.
Kyoko shot the offending containers a glare. 'Am I supposed to eat this in the morning?' Frowning she started loading some of the least suspicious items onto her plate. She glanced over the table where Urufu expertly filled his bowl with cereals and poured milk into it. After that he stacked his plate with everything cold apart from one boiled egg.
'Funny way to eat breakfast,' Kyoko thought and began copying him.
"Salt or sour?" Yukio asked and pointed at the herring.
"Mm, all sour. Don't usually serve the salty kind for breakfast," Urufu answered between two mouthfuls.
Kyoko saw how both Ryu and Noriko carefully selected whatever they deemed edible, and then Kuri-chan returned with two pitchers filled with juice.
"Fill up," she said. "This is your last decent meal this side of Tokyo."
"Decent?" Ryu murmured, and his sister agreed.
"Shut up silly!"
"Meal?" Noriko pondered, and her brother agreed.
"You're hopeless, both of you."
"This side of Tokyo?" Urufu shot in.
"Eh, yeah, sorry about that," Kuri-chan said and took a seat for herself. She loaded her own breakfast in front of her while Kyoko waited for the rest of her information. When whatever substituted for a proper breakfast in Sweden lay before her Kuri-chan took a deep breath and continued. "Our tickets won't leave us enough time to eat in Nagoya. We have less than fifteen minutes."
"Fill up it is then," Urufu said and started shovelling food into his mouth.
Yukio followed his example, and faced with the prospect of an entire day's travel on an empty stomach Kyoko reluctantly grabbed a bowl, filled it with cereals and milk and started eating for real.
With that silence settled over the table. It was only broken by Kuri-chan moving between her seat and the trolley, loading food onto her own and the other's plates. Even the Wakayamas were unusually subdued and made their best to try the odd food out.
When they were done Kyoko quickly made for her room and the last of her luggage. Everyone else's already stood in the lobby, and when she came down again two taxi cars already waited on the courtyard.
'I guess this is it,' she thought. Kyoko looked up the wooden stairs as if she would be able to see around the corner, into the corridor and turn to the room that had been her home for weeks. It was fun. 'I'll miss it.' And she would. This summer break had been the best she could remember. She felt a little guilty about that. Her first time without her parents was the best time. Wasn't that a sign of ingratitude? Wasn't that improper? Even so it didn't make it any less true that it remained the best.
She smirked and looked at the stairs a last time. For a while her eyes lingered on the reception desk before she turned and grabbed her bags. A few steps later she stood in the sunshine looking at a member of the staff who came rushing to take her bags and carry them the last distance to the waiting taxi cars. It was stupid, and it was tradition.
With mixed feelings Kyoko climbed into the last taxi. The time at the resort had seen her grow. She didn't know how, but she knew that she had definitely taken an important step towards adulthood. And she had become closer to Yukio. For now that was more important than growing up.
She waved to the staff through the window, and shortly after the taxi started rolling. The sound of tires over gravel carried through the car. Soon she could only see the courtyard through the rear window, and after a last turn the resort vanished behind her as if it had never been there at all.
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