When I had awakened from sleeping next to the fountain with Yuki, we had decided that it would be best to catch a meal at Yu's café and relay the information that he wouldn't be able to come into work for a while. We didn't specify why, and we didn't really need to. In fact, the moment we mentioned his absence, the employees just smiled and nodded. Nevertheless, I tossed the thought aside as we sat at a table and awaited our meals.
"Thanks, by the way." Yuki yawns as she speaks, seemingly still trying to wake up. "I'm sure having you passed out in the middle of town made things just a little less weird."
"I guess now people can think we're both homeless weirdos." I reply with a grin.
"Or black out drunks." She returns my grin with a small one of her own. "Wouldn't be the first time." I raise an eyebrow at the story that I can feel is coming up. However, I'm cut short when a Lucario approaches our table with a steaming plate full of assorted berries.
"Bon appetite." He says with a bow. "Anything else I can get you?" I'm about to decline, but I'm caught off guard when I realize the look he's giving us. That small smile accompanied by half-lidded eyes gives me the impression that he's offering something more than just food service.
I look to Yuki and I can see that she's awkwardly avoiding eye contact with the waiter. "C-Could you come back a bit later?"
"Of course." With a wink, he saunters off but gives one last look over his shoulder at us before disappearing behind a corner. I give Yuki a questioning stare, but she's far too occupied playing with a blue berry.
"Do you want the oran berries? They remind me too much of a sylveon I knew. Sweet guy, but very... unnerving."
I would refrain from eating, just to show that I'd rather address the donphan in the room first, but my growling stomach gives me no room to argue, so I begrudgingly dig in. "Just what do they sell here, Yuki?"
"Oh, you know, berries, soups, slushs-."
"Besides the obvious food stuff."
She stops toying with her food for a while and stares at the plate. "Temporary companionship..." She bows her head lower as her voice seems to go to a whisper. "You can come here to eat and hire one of the employees for... other stuff. They satisfy you needs for no strings attached."
My jaw drops as what she says sinks in. "So, this is a-." I don't even need to finish as she nods solemnly. "You brought me to a-?! What, you think I need some action or something? Or are you trying to get a three-?"
"Nononononono!" She finally looks up at me as she feverishly shakes her head. "These guys will do nearly anything, but that also includes mercenary work! I want to save Yu. Dex shouldn't have to choose between saving him or winning this war so I figured I'd try to save him. However, going in alone has next to no chance of success, so I figured I could call in some help. This lucario is the strongest guy I know, so if there is any conflict, he could at least earn us some time to get away."
"So, your plan is to buy the life of a waiter for a suicide mission to rescue some masochist snake that's probably being tortured to death this very second behind enemy lines." She nods slowly. "Well then, count me in." This falls with my initial plan fairly well. "If it weren't for me, he would've been killed on the spot. I should be allowed to come along."
She beams at me with a wide smile. "I have no objections with that! I'd be more than happy to have you come along!" As we were about to resume our meal, the Lucario waiter from earlier returns as requested by Yuki.
"I hope the two of you are enjoying your meals." The absol nods enthusiastically while I stare at the canine as I bite into a painfully delicious berry. It's so good, but I can't let him know that. I don't trust him. Anyone who works at a place like this is probably a lot like Yu and he's a little too provocative for my taste. "Have you decided if you wanted any additional... services?"
I look to Yuki and she nods back at me as she wipes some of the berry juice from her muzzle with the back of her paw. "We were wondering if you would be willing to come with us on an assignment out of town." She looks around at the other patrons and workers, hoping that none of them are tuning in. "It's a rescue mission, and we need someone strong to watch our backs in case something goes wrong."
"I see." The lucario's face never falters from the easy-going smile, but I can sense that he's gotten much more serious. "Have you already paid the fee?" We nod in unison. "Understood. All pack up and meet you by the gate. We can talk more then. Until then," he bows courteously, "bon appetite." He winks once then struts off, greeting and service other patrons as he makes his way out. Without another word, the two of us finish our meal with haste and eagerly make our way to the entrance of town.
To my surprise, he's already waiting for us with his arms crossed as he leans against a nearby post. When he notices us, he waves and waits for us to approach. Immediately, I can sense that something about him seems different. His charm is turned off and he puts off a much more serious yet calm demeanor. His two-sided personality quickly puts me on edge and only serves to convince me he's even less trustworthy than I thought.
"So, who're we saving this time?"
"Yu." He seems puzzled, so we explain the situation to him and he takes if fairly well. "Impressively quick thinking, mawile. I assume you didn't inform the others about the whole truth since you didn't want to cause a panic. Yet, you told Dex?"
"I thought he'd deserve to know." Yuki blurts out. "Given their close relationship, he needed to know the truth, just in case..."
"In case we can't save him." He finishes her sentence and closes his eyes. "This will not be easy. We're storming into the heart of the storm. We may not make it out alive. But if we have a chance to save him, we may as well take it." He gets off the post and starts heading out. "Well, we better get going. The longer we linger, the less time we have." With our goals in sight, we begin our journey to rescue Yu and bring me one step closer to achieving my own desires.