This morning's tea makes yesterday distant. ~Author Unknown

Rat tata tat tat

Escaping the needles of rain, a figure bolted to the comfort of a building's porch,

"…I'm going to be here a while, aren't I?" Fingers ran through a mass of drenched crimson hair. She drew out a long breath, sliding her messenger bag to the ground.

Least I don't have to be anywhere. Emerald eyes peered from the safety of the roof's shade as rain thundered down.

"Oh, dear, you shouldn't be outside that long." A warm voice purred from the left of her.

"Heh?" The crimson hair whipped around, staring at a girl leaning against the door pane.

"The sky is very, very swollen. You would be all be your little lonesome self for quite some time." She chuckled, pushing herself off the pane. "I've just finished for today. Why don't you come join me for tea?" Warm hazel eyes twinkled, nodding behind her.

"Ah, er, yeah. Thanks!" She squeaked, picking up the black bag beside her. She slipped past the glass door and followed the trail of suntanned hair.

Inside the shadowed and deceivingly large room, emerald eyes gawked at the underwhelming setup. The sepia walls were flaky, the linoleum wood floor was parched of luster. A handful of round tables were strewn about, married with mismatched pipe chairs. Both windows in the square building were tarnished with weathering, creating a color akin to the walls.

"Sorry- I can't sweep you off your feet with this tea house just yet, but, welcome to Café Ta Da La Presto!" A fair skinned hand waved around the café. She gleefully paced down the forlorn room to the doors that marked the kitchen. "Feel free to make yourself at home! I promise that everything is clean. Hopefully. Fufu~" She flicked the light on, dancing over to the cupboards, and pulled out a tea kettle.

She quickly settled into a rhythm, already comfortable with the materials.

The kitchen was visible to the dining hall's eye, thanks to a window just above the counters. It revealed the young chef, lighting the oven.

The kitchen looks like its trustworthy…. I think. The scarlet-head eased herself into a hard chair at an awkward angled table adjacent to the kitchen's window and a window outside.

"So, to whom do I have this pleasure of serving?" The milky voice rang past the tap dance of rain.

"Hm? Oh, Haru."

"Ta. Lovely. My name is Juvie." She continued on, grabbing a tray.

Haru nodded, watching as Juvie hummed to herself, a slight smile on her lips. Her shoulders relaxed, feeling herself smile.

….How old is she, anyway?

She blinked at the sudden question and studied Juvie's features. Soft cream-colored skin revealed no wrinkles or blemishes. A finger pushed back a strand of long, wavy apricot hair that fell at her waist.

Twenty three? Maybe?

"You're not falling for me already, are you~?"

"Hheh? Sorry!" Haru's cheeks went as red as her hair

"Hehe!" Juvie giggled, placing the kettle and two cups on the tray. She carried them, pushing past the kitchen door and glided over to Haru.

She pulled a chair and sat down across from Haru. Gingerly, she took the kettle and pour a nice amount into each teacup.

"Wow, this smells amazing!" Haru breathed in the aroma of rose petals, ripe strawberries and an earthy warmth, all held by a delicate translucent orange and pink china. "Thank you." She lifted the teacup from the saucer and sipped the dawn-colored liquid. The heat melted straight to her soul. Her spine tingled. "This is delicious…" She breathed.

Juvie smiled, lifting the cup to her own lips. Letting out a content sigh, she placed the cup down. "Yes, isn't it? I just got it today. It's Strawberry Blush Rosé, a form of Oolong tea."

"Oolong...tea?"

"Mmhm. Not too savvy with teas, eh?"

"No, not really." Haru took another long sip of the foreign tea. Something about that tea, about Juvie, made her feel at ease.

"You know, I just inherited this place from my grandfather."

"Ah… Did he retire?"

"Well, I suppose you could say that." Juvie looked at the teacup in her hands, caressing it with her thumb.

Haru blinked, watching the hazel eyes stare at the orange liquid.

She turned to the outdated room surrounding them. "He wanted to see people coming in here daily, people from places we could never dream of, to have them sit down at these tables and enjoy tea. Being able to hear everything from the most mundane to the most tragic. To have strangers turn into friends and call here home. And so do I."

Haru gazed at the setup around them.

To call it home, huh?

Juvie continued. "Of course, he wasn't even in the best of shape when he got this place. There was no way he could keep up. This dream was dying before it even had a chance…" She paused, trying to find the right words. "If I can prove that this place will be profitable, even by a small margin, then I'll be allowed to keep the doors open. I can turn that dream into reality." She returned her gaze to Haru.

"Tell me, what do you think, Haru-chan? Do you think this place will last?"

"Huh? Well…."

Why is she asking me? ...

"….Yes. I think it'll do well. You worked great in the kitchen, and you're sociable, so…"

"Haha! Wonderful answer! I'm glad to see your admiration of me was put to good work!" She laughed to herself.

Haru's cheeks went even darker than her hair.

"Hoho~! But still, it's strange to see a girl with such brains as yourself forget an umbrella in the rainy season."

"Er, I-I um, I was running late this morning and could find it…" She admitted.

"You sound like this is a common occurrence."

"Hey!"

….

They both erupted into a giggling fits.

"Well, thanks again for the tea." Haru smiled, swinging her bag on her shoulder as she stepped off the café's porch.

"Of course! Please do come by next time you forget your umbrella!" Juvie added, waving Haru off as they parted ways.

Haru trenched onward, the rain nothing more than light sprinkles with a heavy misty smell.

'Do you think this place will last?'

She shook her head, turning over the words in her mind.

...

Soon enough, Haru found herself back at the clusters of apartments that she called home. She slowly moved up the steps, arrived at the door, and stopped. She took a deep breath, finding the will to not turn heel and run back to the café. Reluctantly, she fumbled the keys from her bag and pried the door open. She was greeted with nothing more than the noise of the TV. She closed the door behind her, feeling swallowed up by the sickly pale, claustrophobic walls.

Shaking fingers yanked off drenched shoes and a coat. She silently paced down the rugged carpet. Emerald eyes met a man half asleep on the couch, the TV buzzing away. Silently she continued down the hallway into her room, dropped her bag on the ground, and flopped head first on the bare bed.

Right then, more than anything else, Haru wanted nothing more than for tomorrow to come.

A/N; So this happened. I needed an excuse to write about food and yuri. A lot of it. This chapter was originally double its length, but I decided to save that for next chapter. This was a good place to stop.

So yeah. Food and yuri. What more do you want from me?

It issss summer break, so that means I don't have any excuses for no updating! Wooo! Mark my words, the next chapter will be out before next week. Bank on it.

:3 Anywho, reviews help. Tell me what kind of food/tea/yuri (giggity)you're into.

Cuddles help too.

Oh, and on my Deviantart, I have links to my characters! Go check them out!

Tootles!

-Jessie