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Urgh. This took forever, and I feel like it's a low-quality update, but I've spent days working past this, and I just want to move on. Writer's block sucks.
[X] Sure, why not?
You give the suggestion some thought, but there really isn't any reason to turn her down. Not as far as you can tell, anyway.
"Sure. Couldn't hurt."
Chen seems satisfied with your acquiescence, and bounds off to retrieve an apron from the pantry. It doesn't take long for her to find what she's looking for, and she's quick to don the garment, expertly tying the cords with what appears to be a trained hand. Apparently deeming herself prepared, she turns to you and nods, folding her arms and tapping her foot impatiently. She actually looks pretty cute like that.
"So what do I do first?"
"I'd say we did a pretty good job, wouldn't you?"
Taking one last look at the fruits of your labor, you stand back and grin. From the piles of pancakes, to the bunches of bacon, to the towers of toast, the breakfast spread you've prepared turned out even better than you had hoped; it feels good to know that you're not as out of practice as you might have thought. You can't help but feel pretty good about how much of a help Chen turned out to be too, and absentmindedly reach over to give her a scratch behind the ear; she was remarkably well behaved as an assistant, despite the occasional complaint or confusion.
"You did a good job, Chen. Thanks for the help."
"Of course I did a good job," she replies, tipping her head slightly in what seems to be a half-hearted attempt to get away from your hand; she only succeeds at making you scratch a little lower. "I've been practicing in the kitchen a lot for Miss Ran."
"I'm sure she's proud of you," you say with a laugh, scratching her a little harder.
Chen turns to you with a simple, genuinely happy smile, maybe the first she's ever shown you. It strikes you suddenly that she can be very pretty in the right light. The right light being when she's not baring down on you like a predator, or showing off those razor sharp teeth. If you could get her to smile like this more often...
"Aww! You two are so cute!" You nearly leap out of your skin at the sound of Suika's voice, and whip your head around to catch sight of her floating in the air behind you, her body dissolving into a thin, pale colored mist below the waist. She wraps her arms around herself and squirms, as if trying to hug herself. "Aren't they just adorable, Yukarin?"
"That's right, Suika! So adorable!" Yukari pops in next, appearing from nowhere and seizing Chen in a strong hug. The cat girl squirms a little, but seems to be happy to return the hug, even though you would think she'd have trouble breathing with her face buried in Yukari's rather impressive bust. Though, you can't say you'd find it unpleasant to be in Chen's situation yourself...
A low chuckle comes from behind you.
You glance back to see Suika wearing a mischievous grin, and staring at you as though she knew exactly what you were just thinking. Your suspicions are confirmed when she waggles her eyebrows suggestively a few seconds later. A mischievous glint shines in her eyes, and you open your mouth to protest, but too late. She yanks you into an embrace with startling force, landing your head directly against her much more modest chest; you can't help but notice that despite how flat she is, there's a certain softness to her body... she's kind of warm, too...
"You're blushing," she whispers in a sing-song voice, "so cute!"
Trying to fight off the heat rising in your cheeks, you simply sigh and let Suika do what she will. You have to admit that it isn't all that bad. At all.
"How long have you two been watching us?"
"We got here about when Chen started cooking with you," Suika replies jovially, and exactly as you'd expected.
"We didn't want to interrupt you two," Yukari coos, "you looked so responsible!"
As Yukari reaches out and draws you and Suika into her embrace with Chen, you start to wonder whether you'll ever get around to actually eating the breakfast you spent so much effort on preparing...
Fortunately your worries are baseless. Once Suika and Yukari have their fill of teasing you and Chen, the four of you settle down for breakfast, each at a different side of the table; though, while each of you has a side to yourself, Chen has set an extra place beside hers at the table, presumably for Ran. The meal passes mostly in silence, Chen remaining rather quiet and glancing anxiously from time to time at the empty space beside her, and Yukari growing noticeably sleepier with each bite; the only person at the table who makes much noise is Suika, who seems just as boisterous as ever.
It doesn't take terribly long for the four of you to finish up. Chen just doesn't seem too hungry, and Yukari, despite eating a sizable amount, takes enormous bites; once again, only you and Suika move at a normal pace. Yukari stretches with surprising grace for someone so sleepy, and despite her bleary eyes, she manages to smile at you and Chen.
"That was good, even if it wasn't quite on Ran's level," she says happily, disappearing from her position at the table, and reappearing between you and Chen. She once again pulls Chen into a hug, a considerably less intense one, and gives the cat girl a peck on the cheek. "My little Chen is growing up!"
Chen looks really happy about the praise, and giggles to herself as Yukari disengages from her and ruffles her hair affectionately. Yukari then turns to you, still wearing a sleepy smile, and does the same for you that she did for Chen, throwing her arms around your neck and kissing your cheek affectionately.
"You too! What a nice guest!"
You feel your cheeks flush, and you sputter as you try to find the words to reply to her. Yukari giggles at you, but after a few seconds her eyes suddenly flutter open briefly, a look of realization spreading across her face. For a few moments she almost appears to be as embarrassed as you are, but then it fades as she suddenly laughs to herself again. She snuggles up to you one last time before disentangling from you and vanishing into what looks like a strange little split in space, tied with ribbons; you don't get a good luck before the crack seals itself up, leaving no trace that Yukari was ever there.
You spend a few seconds trying to recover, a task made more difficult by the way Chen insists on snickering at you, and the unabashed laughter of Suika. Once you've cast them as withering a glare as you can with your cheeks dyed red, and the two of them have managed to subdue their mirth, Suika speaks up.
"Ah, nothin' like a good breakfast and good entertainment!" She takes a swig from her gourd, and wipes her lips in that exaggerated fashion. "Makes you feel like having a good morning nap!"
"Don't you have a lot of work to do, Suika?" You ask, eying her skeptically.
"Don't worry about it," she says dismissively, "I'm already on that! All of it! A girl like me can multitask, you know. When it comes to me, napping just makes the work pass faster! Of course," she leans over the table, and flutters her eyelashes at you, "if you want to come along and keep an eye on me for Yukari, maybe I'll work a little harder, just so I have something to show you..."
"I'm sure," you reply dryly, turning your attention back to Chen. "How about you, Chen? What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to wait for Miss Ran to wake up and have breakfast. I have to be responsible and make sure she eats! Then I'll help her with her work!"
You chuckle. Sounds about right. So, Chen is going to wait for Ran and help her out, and Suika is ostensibly going to get to work... or is already at work, rather.
[ ] Stick around and wait for Ran with Chen.
[ ] Be proactive! Go wake up Ran yourself.
[ ] ... maybe you should keep an eye on Suika. Is she really going to work?
[ ] Write-in.