While the frenemies were having their banter, my stomach starts to rumble. I had eaten lightly earlier, but it seems I was now empty again.
I say to them, "Hey, are you two hungry?".
Cringe-kun and Deadpan-kun stop bickering.
"Sure, getting pissed off at him got me starving."
"Of course, roasting him this long has me famished.", they both say in unison.
We walk over to the table where the food is.
"I thought you said that this was just a comedy venue.", Cringe-kun says.
"It's a rented out suite, like always, but...let's just say I have more to spend than I did last time.", Deadpan-kun replies.
Both me and Cringe-kun look at each other, than at him.
"I'll say.", Cringe-kun replies, gazing at the stacks of food.
Tomboy-kun is sitting at a nearby table in one chair with a piece of yakiniku dangling from his mouth.
He sees us walking over, and excitedly waves at us.
As we walk over, a voice calls out from behind us. "Excuse me."
Tsundere-kun walks out from behind us, carrying a plate of food.
It seems like he had just finished selecting what he was going to eat.
As he walks past, Deadpan-kun exclaims "Oh, my!", at the view.
Tsundere-kun says nothing and doesn't even bother to look back at us.
Instead, he just keeps walking to the table where Tomboy-kun is, and pulls out two folding chairs to create a makeshift he can sit in. He sits across from Tomboy-kun, facing away from us.
His face is red from embarrassment.
I tell Deadpan-kun that those two are my friends, but then, I pull Deadpan-kun aside for a second.
"Look, if it's not any trouble, could you not address the elephant in the room?", I say to Deadpan-kun.
"What ever do you mean?", he says, clearly knowing well who I was referring to.
"Please...ok?", I say to him.
"It just caught me off guard, is all...No, I apologize. A friend of yours is a friend of mine, and such, I won't say anything.", he says.
"Thank you. It's her first time coming to one of these events, and she's already socially awkward as it is, so~", I start to say, making sure not to reveal the true identity.
"Say no more. I will make her feel welcome.", he says with a reassuring smile.
"Thank you.", I say back to him.
As we walk to the food table, he whispers in my ear, "So, are you two dating?"
I nearly do a spit take, despite not having drunk anything.
"Welcome back.", Tomboy-kun says, grinning up at me with a mouth full of BBQ.
"Baka...don't talk with your mouth full.", Tsundere-kun says across the table to him.
There was a empty seat next to the two seats Tsundere-kun was using.
"May I sit here?", I ask him.
He looks up at me, face red, and says "J-Just sit, you dummy. Why even ask?"
I laugh a little, slightly embarrassed at my oversight.
I sit next to him.
On my plate was omurice and sushi.
On his was also sushi and what looked to be a couple of miniature cheeseburgers with mayonnaise and onions, clearly a foreign cuisine.
He notices the sushi on my plate and blushes harder.
We say nothing to each other for a solid couple of seconds, then he pipes up. "So...you like it, too...", he says.
I ask him what he meant.
"Sushi. They had sashimi, but I prefer rice with mine.", he says, holding his chopsticks in his right while eating.
"Yes. It is a common thing for us to eat in my house.", I say to him.
"Lucky you.", he retorts, taking a bite out of one of the burgers, and licking his lips.
"We can't even afford cable, much let alone the house bill. Sushi is pretty much a once a year delicacy, at best.", he continues.
"And this burger is probably something I'll never get to eat again until I get older.", he says, tearing up.
Tomboy-kun, listening to him, pauses for a moment, then goes, "NANI!? You don't have cable?", with wide eyes.
I laugh at his inability to read a room, then turn my attention to Tsundere-kun, who was eating the rest of his food through choked sobs.
"You know, if you want, we could always do something fun on other weekends, if you don't have to spend it at the restaurant.", I say to him.
"D-don't be so nice to me, baka. Life sure wasn't, so why should you?", he says.
"I don't get it.", Tomboy-kun says, taking a bite out of a steak.
I make a shush motion toward him, and point at a crying Tsundere-kun, who has his face buried in his hands.
He finally puts two and two together and salutes me in understanding.
"Look, we're all here for you. Just enjoy yourself, ok?", I say, reassuredly, to him.
Tsundere-kun looks up, then looks around the table.
Me and Tomboy-kun grins happily at him, while Cringe-kun is perched on a nearby wall with Deadpan-kun.
They both wave at him, and Cringe-kun, having listened on the whole thing, says "You know, if you like that burger, I think my sister could replicate the recipe and make some for you.
She's BIG into cooking."
Tsundere-kun tears up again, and says "You guys...", smiling.