The café was abuzz once again on this chilly Friday. The rainy weather from the day prior had given way to a bright and sunny afternoon. Traveling customers flew in and out with their to-go cups, braving the frigid winter air as they went about their continuing day. Frequent customers and self-proclaimed regulars had taken to relaxing on the cozy couches with full teapots with mix and match teacups, pouring for each other and enjoying the warm shelter from the chill. Kanade was in the center of it all: bussing tables, running the register, and serving her clientele whom she was more than grateful for.
She heard the bell on the door ring as it opened to another entering customer, her best friend and Icarus' wife, Shiloh. Her soft ivory-colored curls bounced as she walked, her nose filling with the scent of tea surrounding her as Kanade finished up with a customer.
"Have a great day!" she said, a bright smile crossing her lips as she recognized her friend approaching the counter. "Hey, Shi! Welcome in!"
"You sure this place is full enough?" Shiloh teases as she leaned her elbows against the counter. Her snow-white eyes looked up at her. "So how is the business going?"
Kanade chuckled as she put a stray curl behind her ear. "Well it's–"
"Excuse me, Miss?" a customer interrupted. "Could we get some more honey for our table?"
Kanade looked back at her friend with a shrug. "I'll be right back. Coming, sir!"
As she left to serve a customer, the bell rang once more as Icarus walked through the door and meeting up with his wife.
"Car's parked, amore," he greets her as he looks at the abundance of customers around them. "Wow, it's really busy today."
"Thank you, my love," Shiloh responds as she gives him a quick kiss, smirking. "That's what I said."
"Think we should have just come by her place after work for free tea?"
"Icarus~," she playfully hits his chest.
Kanade comes back with a smile. "Alright! Hey, Icarus! When'd you get here?"
"Not too long ago," he chuckles.
"What can I get you both?"
"Let's do that rosehip tea I love so much," Shiloh smiles.
"Yeah because your husband supplies the roses," she smirks.
"Oh hush, it's good tea regardless."
"But my roses do make it better," Icarus says under his breath.
"I heard that, D'Ambrosio," Kanade crosses her arms.
Icarus raises his hands in surrender with a soft chuckle. Kanade laughs as she shakes her head.
"And what can I get you?"
"Hm, the vanilla chai with a splash of cream and a chocolate chip muffin."
"Sorry, just sold the last chocolate chip muffin."
"Then an eclair."
"Yeah, we've got that," she giggles. "Swipe or tap your card when it pops up for you."
"Got it. I know we haven't stopped by in a while, but is it always like this?"
"Well, it's always busy on Tuesdays."
"Kanadina, it's Friday."
Kanade blinks at him, stunned as this was news to her.
"You're joking," she scoffs.
Shiloh pulls out her phone and shows her today's date.
"Maybe you need some extra help, Kanade," she says. "If you don't want to hire anyone, maybe you could use Icarus for a time."
"I wouldn't mind," he shrugs. "You know I have shop experience from my Papa's apothecary."
Kanade lets out a defeated sigh. "Yeah, but–"
"Yamazaki-san!" another customer interrupted.
"I'll be right back with your order, okay?" she smiles before taking off to serve.
Shiloh looks up at her husband, concerned.
"She needs help," she frowns.
"I know this, you know this, and she knows this," he says. "Still stubborn as ever then."
Kanade comes back with their order and another smile. "Staying in or heading out?" she asks.
"Kanadina," he pleads. "Let me help you. You need a break."
She rubs her arm before looking up at him. "Okay, you win," she sighs.
"I know you're determined, sorella. But it's okay to ask for help sometimes."
"And stress is a killer," Shiloh interjects. "And I don't want to bring you back from the dead again."
"Oh har har," Kanade rolls her eyes. "Fine, I accept the help. But I'm the boss, Mister."
"Oh come now, Kanadina," he smirks. "Not like I'm taking over."