5 Fading Zen

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There were privacy tatami mats and curtains hung around each individual booth, so he couldn't see or hear anyone else in the restaurant. The music was traditional Japanese, and was neither too soft, nor too loud. He thought that was odd, as restaurants usually are way too noisy for him.

She parted one of the curtains. Louis saw Harry. Harry looked Louis up and down and smiled. Louis returned grinned back as he noted Harry's quiffed hair and white scoop-neck with a silver cross hanging on a dainty silver chain. Harry was alone. It was one of the booths where the table was built into the floor.

Louis noted Harry's brown shoes, which were not sneakers, at the entrance of the booth. He stepped forward and blushed as he took off his shoes, then sat down on the floor across from Harry, hoping he wouldn't notice, and dangled his bare feet into the pit below.

Harry was the first to break the silence. "So is the no-socks-thing a fashion statement, or has it just been a while since you've done laundry?"

Louis laughed. "Yes actually! Have you seen these ankles? You wouldn't want to cover them up either if you had these babies. Fashion is all about showing off your best assets."

This made Harry raise an eyebrow and chuckle.

Very smooth Tommo. Keep it going.

"You look quite nice this evening. I can't say I've seen you in anything other than your sweatpants and sweatshirt."

Harry shrugged. "Honestly it's easiest since I basically live in my swimsuit. I don't have much time to put a lot of effort into dressing up because school and work are only a few hours each day, then I'm busy at practice. By the way, that's Yorkshire with 3 lumps. Hope that's okay? I wasn't sure if that was sugary enough for you or not, so I just guessed. Here's the sugar."

Harry passed the small jar of sugar over to Louis. He gratefully accepted it. Harry watched in interest as Louis scooped two more spoonfuls into his cup.

"So then. Congratulations on winning by the way! Was it a good game?" He stirred the sugar around.

A look of pride flashed across Harry's face. "Yes it was! But if you want a play-by-play, feel free to look it up on the site. I have a pet peeve for trying to repeat an event that someone wasn't at. Or just come and watch next time. Then you won't have to ask me."

"That'd be grand! When is your next game?" Louis lifted his tea and took a sip. "Fuck!"

Louis looked around horrified as he realized he said that out loud. Harry was laughing and grabbing his stomach.

"Oh my goodness. Sorry. I shouldn't be laughing. Your face was just priceless." Harry took a sip of his tea. "I'm pretty sure the booths are soundproof. They have double tatami mats, as well as curtains. Plus there's music going. People care too much about their own conversations to listen in to others."

The curtain parted and the waitress appeared.

"Hello, my name is Ashi. I will be your server tonight. Are you ready to order?"

Louis looked to Harry to order first while he rapidly flipped open his menu and scanned his options. He heard Harry finish up his order.

Quickly Tomlinson, quickly! Uh, 'H' and 'C'!

He picked the first sushi rolls he saw with those letters in them.

"Uh, I'll take a Hako Roll and a Crunchy Roll."

Sure. Those sound good.

The waitress finished writing down the order. "Your order will be here soon. Thank you!" She bowed then left.

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