"This," Miyako stated flatly, one eyebrow twitching as if it were an indication of an imminent explosion, "is all Daisuke's fault. As usual."
Hikari smiled, although with some trepidation. "Oh, really?" She carefully stowed away the book she'd been reading before Miyako's unexpected visit to her room had interrupted. "How so?" Actually, she didn't even know what might be Daisuke's fault, but it was best to start small when Miyako was in a 'mood'.
"Because he's such a pathetic good-intentioned loser!" Miyako announced, and then promptly threw her arms in the air as if in defeat and collapsed dramatically onto Hikari's bed. "It's not fair! He's ruining all of my chances with Koushiro!"
Okay, that really made no sense. Hikari gave up at that point. "Maybe you'd better start from the beginning."
If it wasn't one thing, it was another. Miyako tapped her foot lightly against the floor with barely-controlled agitation. There was no real reason to be at the school hovering outside the computer lab - it was summer, after all - but the presence of the soon-to-be university student inside was excuse enough for her.
The only problem was that someone had already gotten to him first. And her conscience would seriously bother her if she let this visitor clam up just because he knew she was there.
"I appreciate you taking the time to help me organize my thoughts," Iori's voice drifted out, still scarcely audible to Miyako's ears. He sounded just the slightly bit uncertain - at least his voice wasn't breaking again, though. Iori had just completed his final year of junior high, and for a while had gone through that embarrassing period of odd squeaks inserting themselves into his speech. It seemed to be mostly over by now. "But if you're busy, I can just - "
"It's perfectly all right," Koushiro cut him off, reassuringly. What a nice voice - enough of a dreamboat tone to satisfy Miyako's senses. "This is mainly just a side project, nothing serious. Please go on."
There was the sound of a chair shifting nervously, and then Iori continued, almost too quietly to be heard. "Did you go through this at my age? If that's not too personal a question, of course," he added hastily.
Oh, get to the point already! Miyako made a face. She'd arrived too late to get the more interesting parts of the conversation, and now it was just dead talk as far as she was concerned. If she hadn't known it was extremely selfish, she'd have already barged in, talked Iori into leaving, and had Koushiro all to herself for the rest of the afternoon.
Meaning, plenty of time to ask him to be her date for the biggest event of the summer.
"Not at all. And yes, I did, as a matter of fact." Was it her imagination, or was there a hint of resignation in Koushiro's tone? How sweet! "Just keep in mind that these things generally pass, and don't take it too seriously. If something comes of it, great, but understand that it won't always turn out like that."
"I understand that part perfectly." At least Iori's voice was getting a bit clearer. "I've never seen my case as anything but hopeless - that's not really the problem." More shifting. "It's just that - "
"He~ey, Miyako!" Daisuke abruptly bounded around the corner, eyes bright - and voice loud. "Whatcha doing out here?"
"I just - never mind!" Miyako made an effort to keep her voice to an irritated hiss, glacing apprehensively at the door. After all her efforts... "What are you doing here, Daisuke?"
"I need to ask Koushiro something - his mom said he was here." Before she could stop him, he'd already grabbed the handle and enthusiastically swung open the door. "Koushiro!"
Well, it was too late to salvage anything of this - with a long, aggravated sigh, Miyako followed, glaring balefully at the idiot's back. He could at least try to be tactful!
Koushiro and Iori had identical suprised looks on their faces. "Uh... hello Daisuke," the redhead at the computer said after a moment of bemused silence. Daisuke visiting the computer labs when no meeting had been called was not unheard of - but it was certainly rare.
"I've been looking all over for you, dude! What are you doing hiding out in here?" Typically, the grinning idiot didn't give any time for a response. "Listen, I need a favor - or actually, I don't, but someone else sure does and it's kind of gonna make it hard to get any peace if she doesn't get it. You think you can handle it?"
Koushiro blinked - once, and then twice. "Exactly what does this favor entail?" he asked, in a slow, cautious sort of tone.
Miyako really didn't blame him for that.
"You know my sister, right?" If anything, Daisuke rushed on even more quickly. "Well, there's this big dance thing - something about summer festival and whatever - and she needs a date and dude, you know, she's moaning around the house about how no boys like her and mom said I need to be more sympathetic and won't let me play my games because Jun gets irritated so quick and - "
Unadulterated horror had entered Koushiro's eyes. "Daisuke, I'm certainly your friend, but I sincerely hope you're not asking me to escort your sister to this dance."
"Huh?" Daisuke blinked, losing his train of thought, and then waved a dismissive hand. "Dude, no way - you're like, how much younger than her? No offense, but no way is Jun gonna want a date with you. She'd hang my hide on her wall if I tried. What I meant is maybe you could get her a date with like - I dunno - Jyou or one of his brothers or someone." His eyes were bright and hopeful. "You think?"
Koushiro looked doubtful. "I... suppose... it's possible..."
"Not likely," Iori muttered, although very quietly.
Miyako couldn't keep her mouth shut at that point. "Daisuke, are you crazy? Jyou's brothers are totally out of Jun's league - they're like..." She waved an impatient hand as if to illustrate. "Up here. And Jun's like..." The hand lowered. "Down here. The only one who might work is Jyou, and that's if Koushiro calls in a favor or something." She crossed her arms.
"Aw, c'mon! Jun's not that bad - okay, maybe she was, but she's not any more. Except sometimes. But anyway..." Daisuke abruptly gave up on the rambling, and leaned confidently across Koushiro's computer desk. "I can totally make it worth your while if you do."
The look he got in return was unimpressed. "Are you attempting to bribe me? Because - "
"Naw, nothing like that - just... what's the word? Incentive? Yeah." Daisuke nodded, and offered a bit of a smirk. "Because guess who is going to be here for the dance, and *she* told *me* she wants to go, and I said I'd find her a date."
That can't be... To her horror, Miyako noticed Koushiro's eyes widen just a bit, and a faint flush rose on his cheeks.
"You - that's impossible! Isn't it?" Koushiro's uncertain gaze slid from Daisuke to Miyako to Iori and back to Miyako. "Is she really planning on going?"
Bitter disappointment rose at the back at Miyako's throat - but there was no point in lying. "Well, yes, but - "
"What, you don't believe me?" Daisuke bounced a little on his feet, but he didn't sound terribly surprised. He fished into his pocket and brought out his D-Terminal to shove into Koushiro's face. "Check out the email - it's true."
Koushiro's eyes briefly scanned over the email, and then rose again to meet Daisuke's. There was still the faintest bit of uncertainty. "Are you sure she wouldn't mind...?"
Not fair. So not fair. Miyako leaned against the wall beside her, feeling cheated. She doesn't even live here, and she gets all the best guys. Her eyes narrowed when they caught on the grinning, oblivious face so close to the boy she probably could've bagged for the dance otherwise. This is all Daisuke's fault - why couldn't he show up after I got my date?
"Dude, of course not! She said anyone was fine as long as he was cute and friendly - you're cute and friendly, right, Koushiro?" Daisuke leaned back, looking thoroughly pleased with himself. "So you'll do it?"
"I'll - try, I suppose." The flush hadn't quite left Koushiro's cheeks; he coughed a bit self-consciously and gave Iori an apologetic look. "I'll get back to you in a week or so on whether or not I've been successful."
"Awesome! Thanks, Koushiro - knew I could count on you!" Daisuke pushed himself away from the door and bounded back out, grinning over his shoulder. "I'll catch you later - I'm late for soccer with Ken. Bye!"
Koushiro was, if anything, even redder as Iori turned back to look at him. "I'd say your case didn't quite pass yet," the younger boy noted.
"Mimi's going to be in town for the summer festival dance?" Hikari was a bit surprised to hear that. "She hadn't told me."
"Oh, she probably forgot." Miyako raised one hand from the surface of the bed to wave it negligantly. "The point is, Daisuke just had to come in before I asked Koushiro to take me to the dance, and dragged up some old crush that he probably didn't even think about any more before now, and now Mimi gets to go with him, and I don't!" She kicked her legs in obvious agitation. "It's not fair!"
"Well..." Hikari had her own private thoughts on Koushiro's crush and whether or not he thought about it, most of which had to do with his choosing to apply mainly to universities in America despite having his pick of pretty much anywhere in Japan. But she wasn't about to recite those to Miyako. "If they're only going as friends for the most part, maybe you could still have a chance to dance with him a couple of times."
"You think?" Miyako lifted her head, looking hopeful for a moment, and then abruptly let it fall back. "But I can't go to the dance without a date! I'd look so desperate!"
Oh well... Hikari resisted the urge to sigh, and smiled a bit instead. It wasn't like she'd had an evening planned. "I could go with you. Then we'd both be there without a date, and you wouldn't be on your own."
"Or..." Miyako sat up a bit - there was a gleam in her eyes that Hikari wasn't sure she liked. "We could get Takeru and Ken to take us."
"Takeru and Ken?" There was a sinking feeling that came with that - for the longest time, Miyako had been attempting to play matchmaker, despite Hikari's protests. But trying to tell Miyako she wasn't interested in Takeru was very similar to trying to tell Daisuke that he didn't have any reason to be jealous. It just didn't get through.
Not that Daisuke had seemed very jealous or particularly interested for the past while...
"Oh, whatever. I'll go with Takeru if it makes you more comfortable." Miyako frowned, looking thoughtful for a moment. "Now, more importantly - what should I wear?"
Hikari let the sigh out. It was going to be a long month.