Takeru should've learned. He really should've. Miyako's arrival at his house that morning and the bomb she'd dropped should taught him something. It was just a really, really bad day for answering the door. And knowing that, he should have slunk low on the couch and pretended he wasn't home until whoever was pounding on the door the second time went away.
But oh no - he was pushing himself up and moving towards the door almost on autopilot, and had swung it open before he'd even thought about it.
Only to be abruptly assaulted by a thoroughly disgruntled-looking Daisuke who practically threw himself into the apartment as he blurted out the loud accusation of, "Takeru! How could you do this to me!?"
Takeru finished stumbling backwards into the apartment, blinked at the friend who was now firmly inside the door, and managed a brilliant reply of, "Huh?" That was followed up with, "What'd I do?"
"Dude, Miyako told me everything!" Daisuke snatched the door from where it was swinging and slammed it shut, still glaring fervently. "How could you? I thought we were friends now!"
Miyako. Oh, of course - setting up Ken's date with Hikari. Takeru shifted awkwardly. *Well, I guess this saves me the trouble of calling him up and explaining...* "Look, it wasn't my idea, okay? Miyako came over here and practically bullied me into it."
Suspicious brown eyes narrowed at him. "For real?"
"For real." Takeru nodded fervently. "Trust me, I wanted no part of it. I even tried to talk her out of it, but she just wouldn't budge."
For a moment, there was silence as that sunk in. And then...
"Oh man! This sucks!" Daisuke grabbed his hair with both hands and flounced over to dramatically flop across Takeru's couch. "I had it all worked out! My plan was flawless! This ruins everything!"
At least he's not yelling at me any more... Takeru sighed. It really wasn't fair that he'd had to put up with all the backlash from Miyako's vengeful little scheme. He hadn't even wanted to go along with it in the first place. "That's the same thing she said about you for ruining her chance to date Koushiro."
"Dude, I had no choice - what else was I supposed to do?" The shorter boy sat up abruptly, his expression peeved. "This is so not fair."
Tell me about it. At least Miyako was probably in a better mood. Takeru wondered when she'd had time to track Daisuke down and rub his nose in how she'd messed up his chances with Hikari between her morning visit and the point when the other boy had run over to Takeru's to rant and rave about it.
Knowing Miyako, she had found time.
It wasn't hard to figure out where she'd run into Daisuke. Miyako didn't even bother hurrying when she left Takeru's house. He could be so predictable. If he wasn't at home sleeping in - and she'd already phoned to check - he was either at the park playing soccer or at the arcade in the mall blowing brain cells.
Easy enough, then, to run into him and "casually" drop her news.
As it turned out, she didn't even have to look - he found her.
"Miyako! Hey!" She'd only barely made it into the mall when Daisuke waved his hand at her from across the hall. He quickly made his way through the other shoppers and reached her side, grinning like an idiot. "Thought I'd find you here," he said, looking thoroughly pleased with himself. "How's it going?"
She fought back the urge to glare. Of course the big jerk would look pleased - he'd probably wrecked her plans on purpose for some reason of his own. Stupid Daisuke and his stupid pretty-boy smirk. Not that she thought Daisuke was good-looking or anything. Just because someone had nice eyes and a nice smile and a nicely-toned body...
Well, whatever. It was Daisuke.
"Pretty good," she answered, tossing her hair a bit as if it was no big thing. "I'm just here to get a new yukata for the summer festival. Because of the dance this Friday and all."
"That's cool." Daisuke nodded, and then straightened his shirt a bit and drew himself up so that he seemed just a bit taller. "So, you got a date yet?"
It was an innocent enough question, but it seemed to Miyako somehow that it was deliberate - which was enough to bring that fury back to the front of her mind. Oh, sure, rub it in. Well, I'll show you. "As I matter of fact, I do," she answered in her best attempt at an airy tone, fighting the urge to grit it out through her teeth.
"Well, what do you know? Neither do - what?" Daisuke blinked, and then stared at her with wide-eyed astonishment. "You do? Who is it?"
So he hadn't thought she could get herself a date, huh? Miyako fought back another wave of anger and concentrated on the sense of triumph that came with the proud announcement of, "It's Takeru, if you have to know."
"Takeru?" Daisuke's eyes bulged - he almost looked more outraged than shocked, although that didn't really make sense. "You're going with Takeru? Why? How? When did he ask you?"
Oh, whatever - who cared if he knew the truth? "I asked him this morning." She shrugged as if it was no big thing, and then tossed out the real dig as if it was nothing. "Then I got him to get Ken for Hikari's date."
"You asked him? Since when do you - ? Wait. Hikari and Ken?" And now it was more shock than outrage. What was with the mix-ups in expressions. "Since when?"
"Since today." She smiled sweetly. "Well, you know, it's been nice chatting with you, Daisuke, but I'm in sort of a hurry. I have to run errands for my parents today too, you know." She brushed by him before he could recover enough to stop her, and wagged her fingers in farewell. "See you!"
"Wait - Miyako!" He turned sharply - and promptly ran into another shopper. "Mmph! Oh man, I'm sorry!"
Miyako ignored him and ducked into the first clothing store she could. Let him stew on that for a while and see if he messes up my plans again!
"I had it all worked out..." Daisuke groaned, loudly and dramatically, and slouched back on Takeru's couch. "I should've acted faster!" He slapped a hand to his face. "I should've asked her as soon as I hooked up Koushiro with Mimi!"
"Well, there's no guarantee she would've said yes." That was the wrong thing to say. Takeru held up both hands as Daisuke leveled a glare at him. "Okay, never mind. But you know, Miyako went right over to Hikari's after you messed up her chances to ask Koushiro out. You probably didn't have much of a chance."
"Dude, whatever - I could've done it easy." Daisuke turned his petulant frown on the carpet. "Now I'm gonna have to win her over at the dance."
Takeru wasn't so sure about that. "Daisuke, I don't think Hikari would just ditch Ken even if you did manage to - "
"Hikari?" Daisuke shot him a partly-baffled, and partly-annoyed look. "Dude, I got over her, like, years ago."
Takeru blinked - opened his mouth to say something, and then blinked again and shut it. He got over Hikari? Since when? Then again, it wasn't like Daisuke had been throwing himself at her lately, but he'd just assumed the other boy had grown up a little. "Then what's all the fuss about?"
"Duh, you stealing my date with Miyako, that's what!" Now he just looked plain exasperrated. "I went to all that trouble to make sure Koushiro was with someone else - this was gonna be my big chance! Thanks a lot for ruining it for me, Takeru."
"I told you it wasn't my idea!" Okay, this was a bit of a shock - Takeru's head was not quite finished reeling. Daisuke likes Miyako? How did I not see this? Now that he thought of it, there were a million little things that pointed to it; he'd just missed them.
Iori's not going to like this...
"Whatever." Daisuke pushed himself off the couch, still looking pissed but without so much direction. "I'll just have to come up with a better plan. Just don't" - he pointed a finger fiercely at Takeru's face - "try anything funny, got it?"
And then he was out the door and it slammed shut behind him.
The headache was back. Takeru winced. Trust Daisuke to make things even more complicated.