Author's note: Well. Six months. Hm.
Needless to say, I had to read this over again in order to keep the story consistent and such. It's laughable I thought there would only be two or three chapters of this.
p.s. formatting on this site is a bitch
Miku likes to think she surprises Tei when she tosses her particular item of clothing into the other girl's lap. Tei actually jumps out of her seat, which confirms it.
"Here you go," Miku tells her before opening the car door on the passenger side. She hopes she doesn't make a habit out of throwing things through open windows, but she just doesn't know anymore.
Tei looks up at her with an arched eyebrow Miku can't help but internally laugh at. "Is it my birthday?" she asks.
Miku snorts as she pulls her feet into the car, very nearly closing the door on her skirt. "Yes, definitely. Happy birthday. Have a second-hand bra," she replies. "I can afford something better, don't you think?"
"I was going to say," Tei agrees with a grin. "I'd be kind of upset if this is what our friendship amounts to."
"A bra?" Miku asks pointedly. She can't really tell how Tei reacts, or if she understands the implications.
Tei shrugs. "Well, that would be an interesting relationship."
Again, Miku snorts. It's just the sort of response she expected. That, or Tei's overwhelming embarrassment would cause her to drive Miku home in silence, her face red. That does not seem to be the direction this is heading.
"Where'd you get this, anyway?" Tei asks. Miku knows what she's really asking is Do you know where I left this last night?
"Len told me to return it to you," Miku says. And because she's a merciful person (or maybe selfish, since she doesn't want things to be awkward anymore than Tei does), she adds, "I just assumed you left it at his place a while ago."
Whether Tei understands it's a lie or not, she accepts this answer. And it's because Miku lies that Tei starts up her car with a grin and eases into conversation.
Miku almost starts praying that Tei won't find out she knows, or that she might just be the slightest bit jealous. Why and of what has yet to be determined, but if there's one thing Miku's good at, it's educating herself.
Tei doesn't bring it up again, but Miku finds herself wishing she would. She'd love to know just what the hell was going through the other girl's head the night before. It isn't her right to judge or anything; Len and Tei have already been... involved in the past. Tei has every right to do what she wants with him, as long as he consents. The fact that Miku is so interested despite these things is foolish. Not just that. but it was bothersome, too. She knows that she didn't have to know this stuff to be Tei's friend, she knows it's weird to want to know as badly as she does, but there's no fixing that.
She is well and truly screwed. Both because of her curiosity and her befuddled feelings. It doesn't help that Tei acts normal the rest of the day, never bringing it up. What she really wants to know is why Tei ran out on Len. But asking that would mean revealing they spoke about it, and hey, did you know that Len's been talking about you to me? Fun fact sounds like the worst way to go about it.
The fact of the matter is that Miku and Tei may be friends, but they haven't gotten any better at communicating. That's probably largely Miku's fault.
Huh. She's never blamed herself for something like that before. It's weird.
And maybe it's this singular oasis of thought that leads her to finally suck it up and approach Gumi.
Miku does it in the middle of class, when they're working with Miki and Haku. The project's gone smoothly so far; Haku's too overeager to help, but what Miku might've found annoying a few short weeks ago she now finds endearing. Having seen how hard Tei works to get an average grade, a neutral reaction from a teacher, maybe she has a new appreciation for the averages in life.
Haku's manage to spill something for the sixth time (luckily, this time, it's just water) and Gumi's pulled all of her supplies off the table while Miki and Haku rush around to clean up the mess. Water drips down from the surface of the table and leaves the linoleum shiny with liquid. Miku lets them do their thing; she isn't the one who messed up.
The awkward part of the whole ordeal is that Miku's now stuck holding Gumi's pencil case and phone, which she instinctively yanked up when the water first hit them. Gumi can't take them since she's holding her laptop and a giant posterboard, and they won't be sitting back down if Haku's anxious tittering is anything to go by.
It's the sight of Gumi's phone wallpaper, a shitty selfie of the two of them from a few weeks before this problem started, that makes Miku realize what she's lost.
The screen goes black when no one puts the code in, and Miku wants to push the power button. She wants to get that picture back, that silly grin on Gumi's face and light in her eyes. She's wanted to for a while, but here and now, there's a very real chance that she can.
So she slides up next to Gumi, who has been pointedly ignoring her and looking the opposite direction while Miki and Haku continue to coat their table in paper towels.
It's no surprise that she doesn't know where to start. Gumi knows she's there; how can she not when they're right next to each other? But there's no recognition that she is. Gumi's as passive as she has been for a while.
"I'm sorry," Miku begins. The classroom chatter covers up their conversation. Only the two of them can hear what's being said. "I know that what was said hurt you, even though I've never said you were stupid. I never thought you were stupid, either. And I did really think of you as a friend."
There's silence. That's okay, Miku decides.
Leeks'n'geeks is now online
justonerevolver wishes to chat with you!
justonerevolver: hi Miku
Leeks'n'geeks: Hey, Gumi.
justonerevolver: I was going to text but
justonerevolver: there's a lot to say so I decided to message you here instead
Leeks'n'geeks: That's fine.
justonerevolver: first of all I'd like to say thank you for your apology and I accept it
justonerevolver: and you're right. You never did say I was stupid or anything. But
justonerevolver: when we were friends you had this habit of confiding all these negative comments with me. You badmouthed everyone. And a part of me knows you never badmouthed me, but the idea that maybe you had
justonerevolver: or that maybe you thought those bad things about me but never said them made me so frustrated and I actually felt kind of betrayed
justonerevolver: and I realized you weren't really the kind of person i wanted to be around because of all that negativity. I mean, was it really fair to me if I was worried about the things you said behind my back all of the time?
justonerevolver: so i decided not to talk to you until you apologized or admitted you were wrong
justonerevolver: and I'm sorry all those bad things happened to you and I wasn't there, but our friendship just wasn't healthy for me
justonerevolver: so I'm sorry
justonerevolver: and I'm glad you seem to have changed if your friendship with Tei is any indication
justonerevolver: not that that's any of my business
Leeks'n'geeks: You're right. It's really none of your business.
Leeks'n'geeks: And since you were so honest with me, I'll be honest too. I'm a bit hurt that you'd think I'd do that to you, but I can understand why you'd think and feel that way. You're right; it wasn't fair of me to put you through that.
Leeks'n'geeks: It seems my negativity and ego have come back to bite me in the ass, though.
justonerevolver: you are the only person I know who would use a semicolon in an instant message conversation
Leeks'n'geeks: It's part of my charm.
Leeks'n'geeks: But here's a question for you. Do you want it to be your business?
Leeks'n'geeks: Do you want to be friends again?
Leeks'n'geeks: I've missed you. And I think I've changed a bit in the last few weeks.
justonerevolver: I'd like that
justonerevolver: we can give it a trial run
Leeks'n'geeks: Miki won't be too fond of that.
justonerevolver: Miki has never really liked you I wouldn't take it personally
Leeks'n'geeks: ...How else am I supposed to take that?
justonerevolver: that's enough emotional discussion for today, I think
Leeks'n'geeks: I'd have to agree there.
Leeks'n'geeks: But I'm glad I got to talk to you again.
justonerevolver: I'd have to agree there
justonerevolver: I might text you later. Is that okay?
justonerevolver: okay. Just making sure
justonerevolver: bye Miku
Leeks'n'geeks: Talk to you later.
justonerevolver has gone offline
Tei is the first person she tells about her makeup with Gumi. It's almost seven at night when she calls Tei, but it's just too exciting to text her about.
"Hey," Tei greets when she picks up. "What's up?"
"I apologized to Gumi," Miku tells her in a rush. "We're going to try to be friends again."
There's a pause. Static. "That's good. I'm glad."
Miku is grinning into the speaker. "I know. I bet Miki won't be too happy about it."
"Miki's kind of a brat," Tei says. "A jealous brat."
"What do you mean, jealous?" Miku asks, though she can guess. She had no idea Tei had picked up on it.
"Well, I mean... She's always kind of had a thing for Gumi? But I always thought it was more of a mentor-mentee thing. I mean, the kid joined Gumi's club just to spend time with her."
This was a surprise. "Really? How do you know?"
Tei snorts. "Overheard it in the cafeteria. She was talking about Gumi to her friend, and the friend said something like well, maybe she'd like you more if you didn't follow her around all the time. You joined her club to stalk her, right?"
"Gumi never mentioned her."
"Gumi isn't very observant."
Miku can't argue with that. When it comes to romance, Gumi isn't the best person to look to. She never has been. "Well, it's too bad for Miki. Because Gumi and I are now gay for each other again. Boo hoo."
She doesn't know what possessed her to say that, and there's a long moment of silence while they both take that in. She isn't even gay; she doesn't imagine anyone who is gay would appreciate hearing that sort of joke from a straight person.
Then Tei laughs. It's a breathless, quiet giggle. Miku can tell she's holding the phone away from her face because of the way everything is muffled now. She lets out a breath of air, held out of anxiety.
"Too bad for Miki," Tei repeats between giggles. "I'll have to let Len know you've accepted your gayness."
"What, Len's gay?"
"Have you not picked up the fact that Len is the least straight person you will ever meet?"
"But you two dated."
Tei snorts again. Miku's confusion seems to be especially amusing today. "Miku, there's not just gay and straight. Len is pansexual."
"Len is what?" What, are pansexuals attracted to cookingware?
"It means he likes anyone, regardless of gender. Well. Kind of. It's more that he doesn't care about gender as long as he likes the person. Does that make any sense."
"I guess." This is news to her. There were more than two options? "Is he okay with me knowing?"
"I think he'll be happy that I explained it for once. He gets tired of telling people about what naughty bits he prefers."
"We're going to pretend you didn't phrase it that way."
"Fair enough," Tei says.
Tei hangs up when she realizes the shower is free. Miku lets herself lay there on the floor for a little while, soaking in what Tei told her.
There are more than two options.
Review of that's your thing. If not, see you next time!