I'll just say this before anybody else does: yes, I know the plot changes. Dramatically. Starting next chapter or so, it practically is a new fanfic. But Hating You is not a short story wrapped around a single main event, but rather several that happen within a two-year period of time.
Warning beforehand that Matt is very out-of-character.
Hating You 15: The Idea
Rika examined herself in the mirror.
Plain, white vest. Ripped, knackered jeans. Dirty, brown trainers.
Yes, it would do. She turned her head towards the floor, shook her unwashed hair wildly with both hands, and stood back up. It now tousled messily, she smirked at herself.
A small knock came from her door, and she could see the silhouette of her mother just outside, waiting. "Rika, are you ready to leave? We're going to be late!"
"Just a second!"
Sometime during the trip, her mum had decided that Ryo and she were absolutely perfect for each other. She wouldn't stop gushing about him, and as far as Rika was concerned, she refused to allow Ryo's parents to think the same.
She opened the door to reveal herself, coming face-to-face with her mother's mortified face.
"Rika, what on Earth are you wearing!"
"Do you like it?" she asked, giving her hair another tousle. "It's… trendy, right? Read it in the latest issue of Vogue."
"That was not in the latest issue of Vogue, Rika, and I refuse to allow you to leave for the Akiyamas' house looking like that! They have invited us to a dinner—"
"Oops, we're going to be late, Mum! Let's go!"
Rika seized her mother by her handbag and dragged her towards the taxi waiting outside.
"So what does this Rika look like?" Matt asked, checking his hair in Ryo's bathroom mirror again. "I mean, is she halfway decent?"
TK answered before Ryo could. "She has red hair, p—"
"Eh, I don't like redheads," Matt interrupted, examining what appeared to be a split end. He frowned. "You can have her, Akiyama."
Ryo rolled his eyes. "Gee, thanks. I was just about ready to fight you for her."
Matt sighed as he pulled out the blond hair and let it fall on the floor. "High school girls aren't my thing anyway. They're ridiculously stupid, you know what I mean?" His eyes fell onto a bottle on Ryo's bathroom counter.
He picked it up.
"Dude, is this makeup?"
TK, who had been watching telly, looked their way.
Ryo flushed slightly and seized the bottle. He had borrowed it from his mother to conceal some bruises Rika had left behind and had forgotten to put it back. "It must be my mum's. She comes in here all the time."
Matt burst out in laughter, pointing. "You use makeup!"
TK too was chuckling on Ryo's bed.
"I do not!" Ryo yelled, still blushing. "It's my mum's!"
Matt grabbed some toilet paper, wet up, and walked up to Ryo. "Okay then, Miss Akiyama. Let me check."
"Get away from me!"
"Ryo! TK! Matt! The Makinos are here!" came Ryo's mother's voice from the other end of the door.
"Really? Cool!" Ryo rushed out the door.
Matt and TK gave each other knowing looks and chuckled.
"Your friend is a little gay. You better watch out, TK."
"Why hello. I don't believe we were properly introduced. My name is Matt Ishida. I'm TK's older brother." Matt shoved TK out of the way, outstretched an arm, and shook Rika's hand, a charming smile spread across his handsome face.
Rika scoffed. "Yes, I can see that."
Matt gave a low chuckle. "Of course. We're so very much alike."
Rika withdrew her hand. "Yes, I can see that too."
Ryo rolled his eyes at TK.
Matt flashed another smile. "Ryo talks about you constantly, but he's never mentioned how beautiful you are."
"However did I forget to mention something like that?" Ryo commented loudly.
"Shut up, brat." Matt turned around to give Ryo a look before looking back at Rika, smiling. "Kids these days. They're so bad-mannered."
"Um, yeah." Rika gave him a displeased smile. "Excuse me, but I'm going to find my mother."
"Oh, I know where she is!" Matt lied.
"So do I," she said, already walking away.
When she out of earshot, Ryo chuckled. "You've basically got her, man."
"Where are the boys?" Kari asked, realising all four teenage boys were missing from the table. Their parents dined separately while she and Rika sat around a smaller table.
"Who cares?" Rika muttered, taking a piece of broccoli and nibbling it. "More for us."
Kari looked at her unsurely. "Rika, why are you dressed so…?"
She drifted off, unable to think of a kind way of describing the style.
"So Ryo's parents think I'm disgusting," Rika answered, smirking. "I don't want them to get weird ideas, like I should like their good-for-nothing son. Mum's already crazy about him."
"And what's with TK's dodgy brother? Is he always so weird?"
Before Kari could reply, the four boys walked into the room, Matt leading with a dazzling smile.
"Hi guys!" Kari greeted as the four boys walked in.
"I think I'll sit… here." Matt sat down beside Rika. "Oh, Rika. Hello. I had almost forgotten you were here"
Tai sat beside Matt, Ryo beside Tai, and TK beside Ryo so he was between him and Kari.
"Hello… er, what is it that you said your name was?" Rika asked, perfectly aware of his name.
"Matt," he said, smiling and seemingly not offended. "My name is Matt."
"Hi Rika," Tai said, smiling. He and Rika had met before, but they had never talked to each other.
"Hi," Rika said with mild interest.
"Broccoli?" Matt queried, looking at Rika's plate. "My favourite!"
He took a spoonful and offered Rika some.
"I already have some," Rika said.
"Could I have some?" Kari asked.
Matt nonchalantaly slid the plate towards Kari's general direction, still smiling at Rika. "So, are you single?"
Ryo scoffed, "You mean you actually thought she wasn't?"
Rika shot him a glare.
Matt followed suit. "Ryo, stop being childish." He looked at Rika again. "Some people's kids. Their behaviour… absolutely appalling."
"Yes, you've said that already."
"Oh, have I?" Matt chuckled.
Tai cleared his throat. "Hey, Ryo, tell me your parents are going to let us have something to drink. I'm dying here."
"Taichi Kamiya!" Matt exclaimed. "How dare you even think that we should have alcohol in the presence of four underage—"
"Act like you don't drink," Ryo interrupted.
"Shut it, Urkel," Matt said darkly, referring to Ryo by the new nickname that he had made up moments ago.
Ryo, still somewhat sensitive, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
"Would you give me some, Tai?" Rika interrupted.
"I will!" Matt offered loudly. "I'm twenty, you know."
"Oh, good for you." Rika looked disinterested.
Ryo rolled his eyes once again, sipping water. "You can get some, if you want."
"I'll be right on it!" Matt said, standing up. "Come on, Tai!"
Tai and Matt walked out of the room, and Rika immediately turned to face Kari.
"Switch seats with me."
"You and Matt seem to be getting along well," Ryo interrupted.
"Yes, we are, aren't we?" Rika gave him a smug smile. "Almost as well as you and me."
"Seems like he fancies you."
"I didn't notice." She gave TK a dark look. "Tell your brother to back off before I—"
"Maybe if you weren't so flirty," Ryo interrupted.
She gave him a look of utter disbelief. "Flirty? You think I'm flirting with him?"
"'Oh, what is it that you said your name was?'" Ryo asked in a high-pitched voice. He rolled his eyes and impaled a piece of chicken with his fork. "Please. Like 'Matt' is such a complicated name that you could forget it in five minutes."
"You're so completely ridiculous that I hardly can stand it," Rika said, shaking her head. "You're without a doubt the dumbest piece of shit on this planet."
"Fine. Frankly, I don't understand why you care so much."
"I don't. I just think it's a hypocritical of you to always talk shit about girls who act like you're acting right now."
If she could, her jaw would have dropped to the floor. "You are ridiculous. Stop talking to me."
"I will after you stop talking to me."
She narrowed her eyes. "You started it."
"You're both childish," TK muttered.
Ryo shot TK a look before thrusting the piece of chicken in his mouth.
Rika promptly began trying to make Kari switch seats again.
"This is me during high school. I won Best Hair."
Matt beamed. "It was no contest, absolutely!"
He lovingly patted his hair. "It's a lot nicer than my brother's, huh?"
Rika rolled her eyes Kari's way, who winced piteously. Matt had been trying to court her for the past thirty minutes. His technique? Boasting of himself.
Highly successful so far.
Even TK was getting tired of his own brother, fiddling with a loose thread on his shirt.
Ryo's expression mostly resembled Rika's.
"I remember when I won the school talent show. What an achievement."
It wasn't that Rika hated Matt.
It was more that he annoyed the hell out of her.
"Have I mentioned how well I play the guitar?"
Kari stood up. "I'm just going to get a glass of water."
TK immediately followed suit. "I'll accompany you!"
"Co-dependent," Matt muttered before facing Rika again. "Anyway, as I was saying…"
"TK, I was thinking…"
As Kari opened the door of the refrigerator to take out two bottles of water, she thoughtfully pondered for a while.
"Don't you think Ryo and Rika would be cute together?"
TK shrugged. "I just don't."
"Well, think about it."
TK paused. "No. They're too different."
"I was thinking maybe we could play cupid."
"What?" TK raised an eyebrow. "No thank you."
"Kari, I don't care about their relationship."
"TK, he's your best friend."
"Which is why I shouldn't interfere."
"Just listen to this. I think we should send them to a foreign country and get them to fall in love there!"
"Don't you think that's a good idea, TK?"
TK stared his girlfriend, incredulous. "Kari, do you even hear the words coming out of your mouth? It's the most absurd thing I have ever heard in my life. First of all, their parents won't agree. If they do, they're idiots. I know for a fact that Ryo's parents aren't idiots. I can't say much about Rika's mum, but I'm sure she's not that dumb. Second, it won't work. What makes you think even for a second that Ryo and Rika will fall for each other in a foreign country when they can't even stand each other in their home country? That doesn't make sense at all. Third, I know Ryo, and he's the kind of guy who'll jump at the opportunity to meet new people rather than stick around to Rika. I mean, if you send them to Switzerland or something so they can't communicate with anybody else… No, it's a stupid plan. It won't work."
"Want to bet?"
"Yes, I do want to bet actually."
Kari smiled. "I bet you £100 I can get them to America."
"Tch, I'll bet you £1,000,000 you can't."
"You're on, TK." Kari outstretched her hand. "Shake it."
TK blinked. "Kari, are you kidding? You're giving up a lot of money, and it isn't like I'm going to take your money, for God's sakes. What sort of a guy do you take me for—"
Kari took his hand and shook it. "Watch. You're going to owe me £1,000,000 in a couple of minutes."
"Kari, I think you're sick or something, because honestly, I've never seen you in such a delirious state before. Have you been taking Matt's drugs or something? You must have. You're a sensible person, aren't you?"
"So let me get this straight." Rumiko Makino put a delicate finger to her chin. "Rika has deep, passionate feelings for Ryo that she doesn't want to admit because she's embarrassed her classmates will make fun of her?"
"And Ryo secretly is in love with her but can't say anything to her in fear of social rejection?" continued Mrs. Akiyama.
"And because he thinks Rika will freak out, never talk to him again, and he'll lose her forever?" Rumiko added.
"So they don't realise they both like the other?" Mrs. Akiyama.
"When they both just want to reveal each others' feelings?" Rumiko.
"So what I'm saying is that you should move them both out of the country, let them fall in love, and bring them back! First of all, it'll look great for university. They studied abroad! They'll be able to speak more than one language! They'll learn new cultures and ways of life and everything! It'll be great! Loads of people do it nowadays."
"Well, it is educational," Mrs. Akiyama said slowly.
"And it is love!" chimed Rumiko.
"And English is very helpful in careers… Ryo could touch up on his."
"Great!" Kari chirped.
No, there was just no way.
Their parents were idiots.
He wanted to die from the absurdity of it all. This was almost too humiliating for him to deal with. He stood up and walked back to where Matt, Ryo, and Rika currently sat, Matt still talking a hundred words a minute, Ryo and Rika still sitting there.
"Hi," he greeted.
"Hi," Ryo muttered.
"Hello, TK!" Matt greeted.
Rika ignored him.
"You could say hi," Ryo said.
"Or I could not say hi," Rika retorted. "What's your point?"
"You're the rudest girl on the planet, Rika."
"Please act as if you're polite."
"More polite than you."
"Oh, well, there's something for me to strive for."
"Ryo, shut up and reapply your makeup. It's starting to get cakey," Matt interrupted before gazing upon Rika. "Rika, I find your lack of decorum sexy."
"Oh, shut up, will you!"
"I do not wear makeup!"
"You wear makeup! Gross!"
"You're such a freak, Ryo."
Ryo, annoyed, stood up and stormed out of the room.
TK almost laughed. What was pitiable before was now hysterical. Poor saps.
In Japan, it is not weird for high school students to study abroad for several months and return back to Japan. Many students do it.
I know it's rushed. I just wanted to get this chapter over with. I'll try to make the next one better. I know I say that all the time, but this time I'll actually attempt it.