Thank you all! Your comments make me want to update right away, but school and life in general always get in the way. Tomorrow's my last day, though, so maybe I can start updating more regularly now. Oh, and I'm really glad that so many people like the way Kai and Tala are. :D I was worried because they're so terribly OOC.

Anyway, that poem that Tyson wrote was not written by me. It's actually the translation of a song by Gackt. Last Song, to be exact. Seeing as is actually deciding to enforce the whole "no song lyrics" rule, I'm probably not going to use it, though. So, beware my poor attempt at songwriting in chapters to come! Muahua. They'll probably be heavily influenced by Gackt's Last Song, though… o.o;; I won't exactly copy it, per say…


Chapter Seven


At the crack of dawn the next morning, Tyson was up and zipping about his house, quickly showering and throwing some clothes on before going downstairs and contemplating what to make for breakfast. He decided on blueberry pancakes and spent the next hour making the batter, cooking them, and drowning the thin cakes in syrup as he ate. Next, he downed a glass of milk and carefully placed a stack of pancakes in a plastic container, then sprinted out the door.

A few minutes later, he was repeatedly ringing the doorbell of Hilary's house, almost dancing on his toes as he waited for her to answer. After a moment, he stopped and knocked loudly, then continued with the doorbell. Maybe she's still asleep…

The door was yanked open and he was greeted by a furious looking Hilary, still clad in her sleeping clothes, which today consisted of a light green tank top and silken pants. Tyson gave her a grin.

"'Morning, Hil!"

She gave him a simmering look. "You woke me," she stated flatly.

"Oh. Sorry. I needed to talk to you, though. You hung up on me last night!"

"Because you wouldn't stop talking about Kai. I'm starting to hate him." Hilary moved aside to let Tyson in with a glower. Her friend smiled at her sheepishly and held out the warm container.

"I made fresh pancakes this morning. Blueberry," he said ruefully, giving her a slight bow. Her look softened fractionally.

"Hmm. I guess I could forgive you, then…" She took the Tupperware from his hands and padded to the kitchen, opening the lid and breathing in the delicious scent of the warm pastries. Tyson bounced after her.

"You like 'em?"

"I always like your cooking." Hilary left them on the counter and stretched, stifling a yawn. "Why are you up so early? Your date's not until tonight."

"I know, but… I don't have anything to wear."

She rolled her eyes. "So you came to me? Well, I do have this little black dress that might look good on you…"

"I'm not quite sure what Kai would make of that," Tyson said ponderingly. Hilary raised an eyebrow.

"Please don't tell me you're actually considering it."

"Of course not! I'm just joking, Hilary. I'm all man."

She coughed and decided not to comment on his last statement. "Anyway. Where are you two planning to go?"

"He said dinner, but I don't know where."

"Well, you only went on for like, half an hour about how excited you were that he gave you his number last night," she said sarcastically. "Why don't you call him and ask?"

"No way! It's too early in the morning," Tyson stated. Hilary paused before a slightly devilish look came upon her attractive features.

"You're chicken," she said smugly.

"I am n—" Tyson cut himself off, frowning. "Well, wouldn't you be a little hesitant to ring up someone like him? Come on, he's famous."

"So you are chicken."

"I'm not chicken," Tyson said hotly. "I'm just… shy."

"Oh, please. You know you want to bang him hard."

"ARGH! Hilary!" Tyson covered his ears and ran out of the room, blushing madly. Hilary tittered girlishly and trailed after him in an unhurried manner.

"Sorry, sorry." She crossed her arms and looked down at her friend who had rooted himself to the couch with a huge scowl on his face. "Jeez, I didn't know you'd go into sulk-mode over this."

"I'm not sulking. And I changed my mind. I don't want to go on a date with Kai."

"That has got to be the biggest lie I've ever heard."

"No, seriously," Tyson said, sitting up straight and pulling Hilary down on the couch next to him. He pursed his lips thoughtfully, a small frown creasing his forehead. "What am I thinking? This guy is rich, famous, sexy, talented—I could go on forever. I'm nobody. Why would he ever have any interest in me? If I go out with him, I'll have all these false hopes that he might actually like me when in reality, that's impossible."

"What are you talking about? He's obviously got some kind of interest in you or else he would not have gone through the trouble of coming to your house to personally invite you to dinner with him," Hilary pointed out.

"Yeah, but… we'd never get together or anything. This is real life, Hil, not a fairy tale. Rock stars don't date… regular people."

"Britney Spears married that nobody." Hilary nodded and arched a brow at him.

"Kai's not anything like Britney!"

"Well, when you think about it…"

"No! No thinking about it," Tyson said defensively. Hilary rolled her eyes.

"Really, Tyson. You know you want to go out with him tonight."

"Yeah…"

"You're just feeling a little bit insecure that he has fame and fortune and you don't."

Tyson's scowl returned. "Yeah… not helping."

"Let's go shopping."

"What? How is that gonna help anything?"

"Tyson, shopping is the answer to almost everything. Buying something nice for yourself is a quick remedy for your troubles. I guarantee you you'll feel much better with a little something special to wear tonight," she said, looking at him as if it were common knowledge. He gave her a skeptical look.

"I dunno… I'm not really into that kind of girly junk."

"Please. You're as girly as they get." Hilary stood up and waved a hand dismissively.

"Hey! I resent that," Tyson said indignantly, standing as well.

"Well, someone's got to be the girl in your relationship and I don't think it's going to be Kai."

"And why not? He's prettier than me! I'm manly. Besides, we don't have a relationship."

"It's just a little something called woman's intuition. Let me go change and then we'll head out. I hope you brought a credit card or something." Hilary left the room and headed upstairs, leaving Tyson alone to ponder who would be the submissive one in a relationship with Kai. If him and I ever did hook up, I'd definitely be on top. It's totally impossible, but so fun to think about. Kai's probably awesome in bed. Argh, I have no experience at all, though! I'm clumsy even when it comes to kissing.

"Tyson, take my keys and go warm up my car!" Hilary yelled from upstairs. Tyson snapped out of his thoughts and went off in search of her purse.

Thirty minutes later, Hilary dragged a reluctant Tyson into a huge shopping mall, taking in the sights and smells of the busy center. People bustled everywhere, hurrying to get the best deals and the latest products. The low buzz of conversation filled the air. She smiled triumphantly.

"This is wonderful. There's just the right amount of people here today."

"Are you nuts? This place is packed. Let's go home."

"No. Half of the fun of shopping is the challenge." Hilary looped her arm into Tyson's and set off at a leisurely pace. "Let's see. Where should we go first? You said you wanted something to wear, right?"

"Yeah, but—oh my God!" Tyson zipped away before she could so much as blink. Hilary stood dumbly for a moment, wondering where her scatterbrained friend had run off to, then spotted him bouncing excitedly before a display set up in front of a music store. She grumbled to herself as she walked over.

"Let me guess," she said in a monotonous tone. "It's Kai."

"He has a calendar out!" Tyson grabbed one and rubbed it lovingly against his cheek before flipping it over and looking at the pictures. He squeaked and pointed. "The one for July is him on the beach. Shirt halfway off!"

"Stop it, this is a public place," Hilary hissed, glancing left and right out of the corner of her eye.

"I'm so getting this." Tyson hugged it to his chest and trotted into the store. Hilary followed him as he stood in line with a dopey grin on his face.

"Now that you have something that you like, you have to give yourself over to me," she said. "You try one what I tell you to try on, got that?"

"Uh-huh," Tyson said absently, studying the calendar again. "Man, this is so awesome. Look at the October picture. He's wearing this sexy black outfit and he has little cat ears on his head."

Hilary glanced at it. "What a freak."

"He's not a freak! This is major creativity right here," Tyson said hotly. A few people gave them odd looks as Tyson turned his nose up at her, looking snooty. She sighed in resignation and patiently waited for him to purchase his calendar.

"Remember, Tyson, you gave me your word that you'd hand yourself over to me when we start looking for outfits."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Ew! There are schoolgirls hanging around him in the September picture," Tyson complained, frowning down in obvious jealousy. Hilary rolled her eyes.

"You know they were paid to do that, right?"

"Humph."

After paying for the calendar, Tyson allowed Hilary to drag him to a clothing store. He set his beloved prize down as she handed him a stack of clothes that seemed to have materialized out of nowhere. He started off willing enough, but as the day wore on…

"Oh my God… I'm sorry for every mean thing I have ever said to you," Tyson moaned, clapping his hands over his eyes as he plopped down on a small seat in the fitting room. "No more clothes!"

"Don't be ridiculous," Hilary said, ignoring his dramatics. "It's only been two hours."

"Two hours is enough. You're torturing me on purpose because I bug you about Kai all the time, aren't you?" he accused. She gave him an incredulous look.

"Okay, you're the one that said you had nothing to wear."

"I'm so hungry. I'm gonna die!"

"Tyson, cut it out." Hilary held up a three-piece suit. "How do you like this?"

Tyson made a face. "Hilary, he's not taking me to go ballroom dancing. That's way over the top."

"Well, give me some feedback then. What do you want to wear tonight?" She sat down next to him and gave him an expectant look. Tyson pursed his lips and thought for a moment.

"Something not too flashy… but kind of dressed up. A notch above casual. I want to look nice."

"You want to look nice for your man, huh?"

"He's not my man!" Tyson punched her lightly on the shoulder. "Is it such a crime to want to look nice when someone's taking you out for dinner?"

"Well, when this somebody happens to be someone you have a crush on…"

Tyson scowled, but didn't deny a word she said. "Kai's so awesome… I still can't believe that he asked me out."

"Believe it."

"I haven't dreamt this whole thing up, have I? Or maybe he didn't ask me out at all!" His eyes widened as he considered the possibility. Hilary arched a brow at him. "You know when you really like someone, like I do Kai? Sometimes you see the things that you want to see and not what actually went on. Maybe I wanted him to ask me out so badly that I just heard what I wanted to hear! He could've been saying that he thought I was a dork and that my cooking sucked ass for all I know, and—"

"Tyson, you're talking crazy."

"And now I'm getting ready for a date that he didn't even ask me on! Why would he when he hates my guts? What if he got sick off my cookies?"

"Tyson!" Hilary grasped him firmly by the shoulders, looking directly into his eyes. "Read my lips. Shut up."

"But—"

"No. Just be quiet and listen. Kai does not hate your guts. Kai did not get sick off of your cookies. He does not think your cooking sucks and he did ask you out tonight. Now, let me tell you what we're going to do. We're going to get up and go to the jewelry store just down past a few shops, and you're going to look at the pretty things there and buy something for yourself. Do you understand?" She spoke slowly, as if speaking to a child.

"But—"

"I said do you understand?"

Tyson paused before nodding. He raised his hand slightly and she nodded at him.

"You may speak."

"Okay. Um… jewelry?"

Hilary's brow twitched slightly. "Yes, jewelry. Problem?"

"Er…" Tyson took in the dangerous light in her eyes. "No."

"Good." She smiled sweetly and took him by the arm, leading him out of the clothing store and into a jewelry shop. "I promise you, Tyson, this is going to make you feel a hundred percent better. Just look around and find something you like. It'll be a permanent reminder that your stupid little rock star boy did indeed ask you out tonight, and in a couple of years you can look back upon it and think, 'this is what I bought the day I went on a date with Kai Hiwatari.' You see?"

"Erm… this stuff is expensive."

"You can't put a price on happiness," she scolded. Tyson inched away from her and started wandering around the small store, stopping to glance at some earrings for a moment before moving to a glass counter with rings in them. He peered down, watching the light bounce off of the shiny little ornaments.

"See anything you like? Stop looking at the prices." Hilary hung over him, watching his every move. Tyson pursed his lips.

"They all look the same to me," he concluded. Hilary rolled her eyes.

"They do not."

"Hey, maybe I should buy something for Kai…"

"No, this is for you. Come on, Tyson, this is supposed to make you feel better. You can't feel inferior to that bast—to Kai. So what if he's famous? The only thing he has that you don't is his face plastered on everything."

"He can sing."

Hilary snorted. "You can sing… kind of."

"He's sexy."

"I think you're totally sexy."

Tyson raised his eyebrows. "He's rich?"

"You're not so bad off yourself."

"Well, if you put it that way—"

"I'm not putting it any way. That's how it is. So what if he's a celebrity? You're smart, you're talented, you're funny, you're cute—you're an amazing guy and he'd be lucky to have you. Now stop feeling second-rate! You should be the dominant one here."

Tyson laughed. "Me? I don't know about that one…"

"Why not? At least consider an equal relationship. It doesn't have to be Kai's-my-master all the time."

"I never said that."

"But you're thinking it."

Tyson gave her a little look before moving away. A shine caught his eye, which he considered weird since everything in the store was sparkling left and right, and he walked in that direction. He stared dumbly at another display when suddenly, he saw it. It was a beautifully elegant bracelet made of silver and sapphires, dangling tantalizingly beside a girly pink and gold one of the same make. It was thin, gorgeous, and struck Tyson as a must have.

"That's just lovely," Hilary remarked. Tyson jumped slightly.

"You keep popping up all over the place, you know that?"

She ignored his comment. "You like it? I think it's really pretty."

Tyson took it and clasped it around his wrist with Hilary's help. He watched it sparkle in the light, a slow smile coming over his lips. "Yeah, I do like it."

"And how do you feel?"

He paused. "Pretty good…"

"I told you. Buying jewelry is the answer to everything. The only thing better than buying it is receiving it." She grinned. Tyson laughed and took it off. His spirits were feeling higher, and as absurd as it sounded, that little bracelet had given his confidence a boost. She snatched it away.

"I'll go make the purchase. Credit card, please?" She held out her hand expectantly.

"Wait. I didn't get to look at the price." Tyson reached for it, but Hilary kept it just out of his hands. He tried to snatch it back, an indignant frown on his lips. "You can't just not tell me how much it costs!"

"I told you, you can't put a price on happiness."

"It's that much? Hilaryyy!"


The rain started that afternoon and continued into the evening, on and off. Tyson hummed to himself in the kitchen, keeping busy by rearranging dishtowels, matching them by color and design. It was almost eight; Kai was due at his doorstep any minute now. Tyson smiled and hung a red towel with chickens on the oven, lovingly patting it before turning around and picking up a blue one with a coffeepot on it.

The doorbell rang and Tyson's heart skipped a beat. He smothered the idiotic grin that was making its way onto his face and took a deep breath, tossing the towel onto the counter and leaving the kitchen. He went to the door and paused to collect himself before opening it, feeling slightly euphoric. There stood the man of his current dreams.

"Hi, Kai," Tyson greeted cheerfully, pushing open the screen door and stepping aside. Kai was holding an umbrella and Tyson spotted a taxi waiting at the end of his driveway. "You want to come in for a minute?"

"No, thanks. You look great, Tyson," Kai said favorably. Tyson grinned.

"I'll just give it to you straight. My friend Hilary picked this entire outfit," he confessed. After she'd purchased the bracelet, Hilary had dragged Tyson back to the clothing department and forced him to try on more clothes. Another two hours, and she'd finally put together the winning outfit. This consisted of dark denims, a crisp, white, button-down shirt with thin, blue, horizontal lines (which he'd complained looked too preppy), and a slim, light jacket. Kai pursed his lips thoughtfully.

"Hilary and Mariah might make fast friends," he commented. "Both so into fashion."

"Mariah's your fashion designer, right?"

"Right. She's good at what she does, but the thing with fashion designers is that they don't really care what the wearer thinks."

Tyson laughed. "You got that right." He peered out into the glistening night. "You wanna come in for a minute?"

"Well, if you're ready we could just go," Kai suggested. Tyson agreed easily and made sure he had his keys before locking the door and stepping underneath Kai's proffered umbrella. They got into the waiting taxi and settled into the backseat. Tyson absently twisted the bracelet around his wrist as the full realization of what was about to begin hit him.

I'm on a date with Kai Hiwatari. All right, Tyson, you gotta play it cool. Don't be a dork.

"Tyson, what kinds of food do you like?" Kai inquired. Tyson grinned widely.

"All kinds, and I mean that literally," he answered proudly. "As a matter of fact, I've eaten at every single restaurant in this town and given them my personal ratings."

Kai raised an eyebrow slightly. "Oh, really?"

"Really. I can tell you which ones suck." He nodded sincerely.

"Okay… well, how about that Indian place?"

"I love Indian food!" Tyson said cheerfully. "But which one are you talking about? Maharaja's? Shaeba's Kitchen? Ra—"

"The one next to the tropical fish store," Kai cut in. "Does it get your seal of approval?"

"Oh, that's Shaeba's Kitchen. Yeah, that place is good." Tyson gave Kai a comic smile and winked. "I know the owner personally."

"Shaeba's Kitchen it is, then," Kai said, leaning forward and telling the driver where to go.


To Be Continued


I really didn't intend to end the chapter there, but it's been so long since I updated and I wanted to start a fresh, new chapter for their date. Feedback is appreciated!