Abe and company had gone to hide in some bushes (meaning that yes, Abe was in his element).
"WHY did they all barge out just now?" Oki complained.
"Shh, if we listen carefully, we just might find out," said Abe. They pulled the bushes up by their roots to make them their portable disguises, then went off to spy on the first team first.
"What exactly are we looking for again…?" asked Ichihara, turning over a small rock with his foot.
"Um, I think it was a…" Mizutani started, but then he drew a blank.
"Frankly, I'm too distracted to care," said Junta, looking longingly over at Rio's group, then over at Kazuki's, placing a hand over his heart.
Izumi sighed. "We're looking for a CAKE, okay?"
"Or at least, we're trying to track down the people who took it!" said Shinooka.
"Who would steal a cake?" Ichihara raised an eyebrow.
"Personally, I've come to the conclusion that the cake didn't REALLY get stolen, and that this is some kind of ridiculous game," said Izumi.
"That makes a lot of sense, actually," said Ichihara. "Why are we looking for it, then? Let's go do something else, this is way too tiresome."
"I agree!" said Junta. "Now, if you'll excuse me…" Before anyone could excuse him, he darted off.
Kazuki, also while reaching for his heart, looked longingly over at Junta's group, then at Rio's, then rapidly shook his head to snap out of it.
"Well?" said Kano.
"Well what?" said the others.
"We're in a competition," said Kano. "We have to do our best to solve this crime and WIN!"
"Since when was it a competition?" said Hanai.
"Well obviously, when people split up into groups to try to find the solution to a problem, it automatically becomes a competition," said Kano. "Aren't you taking this seriously? Why aren't you listening to me?!"
"Whoa," said Akimaru.
"…I'm listening to you, Kano," said Yoshi.
"We should start looking, then!" said Kajiyama nervously, not wanting any fights to break out.
"Okay," said Kano, getting way too into the whole thing. "We'll split up and search the area, covering more ground for the whole team that way. Then we meet back here again in ten minutes."
"We just split up into groups, what's the point in splitting our group into MORE groups?" asked Hanai.
"In order to secure victory, of course!" Kano clenched his fists.
The others shrugged and decided to humor him so they all darted off in different directions.
"I don't want to be in this group…" whined Rio.
"You miss Kazuki and Junta, huh?" said Takehiko sympathetically.
"What?" Rio looked disgusted. "NO! I wanted to be in the same group as TAJIMA!"
"Well you're not, so shut up before I pound your head into the asphalt," said Hatake. "Let's just get this stupid search over with so we can all return to our lives and Kano!"
"YEAH!" said Miyagawa.
"Let's go have a look around the building," said Oyama. Since no one had any better ideas, they did just that. "Jinkies!" he said as they found the broken glass outside the storage room window.
"Don't say that ever again," Hatake threatened.
"I sure hope Mihashi is all right…" said Sakaeguchi.
"He'll be FINE!" said Tajima, slapping Sakaeguchi's back. "Now let's find that cake, guys! We'll strictly find it and then strictly start partying!"
"We should hire a bloodhound," said Hiiragi.
"So hey," said Oda, turning to Miyashita. "You're Haruna's team's manager, right?"
"Yeah," said Miyashita.
"I'm Oda," said Oda lamely. "So as the team manager, you wouldn't happen to know what this is all about?"
"I have no clue," said Miyashita. "But knowing Haruna, it could just be a big joke. Then again, maybe someone DID steal the cake! He's so unpredictable!"
"I FOUND SOMETHING!!!" Tajima bellowed.
"OOH!" the rest of the group flocked around him.
"I found a yen!" Tajima said excitedly, holding up a shiny new coin.
"D'oh," said the others, slapping their foreheads.
"Why am I taking orders from Haruna?" Ookawa wondered out loud. "I'm older than him AND the captain!"
"Relax, it's just a game," said Hamada.
"Heheh, I would NEVER take orders from people younger than me!" said Yamanoi.
"It's just a game!!" Hamada repeated.
"Is it now?" said Sawamura.
"Well yeah, I think so," said Hamada. "I mean, who would steal a birthday cake?"
"Besides, Haruna did look quite excited," said Umehara. "I for one would never have looked excited if someone had stolen MY cake!"
"I don't think it's a game, guys," said Kaguyama. "The window was broken and everything, and Haruna DID seem really surprised when we discovered that the cake was missing."
"Game or not, it's a fun party activity, so let's all do our best and have fun while we do it!" said Hamada enthusiastically.
The others looked at him questionably.
"Ooooor… we could just stand around here and mope," said Hamada. "But what's the fun in that?"
"Moping sounds good," said Ookawa.
"Whatever," said Sawamura.
"I'm with the majority!" said Umehara nervously.
"I'll just observe quietly," said Yamanoi with a smile.
Back with Abe and company! After snooping around as if they were on Nosy Neighbors, they had managed to find out that everyone was looking for the cake, and that not ALL the people were outside. Among others, Mihashi and Haruna were still inside!
"Is Haruna doing this to mock me?" Abe wondered out loud, pacing back and forth while still wearing the bush.
"You know, I'm starting to feel really bad about this," said Nishihiro. "They're all so worked up, and have no idea what happened."
"Yeah…" said Suyama. "It does feel wrong that we know very well what happened, yet here we are, withholding the information."
"But we were WRONGED!" said Abe. "We have the RIGHT to get revenge!"
That's when Ichihara, Izumi, Shinooka and Mizutani strolled by.
"Holy crap it's a moving bush!" Mizutani exclaimed. "It has come to the point where the plants come alive to get revenge on the people stepping on them!"
The others stared at Mizutani for a second before marching over to the bush and tearing it off Abe.
"ABE!!!" gasped Izumi, Mizutani and Shinooka.
"You're with the plant people?" Mizutani gasped louder.
"NO, you fools!" said Abe. "I'm here to get my revenge on Haruna!" He paused. "Don't tell him I'm here."
"Let me guess…" said Izumi, walking over to the other three bushes that were just standing around. He proceeded to tear them off only to reveal Suyama, Nishihiro and Oki.
All three of them immediately dropped to their knees and started sobbing. "WE DIDN'T MEAN IT!!!"
Abe sighed and lightly slapped his forehead.
"I don't want to be involved in this," said Ichihara. He was just about to leave when Abe dove on top of him.
"DON'T TELL ANYONE!!" he yelled.
"I WON'T!!" Ichihara yelled right back. "What makes you think I care enough to tell anyone?"
"Good point," said Abe, standing back up (he obviously knew everything about Ichihara's personality since he stalks everyone). Ichihara strolled off.
"Wait a minute, it's all coming together," said Izumi. "Did YOU guys steal Haruna's birthday cake?"
"…Maybe," said Abe.
"This is stupid," said Izumi. "Just go and tell him you did it so we won't have to run around like fools looking for whoever did it."
"Try and make me!" Abe challenged.
"Actually, I think I want to go do it…" said Suyama.
"Yeah, me too," said Nishihiro.
"Me three!" said Oki.
"DON'T YOU DARE!!" Abe bellowed.
Ichihara, meanwhile, randomly crashed into Kano who was looking for clues like there was no tomorrow.
"Whoa, watch it," said Kano irritably.
"You're stressing around too much," said Ichihara. "Friggin' first-year," he added under his breath.
"That's because I intend to WIN this thing!" Kano declared. "I'll never get a chance to compete against Ren in a crime solving competition again, so it's now or never!"
"…O…kay," said Ichihara. "Is there a prize or something, since you're that worked up?"
"I dunno, but it wouldn't surprise me," Kano shrugged.
"Really, now…" said Ichihara, rubbing his chin.
Kazuki and Junta ALSO ran into each other!
"I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!!!" both of them exclaimed, hugging dramatically. They then paused. "RIO!"
"WE MUST FIND HIM!" Kazuki fretted. "HE WON'T BE ABLE TO SURVIVE OUT THERE WITHOUT US!"
"Yeah, and this is also our chance to talk to him without that meddling Tajima!" said Junta, shaking his fists.
They ran off, and finding Rio's team didn't take long since all of them were still in the same area. In fact, Rio, Hatake, Miyagawa, Takehiko and Oyama were still trying to enlighten themselves via the glass shards.
"RIIIIIOOOOOOOO!!!" Junta and Kazuki bellowed, throwing themselves on top of their best friend and smothering him with love.
"Hey, no fraternizing with the enemy!" Hatake demanded.
"I don't even KNOW these people!" Rio yelled.
Kazuki and Junta gasped the loudest most dramatic gasp EVER, backing away from Rio a little.
"You… you can't possibly mean that, Rio!" said Junta.
"Did you hit your head or something?" Kazuki sounded so concerned. "Try to remember! It's us, Kazu-san and Jun-san!"
"GET OUT OF HERE!!!" Hatake bellowed.
"Why don't we all work together?" Oyama suggested.
"NO!!" yelled Hatake and Miyagawa.
"Fine, we'll leave, but can we take Rio with us?" Kazuki asked.
"FINE!" said Hatake. "He was whining too much anyway!"
"RADICAL!" Kazuki and Junta cheered, running off, hauling Rio after them. Rio just sighed and rolled his eyes. He was used to it.
"…And this is from when Takaya slipped on a banana peel!" Haruna narrated excitedly. "And THIS is from when he got hit right in the face with a screwball! Oh man, he had a big ball-shaped bruise on his face for WEEKS!"
"Um… hey," said Ichihara as he strolled in.
"Whaaa-aaat?" said Haruna, pausing the DVD.
"I think I found who did it," said Ichihara.
"Did what?" said Haruna.
"Stole the cake," said Ichihara.
"OH!!" said Haruna. "Who? Where?"
"Um… some guy. Follow me."
"You too, Mihashi!" said Haruna excitedly, yanking Mihashi with him like a ragdoll as they followed Ichihara outside, rounded a corner, and came face to face with…
"TAKAYA!?" Haruna gasped. "I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!"
"…Hey!" said Abe, glaring at Ichihara.
"What?" said Ichihara. "I felt like winning, okay?"
"You pitchers are all alike," Abe snarled. "Except Mihashi," he quickly added.
"Takaya, YOU stole my cake? WHERE IS IT?" Haruna demanded.
"Um, we did it too," Suyama stepped forward. "We ate it and obliterated the rest."
Haruna looked like he was at a loss of words. "But… why?"
"Why don't you guess?!" Abe snapped. "We wanted to ruin your birthday party because you left us out, and it looks like we succeeded!" He crossed his arms and smirked.
"…Actually, no, you didn't," said Haruna. "It's just a stupid cake, and splitting up to find it was really quite fun, right, Mihashi?"
"AH!" said Mihashi.
"MIHASHI!" Abe ran over to Mihashi. "Are you hurt? Did Haruna threaten your life? Did he pass any vile diseases on to you?"
"Abe, Haruna is… a… nice…"
"OH FORGET IT!" Abe yelled.
"So um… why didn't you invite us anyway?" Oki asked nervously.
"No reason, just thought it'd be funny," said Haruna.
"We were not very amused," said Suyama.
"But I was, OKAY?!" Haruna looked exasperated. "It's my birthday, and if I'm having a good time, that's all that counts!"
"Well I hope you're happy!" Abe snapped.
"I AM!" Haruna yelled.
By now, everyone else had slowly started to gather around to see what all the commotion was all about.
"I lost?!" Kano fretted. "Who won? It wasn't Ren, was it?"
"I won," said Ichihara casually.
"NICE JOB, IT-CHAN!!" Oyama and Sawamura bellowed.
"So hey," said Haruna. "Since Takaya decided to be a jerk for no reason and the cake is gone forever, why don't we all run off to Dipper Dan instead? It's on me!" By that he actually meant his parents since he knew where their secret money stash was located.
"YAY DIPPER DAN!!!" yelled the whole crowd.
"I'm coming with you to make sure nothing happens, and there's nothing you can do to stop me," said Abe.
"Whatever!" said Haruna.
"Um, can we come too?" asked Suyama, Nishihiro and Oki in unison.
"Daaaw of course," said Haruna, slapping their backs.
"Good person!" Mihashi piped up.
So the WHOLE crowd went off to the nearest Dipper Dan they could find and all was well!
"Wait, wait, wait," said Shingo, abruptly stopping right in the middle of their searching. "How long has it been since we started this search?"
"I haven't been keeping track of the time!" said Jin.
"IT'S ALREADY DARK OUTSIDE!!" Daichi gasped.
"Well, let's continue our search, guys!" said Jin. "It's got to be around here SOMEWHERE!"
"YES!!!" Daichi screamed.
So they continued searching until Haruna got back home and kicked them out.
The end for real!