Once more I find myself at Sakon and Ukon's home villa. With the cheerful Mr. Sung there to greet me. Still I was nice and said hello and how are you. He said follow me and I did. Up to the gothic creepy room of Sakon and Ukon. Sakon was not there. It was only Ukon. The reason that I had known that it was Ukon was well Sakon wears a necklace. I finally knew a way to tell them apart. Ukon looks up in surprise.
"How is it that you are here before my brother?"
"I do not know Ukon. I just came after school like he asked."
"Actually he summoned, but I felt the need to be nice about it."
"Not many people do when it comes to him."
"Sounds like you feel the same way."
"Not all the time. Sometimes at best." Awkward silence ensues. Ukon goes back to what he was doing which looked like he was looking at some photos of game characters. I lean over to look at them.
"Nice collection." He didn't even make a response. "You make them yourself?"
"Some of them. Others are ones that I like."
"Oh wow. Is that Sephiroth from Final Fantasy?"
"Yes. You play the games?"
"Not a whole lot. But I love the movie Advent Children."
"Okay that is hard to do. Loz and Tifa had an epic fight, but of course the Sephiroth versus Cloud will always be in history. Between those two scenes it is hard to pick." Ukon and I talk about it and I am surprised to find that both of us can get along on something. Then a ahem interrupted our conversation when both of us were getting excited.
"Glad to see that you haven't been bored since I was gone. We might as well fish around costume ideas."
"I hope you aren't thinking something stupid like salt and pepper shakers."
"No and why do you care about my costume for the dance?"
"Normally dates pick costumes that match the other person's."
"Yeah, but the costume I have in mind is not a couple costume."
"Well what is it then?"
"Tifa Lockhart as she appears in Advent Children."
"Who on earth is that?"
"A character from the awesome game series known as Final Fantasy." This went over his head. Ukon spoke up to save his brother from getting a full explanation from me.
"Perhaps he can go as Loz. Since the two of them did have the fight scene.
"He could but his appearance resembles more of a Yazoo or a Kadaj than Loz." He takes a better look at his brother. Which I didn't think that Sakon was expecting.
"You have a point there."
"Since when did the tow of you become buddy buddy?"
"Only recently." We both said at the same time sending his mind reeling.
"You know I was actually thinking of going as Yazoo. Do you think I could pull it off?"
"I honestly think you could Ukon."
"Then I will go as this Kadaj then. Since the two of you agree that is the character the two of you believe that I can pull off."
"Are we done here? If we are then I'll just excuse myself and go." He grabbed my wrist not in a rough way but in a way that stopped me from leaving the premises.
"You and I still have much to discuss besides just what the costume is to be for the dance. In case you have forgotten you and I will have a date this Friday and you need to be prepared for it." Oh yeah should have known leaving here wasn't going to be that easy. But what kind of person gives preparations on a date?
"This Friday you shall be my date to a charity event that my family is to attend. You must be sure to dress appropriately. The occasion calls for rather formal attire. Attire that shall be provided for you. However I will need to have my maids take your measurements so that they can be sure that the dress you are to wear is going to fit you. I also expect you to be on your best behavior. This not one of your fun times with your Neanderthal friends." I was about to tell him off when he clapped his hands twice. This summoned two maids that escorted me out of the room to a large bathroom where I could get my measurements taken. The whole thing felt awkward, but with luck it was over pretty quickly. A sigh of relief escaped my lips when it was over and surprise Sakon was right outside the door waiting. No wait a second it was Ukon. Why was Ukon waiting outside the door for me? Wait a minute! Was he trying to peek?
"I guess you're wondering what I'm doing here."
"Well it is your house."
"I swear I was not trying to peek in on you."
"Then what were you doing?"
"I just wanted to ask you something." He seemed at first unsure of what he was about to say. Something that was well uncommon with the twins in their group. They always have that so sure they are right voice. "This thing between you and my brother is it serious?"
"Well you see…"
"Because if you are doing this to get back at the way my brother and I have treated you then…"
"Whoa. Slow your roll. The first thing you should know is that your brother and I are not dating because we like each other. It's for a project we are doing on attraction or something he has somehow figured into an acceptable school project idea. So there is nothing between us. Besides even if that wasn't the case. I wouldn't string a guy along like that just to get back at someone. I have better ethics than that."
"So there is nothing going on between the two of you?"
"Not even air."
"Thank you for being honest with me. If you want to leave now is probably your best chance."
"Thank you Ukon." I walk out the door without anyone coming after me this time. I stopped for a second to look back and see if anyone had followed me. To my luck no one had and with the little bit of joy I had I drove off towards home.
The next day school was off due to a teacher's work day so that gave me a free day away from the goon squad. A whole day to have fun and hang out with my friends. At least that was what I had planned. Hinata had a clan meeting that was going to take all day. Kiba had to help his mom at the kennel and clinic they ran. Rock Lee had a tournament out of town. Choji had eaten too much food the other night and was having a serious case of indigestion. Shikamaru was going out to the woods with his father for some forced father son time. Shino was sick and Naruto had to be his Jiraiya's wing man and possible bail man. Man this sucked. Having a day off from school and no friends to hang with. Then I guess that leaves hanging out at the arcade. Normally I can find some kind of tournament to get into or at the least watch.
Again my luck wasn't working. There wasn't a tournament going on that day and there weren't that many people there that day. Oh well. I'm here anyway and no one has taken the Dance Dance Revolution game yet. This one was more extreme than the other ones. On the screen they will show you a dance routine and you try your best to follow it. The better you do the higher you score. Normally I don't use this game. I'm shy about dancing in front of others. But since there was barely anyone here then I can let loose a little. I put the level at medium and selected the song Angel is the Centerfold. I was able to keep up with game pretty well. Meaning I may have to up my level. So I do. Hard level to the song Baby Boy. This one was more difficult than I was expecting. I really had to pay attention. Oh yeah I was more focused than I would be in history class. Too focused to notice that someone was watching.
The game ended with a good score and a really tired me. I flopped to the floor and took a breath then lost it in surprise.
"Why don't you dance like that at the dances?" It was Itachi. What the heck was he doing here? He was leaning on the bar without much of care in his grey shirt and black jeans.
"Normally a person answers."
"Oh sorry. Didn't think anyone was watching." I said pushing a hair behind my ear.
"You were pretty good. So why don't you dance at the dances?"
"Not like you did just now."
"It's a game."
"That obviously shows you have moves." Okay what is this guy driving at? Did Pain out him up to this? He must have sent him here to do a draft since Deidara hasn't done a good job so far.
"If you think Pain has a say in everything that happens in my life then you are sadly mistaken." How did he know that? What is he a mind reader?
"To answer your question I know what you are thinking because it is written all over your face. No offenses but you don't have much of a poker face."
"Okay if Pain didn't send you then what are you doing here?"
"I work here." He pointed to a tag that had his name printed on it.
"Since when? I have been coming here for years and I have never seen you here before."
"I have seen you and your group of friends. I just stay hidden or have to keep repairing the machines. So you probably wouldn't notice me."
"Does Pain know about this?"
"Like I said the guy is my friend and maybe leader of our group, but he doesn't have total control over my life."
"Really. Do you mind if I ask you something? I swear it has nothing to do with you or Naruto joining our group."
"Knock yourself out."
"What was up with you and Hidan yesterday?"
"Oh that." I rolled my eyes and stood up.
"Hidan and I are part of a group project and the project involves attraction. Hidan's over hormone produced brain incorrectly thought that I was attracted to him and tried to prove it." He didn't say much of anything. Instead he just sighed and shook his head.
"Something on your mind?"
"Nothing. So this project…you know what I think you came here to avoid school subjects."
"Wow. That is amazing that you guessed that. What gave it away my expression or the countless teens and preteens that storm in here every day?" He laughed a little under his breath.
"Both." He started to head back to the counter when a crazy idea hit me.
"So do you work here just to have the job or are you a gamer?" He turns around blank expression like normal, but it soon fades to a more confident grin.
"Let's find out. Shall we?" He held up a coin bag that had obviously seen its fair share of coins.
"Pick any game and if I win you have to pay for the rest of my games."
"What do I get if I win?" He asked all mysterious and coy.
"What do you want?"
"For you to spend the rest of the day with me. No strings attached, no hidden agendas, just a friendly non date with each other and as an extra bonus I'll let you pick the game instead. Do we have a deal?"
"You are asking a lot for a man without a hidden agenda, but you are offering a good trade so we have a deal." He shook on it and I went to surveying the room to pick the game of fate. When my eyes landed on the classic and fantastic air hockey table.
"You sure you want that game?" He said. His pose speaking of a nonchalant attitude. His hands in his pockets with his gaze just looking out through his hair.
"I'm sure. The question is are you?" The look on my face was one of challenging.
"Then let the best win."
"Oh she will." He places the coins in the slot and we move to our spots. The disc pops out and the table comes to life. Shifting the disc towards Itachi's side first. His head was rested on the puck like a pros. Finger tips on the sides of the knob as opposed to the hand over the knob. Nice try if the guy thought that was going to impress me. He hit the disc towards me and I hit it back with force that sent it bouncing all over in order to confuse the opponent. But he saw through it and sent it back to me so fast that I didn't have time to block. He scored the first point and already a smile was forming on his face.
"Don't get cocky yet Itachi. You still have to make six points."
"Believe me I will."
"The kid gloves are coming off."
"I was wondering when they would." I set the disc out and flicked it to the side. It hit the wall and then went into the corner, hit Itachi's mallet and went into the goal.
"Surprised?" Voice filled with sarcastic confidence that can only be found in competitions.
"This time, but as you had put it there are still six more goals to be won."
"Bring it, Uchiha." Like that the match was on. Periods of time went by where there was no goal made then one would be made then another. It was like a never ending tie and it was going to stay that way, but then he scored a point and he was only one away from winning. My mind was reeling he was a point ahead of me and he scored another goal he would have been two points ahead of me. Something that I was set on not giving him the satisfaction of.
"Quit now and we can all go home without scars."
"Not a chance. I'm sticking with this till the end." The clock was ticking inside my brain as the sweat began to form on my brow this was it. I was determined not to let him win. But he did a move that sent the disc flying into my goal. I couldn't believe that it was all over. He had defeated me and now I had to pay up. He came over and put out his hand.
"You too and like a woman of my word. I shall stand by our bargain."
"Glad to hear. Just wait one second. Hey Leroy! I'm taking off now you think you can hold the place?"
"Sure thing Uchiha. Just go before I change my mind."
"Let's go." He said putting his arm around me and ushering me gently out the door. We walk around for a few minutes enjoying the sights before us. We talk a bit. At first it was awkward and short elevator small talk then it forms into conversation. A conversation about what happened with the whole projects origin.
"So that's the whole story. Leave it to Hidan to find something perverted and turn it into a project for classes. Classic hormone idiot."
"To be quite fair the credit seems to lie with the one named Sakon more than Hidan this time."
"True, but Hidan is the one that judging by what I have seen and heard from you. He is the one that is enjoying it the most."
"That's what I find the hardest part to deal with when it comes to this project. Is dealing with him. He thinks he's the most amazing gift to women, but in reality he is just an over glorifying goat."
"You talk funny."
"What?" He puts his hands up in defense before saying anything next.
"I don't mean it as an insult. Something I've noticed about you, the way you speak. One minute you sound like a normal teenage girl then next you say things like glorifying goat. It is interesting to say the least."
"Says the guy who at school sounds like an old man."
"Admittingly I do that sometimes. Or all the time, but it is who I am. Now I see the way you talk is who you are and you know what forget I said anything."
"Okay as long as you don't bring it up again." The conversation stops there for a little and we continue walking until Itachi decided to break the silence.
"Are you hungry?"
"I guess I'm a little hungry."
"Great. There's this little café I know down here." I follow him to the café. It was done in a Greek style. White brick with plants forming along the areas that gave it the right touch of beauty. A sloping wall went around it. There were black iron tables that weren't too extravagant or over designed like many of these want to be cafes have. The place looked a bit on the expensive side.
"Trust me the food isn't as expensive as the place leads you to believe. I thought the same thing when I first found this place." I swear that this man is some sort of mind reader.
"You want to eat inside or out?"
"I'm cool either way. But I wouldn't mind sitting outside."
"Okay then." We get inside and are immediately shown a table outside in the best looking area. In the shade surrounded by the beautiful floral plants and potted shrubs. The menu listed various sandwiches, soups and other meals, but what had my attention was the dessert list. Oh yeah I think I will listen to the old 'life's short eat dessert first' expression. The only problem is which one will I chose all of them looked so tasty. Lemon squares, cherry cobbler and cheesecakes! Oh original, chocolate, Oreo, cherry topped, blueberry topped, raspberry swirl white chocolate! Oh what to pick? Okay I'll get a cheesecake, now what kind? The waiter came by at that moment with our drink order. I said water with a lemon wedge. Itachi asked for tea.
"Have you made a decision about what you want to order?"
"I'm still thinking. What about you?"
"I'm having trouble deciding what to get. The cheesecakes here are good, but their dango is not that bad either."
"If you were to get cheesecake what kind would you get?"
"Personally you can't go wrong with any of them."
"Then I think I will order the Oreo cheesecake."
"Good choice." The waiter came with our drinks and took our orders. Which didn't take long by the way. As we ate we talked more and found that time was slipping us by. It wasn't till the check came that I realized what time it was. It was almost sundown.
"Oh my god! I can't believe it's that late!"
"You have a curfew?"
"It's not exactly that. It's just not safe sometimes to travel alone in my neighborhood."
"I'll walk you home."
"How do you know I walked here?" Mind reader I swear.
"I didn't see you come in your car." Okay that one is a little obvious. "And if you had your car with you. You wouldn't be freaking out as much."
"Okay. But what about you?"
"I will be fine." We both reach for the check and our hands touch for a second. But I grab the check before he gets it.
"Normally isn't the guy supposed to pay?" He said chuckling.
"If this were a date then yes the guy would normally pay for the check, but this is a friend thing. So it can go Dutch or the girl can pay if she wants to. I want to pay the check since you are being nice and walking me home. It stands to reason that the least I could do is pay for the check."
"At least let me leave the tip so I do not feel like an ass."
"Why would you feel like an ass? It's not like you forced or hinted at me to pay for the check. So you do not really have a reason to feel like an ass."
"Let's just say that for simplicities sake it's a guy thing. We don't pay for the check we feel like an ass. Simple as that. Now are you going to let me leave the tip or do like the fact that I feel like an ass if I don't?"
"Fine. For your male senses I shall let you leave the tip." I pay the bill he leaves the tip and we walk on to my house. The night was starting to set in and I was glad for the company on this walk. Four guys nearly leered over me if Itachi hadn't sent them a warning glance. Then it came to time for the moment were you know if this had been a date or a truthful friend hang out. The goodbye at the door moment that is. If he tries to go in for a kiss then it is a date, but if he just says goodbye and leaves then it is a friend hanging out with a friend thing. Good if it is a friend thing, but what if it is a date? We approach the door. We turn around to each other, eyes locked in on each other.
"Well here's goodbye for now. Thanks for hanging out for the day and walking me home."
"Thanks for putting up with me."
"This still does not change how we have to act in school, does it now?"
"Nope. We still have to act the way it was before today."
"You know if this was a movie. This would be the part before the rebellion of the school the next day."
"Or the part where the TV series might get cancelled so they add a plot twister in hopes of raising viewer rates."
"Touché Uchiha. Touché. See ya around."
"Yeah see ya." He quarter turns as he says that and then goes on looking back once. Inside the house I let out a breath that had been swelling inside my chest. At that moment Mom made her entrance.
"Did you enjoy your day off from school? I take it that was Naruto that just left our doorstep. I'm glad to he walked you home."
"That wasn't Naruto Mom. Since when is his hair raven black? Last I saw he was a natural blonde."
"Then it was Shino then?"
"Shino's hair is brown. Not black and he was sick today."
"Still brown and he had to help his Mom at the clinic."
"Oh then it was Choji? No wait his hair is light brown. I know that was Shikamaru wasn't it. I know that boy has black hair. I'm right this time. I am right, right?"
"Sorry Mom. But you are still wrong. It wasn't any of my usual friends that I hang out with."
"Oh you made a new friend. Well that's nice. What's his name?"
"He's not exactly a friend, so much as someone I hung out with for the day."
"Okay. Um He didn't try to…"
"He's not an evil person Mom."
"Alright. Well someone has been trying to call you for the past four hours or so. He calls every hour on the hour like clockwork. He seems really keen on getting in touch with you. I'm surprised that he doesn't have your cell phone number."
"Well Mom who is the guy?" The phone having a sense of humor or sensing timing decided to go off.
"Oh that sounds like him. You better get it this time or else we will be hearing it all night." She said laughing at her own little joke before going back into the kitchen. I went to the phone and picked it up.
"Where the Hell have you been?" I didn't need a psychic to tell me the guy on the other end is mad and that he was Sakon.
"Ever heard of something called an indoor voice Sakon? It would save your voice a good deal of strain."
"Enough with the sarcasm! Do you know how long I have been trying to get in touch with you?"
"Well according to my Mom the last four hours. But I couldn't have known that until now. I have been out of the house for the whole day."
"Well isn't that peachy. Here I am trying to find a way to make you look presentable for elegant party and you are off in your own little world."
"What are you talking about Sakon?"
"I have here dress designers that wish to discuss with you about the dress you are to wear at the function that I am taking you to this Friday."
"Dress makers? Wouldn't just be easier to go and buy a dress that has already been made?"
"Yes, if you were someone else's date. Not mine. There is a standard that has to be kept. Now quit stalling and come over here. I don't want to keep this man waiting. On second thought I will just send the car for you." He hung up before I could tell him he was mad it was night and there was school tomorrow. Not to mention the fact that I still had homework to do. I guess I was going to have to take that with me. So I could at least do some in the car. It didn't take long for the ever cheery personality of Mr. Sung to arrive. I was upstairs when he did. So that left Mom vulnerable to Mr. Sung. As I was coming down the stairs I saw that wasn't the case. They were talking. Without an awkward feeling thrown in. It was completely normal looking by all sides. Even when I was seen by Mr. Sung the weird echo of awkward had not been heard.
"Looks like you have got an engagement to get ready for. Better hurry on." Mom said not giving me a thousand questions about where I was going, when I was coming back or who was bringing me back. This was weirder than the fact she had what looked like a normal conversation between her and Mr. Sung. I mean come on parents normally do this every time their kid goes out. But this time it was not my Mom. Nope she was already heading into her office.
Without any reason that would have needed the backing of an adult I go with Mr. Sung into the car. I got to ride shotgun.
"You could have told me that you were Celica's daughter." Mr. Sung said in his usual voice while not taking his eyes off the road, but there was a hint of a smile on his lips.
"What difference would that have made?" Wondering how did he know my mother's first name?
"A lot in the way that I have acted towards you. I thought that you were like the rest of Master Sakon's and Ukon's friends. Was only kind to the help for a laugh or thought it was cool for the day."
"Couldn't you tell I wasn't one of their normal friends by the car I drive?"
"I thought that you had a daddy who was trying to teach you a lesson on spending."
"Nope that car is all mine."
"I know that now after talking to Celica. I mean your mother."
"How do you know my mother?"
"We were in a class together on advanced cooking."
"Yes, really. You think I want to stay a household servant the rest of my life? No. I plan to work with your mother on that catering business of hers."
"Cool. Does that mean you will lose the frosty attitude when you start cooking?" Blunt. I know.
"I suppose I could. Don't want to have to reheat the meat every three seconds. That will make it dry and tasteless."
"Is that cooking humor I should get?"
"It's okay if you don't. We are here anyway. Better put on the façade." We get out of the car and find Sakon waiting at the door for us. A crossed look already on his face as he was biting his thumb. Good thing he was not in Elizabethan England otherwise I would have hit him for giving me the bird.
"It's about time you arrived. Now come on. We haven't much time to get this done in time." He grabbed me and pulled me up the stairs into a different room that resembled more of a runway that you see in wedding boutiques. There was a woman in there doing some sketches. She was a tall, willowy looking woman with silver hair. She was certainly pretty and the way she was dressed showed that fashion was her business. She gazed up at us and then rose to meet us taking graceful strides.
"Hello there Luisa. My so you are the girl that my son is taking to our little event for charity. My you are a cute one." Wait a minute son? The designer is his mother? "I can see so many opportunities for your dress."
She moved away to the couch were she had been sitting. She sat down and then picked up her sketchpad and shifted it onto her lap. She then looked at me and patted the seat down next to her. Indicating that I was to sit down. I went over and did. She looks at me again.
"I honestly have to thank you for being late to this dress designing."
"Why is that?"
"Because you were late I was able to get some designs needed for my upcoming deadline done. Waiting often gives me some of my better ideas. I was even able to think of a few designs for you. Still after seeing your appearance I find them inadequate." I feel a little put off on how to respond to that statement. I looked to Sakon for some kind of hint (if he would even give me one), but find that he has left the room.
"That's a compliment dear. It means that I feel designs would not do justice for you. In other words they are passé. I have different ideas for you now."
"Oh." So this woman upon seeing is designing a new dress just after looking at me for two seconds. Wait a minute did Sakon out her up to this? Did this guy really force his own mother into getting a dress done for this event?
"But I thrive on the challenge of getting the dress done in time for the event. You are going to be the most talked about girl there. It is not every day that someone gets to wear one of my original designs before a line is introduced." She was going to town on drawing. She didn't ask me any questions, so I felt that I wasn't really needed here.
"Here take a look at this one and tell me what you think of it." She held up her sketch. The dress had a trumpet skirt with a one shoulder top with a cape let the arm that didn't have the sleeve. It looked rather pretty, but I wasn't so sure it was me.
"Um. It's a nice design but I don't think it's really something I would wear."
"Hmm. It's the caplet isn't it?"
"No. Just that it seems a little dressier than I am use to wearing."
"I see. You don't go to many of the functions like this one do you?"
"I don't. The fanciest party I ever went to was a wedding that I was helping my Mom cater."
"Your mother is a caterer?"
"She just is starting out. But so far she seems to be doing well."
"I see. Well let's see if we can't fix it up a bit" We go over designs picking out little things that looked good at the time then thought against them and then found some good ones. By the time we finally came to a dress design that looked just right it was way late!
"Mom is going to kill me when I get home."
"You know it's so late and you and my sons go to the same school. Why not just stay the night in one of our guest rooms?" She said it with a straight face and no care attitude.
"I don't know. I mean I don't have a change of clothes or anything and my Mom is probably already worried about me enough as it is."
"Don't worry about a thing. I am a clothing designer of many fields. You can just wear one of the designs I have here to school tomorrow. Now let me show you to the room you will be staying in."
"But my Mother…"
"Oh I will deal with her. You just go on and get to sleep." She pushed me into a room and well after going over what the heck happened. I decided it was too dam late and I was tired.