"He's just so hot, you know?"
Lately, Yolei'd been kicking herself after she spoke. Almost everything that left her mouth is an automatic reflex but before that year, it had never really occurred to her how childish she really sounded. Obsessing over Ichijouji is just conversation; something to talk about because she never could stand silence and she'd gotten very good at superficial conversations with her old group of friends. She didn't really want to have his babies or any other idiotic thing she may have said. Her other friends never bat an eye when she said things like that, because while they never took it quite as far as she did, they were certainly able to keep up with her gushing and fangirl obsession with Ken. Truth be told, Yolei had been proud of her ability to have them all convinced she loved him. It was pretty much the only thing she felt she was any good at. Well, that and defending Cody when jocks like Davis would pick on him.
"I mean, it's like he just... gushes with radiance." Kari looked at her funny and Yolei mentally smacked herself again. Kari, at least, didn't make her feel like she's an idiot, but Yolei knew she didn't really understand. Lately, Yolei'd been realizing that she didn't really understand it, either.
"Yeah." She paused. "I think." Yolei bit her lip and squinted. "Isn't that the word?"
"I don't know"
"Huh." They keep walking and Yolei keeps biting her lip to keep from continuing the one-person conversation and stop herself from saying anything else. What that something else was, she wasn't sure, but a long time ago she started talking about nothing to keep from saying what was actually on her mind and she'd gotten good pretty good at confusing even herself with it.
When they reached Kari's apartment, she was jerked out of her thoughts by Kari banging on the door.
"Come on, Tai, open the door! I know you're home!" Kari hit the door with her palm one more time for good measure before she turned back to look at her friend. "He's such a jerk sometimes." She wailed on the door again. "Tai!"
Finally, they heard the lock click open and Kari pushed her way in. Yolei followed, shocked to see the usually polite girl behaving the same way she herself would have at home.
"Wow. What happened to him?" She whispered after they passed him on the way to Kari's room. Kari giggled as she shut her door.
"He went to watch Matt's band play last night."
"Right." Yolei nodded, as if that explanation actually explained anything.
The brunette laughed and leaned in, conspiratory. "Whenever the Teenage Wolves play an actual gig, they go out drinking afterwards, and from what Sora's told me, Matt and Tai always get into a drinking contest that always has them both a mess all the next day. He came home this morning at, like, three, completely smashed." Yolei tried to get her mind around that.
"Tai? But he's so responsible."
"Not really. I mean, he can be, when it's important, like when it comes to the Digiworld, but not when it comes to real-life stuff." She covered her mouth and fell down onto her bed, nearly convulsing with laughter. "We have a theory on why they always do this, but I'm not supposed to say. Basically, Sora and I think they should just do it and get on with their lives." Yolei nodded again, almost afraid to ask what Kari was talking about. She leaned back against the door and waited for Kari to calm down. When her giggling subsided, Yolei looked pointedly at the computer.
"So what was it you wanted me to look at?" She moved over to Kari's desk and turned it on. The monitor light blinked a few times and the screen fizzled.
"That." Yolei sighed and poked at the offending machine.
"Kari! Wait up!" Yolei darted away from her group and ran up to the other girl as she walked by herself towards the school. "Hi! Morning!"
"Good morning, Yolei." They stood there for a minute and Kari twirled her fingers around her camera strap. Yolei chewed on her lip and tried to think of something else to say. "Well, I should get inside. School, you know?" She smiled teasingly at Yolei. The purple haired girl nodded and turned to walk in with her. Kari looked at her oddly. "You're coming in with me?" Yolei stopped walking and fidgeted slightly.
"I guess? I mean, I was going to." Yolei felt her face drop, but forced herself to smile. "Unless you don't want me to. Like, if you want to be alone." Kari shook her head, still looking at her funny.
"No. It's okay. You just don't usually come in until the last minute."
"Oh. Okay." She paused, uncomfortable. "But I'm not bothering you?" Kari shook her head again and gave her a big smile.
"It's fine." As they went into the school, Yolei couldn't help the huge grin that spread across her face. She wasn't sure why Kari's acceptance made her so happy, it just did. Which was fine. And she didn't even feel the need to talk about Ken Ichijouji once; something Yolei didn't notice and Kari didn't mention to her.
"Whoa." No matter how often they did that, the concept of getting sucked into a totally opposite world via computer was always going to be trippy. Yolei bent over slightly, her hands braced on her knees. The surreal feeling of going into the Digiworld was always repeated when they returned back to the school's computer lab.
"Are you okay?" Kari asked softy, putting a hand on her back to steady her. The other girl nodded and straitened, then turned towards her to smile reassuringly.
"I'm okay. It's just a bit disorienting." She found herself watching Kari's lips as she smiled.
"I know the feeling."
Still fixated on Kari, she took a moment to register TK's comment. "Hmm?" She shook her head, trying to clear out the last of the hazy-brain, this-isn't-real feeling. Tearing her eyes away from Kari, she glanced at TK. "Sorry. Still just feeling a little surreal." She grinned, embarrassed.
Kari laughed lightly. "Me too."
"Alright, guys." Tai hollered. "Let's get out of here." The guys followed him out of the room, but Kari and Yolei hung back.
"What are you doing tonight?" She asked Kari suddenly. "I just mean, do you wanna hang out or something?"
"Oh." Kari blinked, clearly confused. "But it's Friday. Don't you usually hang out with your other friends?"
"I guess. Sometimes. But I just thought I'd ask." She stepped back, feeling like a dork. "If you don't want to, that's totally okay."
"No!" Yolei froze, shocked by the forcefulness of Kari's tone. "I mean, that's not what I meant. Never mind." She blushed. "I mean, sure. Should I try to catch Davis and the rest of the guys?"
"If you want. I guess. Or, you know, it could just be us." She looked hopefully at the shutterbug.
Kari gave her a wicked grin. "Let's make it just us." Yolei smiled back.
"Okay." When they left the school, they looked at each other awkwardly. "What do you want to do?"
"My mom and dad are out of town and Tai's got 'plans'" Kari giggled, "tonight. So do you want to rent a movie and make ourselves sick on junk food?"
"Okay, sure." Yolei's grin went up to about a thousand watts. "So, meet you at the rental place at seven?"
"Sounds fun." She turned to look at Yolei and winked. "It's a date." She left, leaving Yolei dumbfounded, wondering if she meant it like that and if so, who had just asked who out. Not that it really mattered.