Tadashi had told Allie that she had precisely one hour and twenty-five minutes to sit down for a nice dinner with him. Even on his own birthday, he couldn’t make a whole lot of time for his girlfriend, but she understood. His schedule for the evening included finding Axel to give him an official reprimand paper from Lady Arlington, sitting in a student council meeting so they could argue over budget, writing a five-page essay because it was due tomorrow, and a twenty-minute power nap since it was his birthday.
Allie had no idea how he would react to what she had set up instead of a simple dinner. Tasteful decorations had been brought in, courtesy of Karolina and Neha. Music played as Tegan tweaked the sound system and Tyler tweaked the playlist. Alistair had set up a buffet table with some of Tadashi’s favorite foods and was supposed to keep Tadashi in the party room until it was over. He’d promised a stressed-out Allie that he would carry Tadashi back over his shoulder if necessary. Claire had found a cute punch bowl. Raquel had spiked the punch.
“Allie, inform Claire that this is a party!” Tyler left his unplanned DJ role, to help convince Claire that alcohol was only a necessary evil.
Allie continued her mental checklist over everything. She didn’t see what could go wrong and paced nervously for the next twenty minutes until, right on time, Tadashi strolled in.
His eyes were already narrowed in suspicion and he ran over everything with a strict gaze before finally settling it on Allie. She hurried to meet him, and everyone was suddenly very quiet. His icy gaze didn’t let up and the only sound Allie heard besides the music was the dull roar of adrenaline. Okay, Allie, chill out he’s not gonna fight you or something!
“I know that you said nothing big for your birthday, but I’ve taken care of everything.”
His expression softened when he answered, “I didn’t say that because I hate having fun, Allie. I said it because I have a busy schedule. I have to track down Ax-“
“He’s locked in his room for the night. He also received 500 emails on all of his personal and professional accounts about Lady Arlington’s reprimand.” Allie had done a lot of math homework for a promise that he’d stay there. Tegan had been easier to bribe, only a few bad tips to Tyler on how building in Fortday worked.
Some of Tadashi’s ice melted at the thought of Axel locked in his room but he tried again. “I still have student cou-“
“Ellie is there now and has promised they will agree on a charity to donate to by the end of the meeting.” Ellie had been unnervingly cheery at the prospect and had muttered something about “first the school then the world”.
Tadashi raised his eyebrow, “My paper is already written then?” Allie nodded. “Well, I hope someone isn’t also taking my nap for me?”
“It’s been rescheduled for later this evening.”
He held out a hand towards where the others were waiting, “Since I seem to have no choice, lead the way.”
This was met with cheers and a resuming of the festivities. Tyler turned the music up, Raquel started the dancing and Allie received her first hourly text of the evening of Axel in his room. He was flipping her off in this one. But the birthday boy’s smile at the picture was worth it.