"Three... four... five... damn it!"
"Since when do you need to hit the vending machines in the morning?" Gloria said as she slammed her locker shut.
"Since I couldn't sleep last night," Kira groaned, slumping against the lockers.
"You were up binge-watching stuff, weren't you?" said Gloria.
"No... Maybe..." Kira's gaze fell to the floor.
"Well who's fault is that?" Gloria said with a smug smile.
"Hey! Be nice to me," Kira whined. "I barely have enough for lunch though."
"You can steal Zak's lunch, can't you?" said Gloria.
"Yeah, but that takes effort, which right now just sounds awful..." Kira groaned.
The two were interrupted by the school bell, signaling class was about to begin.
"Well, just power through," said Gloria, giving Kira a stiff pat on the back that almost knocked her to the ground as she walked away.
"Thanks..." Kira growled as she tried to collect her senses. She briefly considered finding a quiet spot where she could ditch class, but put the idea out of her mind. She slowly trudged through the hallways, mostly not paying attention to where she was going, stumbling past other students who took no notice of her. She moved so slowly that eventually the students dispersed around her, leaving her mostly alone in the hallways.
She began to ascend the stairs to the second floor, but still not paying attention, her foot slid off the step, knocking her shoe off and sending it tumbling down the stairs. This threw her off balance enough to send her falling backwards into what should have been an extremely painful landing, but instead found herself landing softly in someone's arms as her bag crashed to the floor.
"Woah there! The express elevator doesn't stop here."
It took Kira a moment to process that she hadn't just cracked her skull on the floor as her head was still spinning. The shock was certainly enough to wake her up, leaving her vision a blur until her inner ear could catch up with her head. The blurry image eventually formed into a young skunk standing over her. "Are you ok?"
"Y-yeah, fine," Kira said with a slight smile, a bit of blood rushing to her head.
"Well I'm glad to hear that," he said, lifting her back to her feet. "That was some close call!"
"Heh, I guess I wasn't paying attention," Kira grinned nervously.
"You should try it some time," the skunk said, bending down and picking up Kira's dropped shoe and handing it to her. "You never know what you might miss."
"T-Thanks!" Kira said nervously, taking her shoe back as the skunk walked away. She stood there for a moment, watching him walk away before the second bell shook her to her senses, reminding her she was late for class as she bolted up the stairs.
"So, wait, why can't red cards be played?"
"I already explained this part!" Jesse whined. "Red cards are magic, and the Scepter of Anmar negates all magic!"
"Can I play this dude and just break it?" said Jake, holding up a card with an ugly looking green monster on it.
"Stop showing me your un-played cards!" Jesse quickly smacked Jake's hand away. "And that's a goblin orc! You need a dark elf to wield the scepter."
"Dark elf?" Sammy quickly shuffled through the cards in his hand. "How many kinds of elves are there?"
"Ten," said Jesse. "There's Wood Elves, Nature Elves, Celestial Elves, Ancient-"
"Oh! I have a Dark Elf!" Roscoe said excitedly, slapping it down on the table.
"No! That's a Black Elf!" said Jesse.
"What's the difference?" Roscoe shrugged.
"Seriously, I only have red cards," said Zak.
"I'll trade you two red ones for this pixie thing," said Jake, holding out said card.
"You can't trade cards in the middle of a game!" Jesse quickly pushed Jake's arm back.
"Seriously, what is a Black Elf?" said Roscoe.
"I have this thing that can destroy holy relics," Sammy held up one of his own cards. "Will this work?"
"The Scepter of Anmar is an UN-holy relic!" Jesse shrieked. "Did any of you pay attention to the rules?"
"How could anyone follow the rules? There's like hundreds of them," said Gloria, flipping through the rulebook Jesse had brought with him.
"Shut up! You're not playing!" Jesse said nervously.
"Wow, Jesse, I can hear you from the hallways!" said Kira as she approached the table they were all sitting at. The lunchroom was incredibly crowded, but the small table in the corner was getting several glances at their little tabletop game thanks to Jesse's shouting. "What are you all nerding out over anyways?"
"The most confusing game of cards ever," said Zak, throwing his cards onto the table in frustration.
"You're just not taking it seriously!" Jesse whined, picking up Zak's cards. "None of you have any appreciation for tabletop gaming!"
"Here, give me the deck," said Jake. "I can probably find a way to deal poker with these."
"No! Stop messing with my stuff!" Jesse quickly started yanking the cards away from everyone.
"Woah! Is that the Dark Arena expansion pack?"
All noise at the table instantly stopped as everyone looked up to the new figure hovering over him. Only Kira recognized him as the same skunk boy she had come across that morning.
"Um.. y-yes," Jesse said nervously.
"I've been trying to find that myself. You'll need to tell me where I can get my own set." the skunk said as he grabbed an empty chair and sat down next to Kira, now turning his attention to her. "Hi again."
"Hi," she grinned at him.
"Uh, can we help you?" Zak glared across the table at the skunk.
"I noticed you over here, and realized I never caught your name," he said, completely ignoring Zak.
"Oh, it's Kira," Kira said, still grinning back at him.
"Kira. That's a nice name," he replied with his normal charming smile. "I'm Jareth, and I was wondering if I could take you out on a date sometime."
Everyone at the table let out a low gasp. Kira had to do a double take to make sure she had heard him right. "Um... when you say date..."
"As in hang out together and do something fun," said Jareth.
"Ahem..." Zak cleared his throat trying to get their attention.
"Oh... well sure!" Kira said excitedly. "I'm not doing anything today after school."
"Ahem!" Zak tried to interject louder.
"Great! Movie maybe?" Jareth said, still not paying any attention to Zak.
"Right, let me give you my address," Kira quickly rummaged through her bag for a pen and paper.
"AHEM!!!" Zak was now too loud to ignore, and was finally able to get Jareth's attention.
"Is that your boyfriend or something?" Jareth motioned over to Zak.
"Huh? Oh, no, never seen him before," said Kira, handing Jareth the paper with her scribbled address.
"Ok then," Jareth gave her another charming smile as he stood up to walk away. "Guess I'll be seeing you later. Oh! And hey, white tail!" Now he pointed at Jesse. "Remind me to ask you about that expansion pack!"
"Uh huh..." Jesse said, staring dreamily back at Jareth.
"What the hell just happened here?" Jake said, echoing the sentiment of everyone else at the table.
"The balls on that guy..." said Roscoe.
"I know..." Jesse said, still staring dreamily after Jareth. Sammy was unimpressed, eliciting a gagging noise.
Zak was completely silent, instead bolting out of his seat and taking off right after Jareth.
"Zak! No! Come back!" Gloria quickly grabbed him by the tail and dragged him right back to the table.
"Ow! Hey! Let me go!" Zak turned and growled at her.
"Zak! What do you think you're doing?" Kira stood up and got right into Zak's face.
"Nothing!" said Zak, trying to sound calm. "Just gonna have a small chat with that creep and maybe punch him in the face."
"You are such an ass," Kira shoved him in the chest as she grabbed her bag and stormed off, Gloria following her and giving Zak a dirty look.
"Psh... can you believe that guy?" Zak angrily sat back down at the table looking at who was left.
"Dude is gonna fuck your sister," Roscoe said nonchalantly.
"I'll fuck you if you say that again!" Zak shouted back at him, causing everyone else to giggle.
"I can never tell if I look good in blue..."
Hours after school, Kira had dragged Gloria back to her house, and was now digging through her entire closet. "I like blue, but it doesn't go with my eyes."
"Don't you think you're making too big a deal of this?" said Gloria, glancing at the growing pile of clothes on the bed next to her.
"Well I don't wanna look dumpy," Kira said as she threw the blue dress on the bed, picking out a yellow one instead. "What do you think? Too fancy?"
Gloria just gave her a shrug. "Probably."
"Ugh!" Kira groaned as she threw the yellow dress on the bed and ruffled her ears angrily before glancing over at Gloria. "Can I try on your blouse?"
"Ok hun, think about this for a sec," Gloria stood up and grasped Kira's shoulders. "This Jareth guy seems rather laid back, wouldn't you say?"
"Well... yeah," said Kira.
"So, I'd imagine he's not going to make a big deal about what he'll be wearing, would he?" said Gloria.
"I guess not," said Kira.
"My guess is he'll be wearing the same thing he was at school, so why don't you do the same?"
Kira glanced down at her outfit, which was a simple pink tank top and green slacks. "You sure? I feel too casual."
"That's a good thing!" said Gloria.
"Kira! Someone's here for you."
Kira let out a small gulp as her mother called out to her from the living room, but as she opened the door, she was quickly stopped by Zak, crouched down by the door using a glass to eavesdrop. "Seriously? You're gonna be this much of a creep about this?"
"Uh... I was just-" Zak started to stammer out.
"Yeah, you were just nothing," said Kira. "Gloria, can you keep an eye on him?"
"Sure," said Gloria.
"What? I'm not doing anything!" Zak whined as Kira just brushed past him. "Hey! Wait a second! What are-"
"Uh uh, no you don't," Gloria grabbed Zak by the arm, dragging him into his bedroom. "We're gonna sit right here tonight and you're not gonna freak out over nothing." The two could see Kira outside from the window. Jareth was waiting for her on the curb with a pedal bicycle parked next to him.
"Hope you don't mind a bit of an open-air ride," said Jareth, handing her a spare bike helmet.
"It's fine," Kira smiled at him as she slid the helmet over her head, making sure her ears weren't crushed. The bicycle seat had enough room for Kira to sit comfortably, but she had to keep her arms wrapped around Jareth's waist.
"Hang on tight," said Jareth, wrapping his thick tail around Kira's waist before the bike began to lurch forward.
"See? Everything's fine," said Gloria as she watched the bike disappear down the street. "Now you and I are gonna sit here and- Zak?" Gloria turned to see Zak had vanished. She darted out into the hall, but he wasn't there either.
"Oh no..." Gloria quickly ran back to the window, and saw Zak running across the lawn. "No! Get back here you little shit!" Gloria shouted, banging on the window, but Zak just ignored her and darted off down the street, quickly disappearing.
The bike ride lasted all of about 20 minutes before the two pulled up in front of a movie theater. Kira slid her helmet off and hopped off the bike. "So what are we seeing?"
"Well, I think that should be ladies choice," said Jareth as he knelt down, locking the bike to a pole.
"My choice, huh?" Kira glanced around at the posters on display, trying to pick one she was interested in. "Hmm... Ooh! What about Zero Hour Hero?"
"Action film, huh?" Jareth cocked an eyebrow at her.
"What? Expected me to pick a mushy romance movie?" Kira said teasingly.
Jareth said nothing, the ever present confident smile staying on his face as he went to purchase the tickets.
Kira just shrugged as she followed Jareth into the theater, setting her phone to silent, and just narrowly missing a message from Gloria telling her that Zak had gotten away from her.
"How many movie theaters could there be in this town?" Zak grumbled. He had gathered Jake and Jesse with him to track down Jareth, but the process was taking longer than anticipated.
"What is the big deal if she goes to a movie?" said Jake, trailing along with Jesse behind Zak.
"Oh come on! This guy is a total creep!" Zak growled, clenching his fists angrily. "And I don't like him being alone with Kira!"
"Cause he's gonna bang her?" said Jake.
"Shut up!" Zak spun around and shouted at Jake, who had an intolerable grin on his face.
"H-hey! Maybe he's not trying to... um..." Jesse tried to interject.
"What? Plow her up the-"
"JAKE I SWEAR TO DOG I WILL FLING YOU ACROSS THE STREET BY YOUR EARS!!!"
"Sorry, sorry," Jake backed down, but then whispered to Jesse, "I was gonna say up the butt."
"That's not nice..." Jesse groaned.
"Oh ho! I think we hit the mark!" Zak said as they approached the next theater, spotting Jareth's bike outside. "He had this bike at my house."
"Um... w-what exactly are we going to do?" Jesse said nervously.
"We're going in there and make him get his hands off my sister!" said Zak.
"Oh yeah, he'll totally quake in fear of the three of us," Jake said sarcastically.
The three tried to stroll right into the theater but were quickly stopped by the ticket attendant. "Boys, I need to see your tickets!"
"Oh, I just left something in the theater," said Zak.
"Still need to see a ticket," said the attendant.
Zak groaned as he turned toward the others. "You guys have any money?"
"C'mon man, this is getting ridiculous," Jake threw up his arms in frustration. "We're not gonna buy tickets just so we can... what even is the plan here?"
"Uh... well, I'm... not exactly sure..." Zak scratched his head.
"Maybe we should just go?" said Jesse, motioning towards the door.
"Screw this, we'll just wait outside for him," said Zak, heading for the door.
"And do what? Jump him when he comes out right in front of your sister?" said Jake. "Maybe pull them apart as they embrace each other as he slides his-"
"Ears, Jake," said Zak.
Zak glanced around as if looking for an answer, and as luck would have it, he found one. "We're gonna steal the bike."
"I'm sorry, we're doing what now?" said Jake.
"You heard me," Zak motioned for them to follow him.
"Ngh! I don't wanna do this!" Jesse whined.
"Just shut up and help me," said Zak, going right for Jareth's bike that was parked outside and quickly went for the lock. "Damnit, it's a key lock! How do you pick these?"
"How should I know?" Jake shrugged.
"Roscoe needs to get a cell phone already. He knows this stuff," Zak growled as he gave up on the lock and started trying to force the bike off the post. "You two want to help me?"
"Nooooo! This is wrong!" Jesse whined, clutching at his antlers nervously.
"C'mon! This thing feels loose!" said Zak as he yanked harder on the bike, eventually falling backwards, clutching the bike seat in his hands. "...Oops"
"You broke it!"
The three quickly bolted off down the sidewalk, Zak still clutching the detached bike seat in his hands.
"How exactly does a car drive up the side of the building like that?" Jareth shrugged as the two walked out of the theater.
"I don't know, but it was cool," said Kira, clearly all jumpy after the movie.
"I think you mean... absolute zero cool," said Jareth in an exaggerated deep voice, miming putting on sunglasses.
"Oh my dog, stop that!" Kira bust out laughing as Jareth just gave her a goofy grin.
"I hope you're not full on popcorn," said Jareth, recomposing himself. "I've got something special in mind."
"Special? You mean don't mean weird food nobody actually eats, do you?" said Kira.
"Basically they serve nothing but onions," said Jareth. Kira let out a laugh as they approached Jareth's bike, quickly noticing the problem. "Uh, what the heck?"
"Someone took the seat?" Kira stared at the bike in confusion.
"Looks like it," Jareth said with an equally puzzled look.
"Ugh! Some people are animals!" Kira stamped her foot in disgust.
Jareth seemed less angry and more puzzled about how he was supposed to ride the bike like this. First he tried rigging his helmet over the metal spike, but it didn't sit still enough. Then he tried seeing if he could ride it without sitting, but pedaling would throw his balance off. His last idea was to use one of his shoes as a makeshift seat, which did seem to work, but Kira wouldn't be able to fit on it. "Well, I'm stumped."
"Stumped? How are you not furious right now?" said Kira.
"Wouldn't be helpful," said Jareth, re-fastening his shoe to his foot. "Maybe we can walk? It's not that far."
"Um... yeah, I guess," said Kira, taken aback by how well Jareth was handling the situation as he held a hand out to lead the way.
Kira was expecting he was taking her somewhere in town, and was surprised to be led to the outskirts and off road. She felt a bit nervous about where Jareth was taking her, but his upbeat attitude was putting her at ease. Her mind wandered a bit as she felt like someone was watching them from the shadows, but glancing around, found nothing. She was starting to wish she had worn more sensible shoes though. Ballet flats weren't exactly ideal for a hike in the woods.
"Do you want my sneakers?" said Jareth.
"Huh?" Kira was caught off guard by the question.
"You look like you're having a hard time," said Jareth. "You can borrow my sneakers if you want."
"Oh, no, I couldn't ask that," said Kira.
"Sorry, this is a bit unexpected," said Jareth.
"Really, I don't mind," said Kira. She partially did want to take him up on the offer, but it wouldn't be fair.
They continued for a short while along the path before they were brought to a halt by a flooded road. "Ah geez, wasn't expecting this," said Jareth.
Kira cringed as she looked down at the ground which had turned to mud for several yards before them. "Is there another way around?"
"Um... maybe. Hmm..." Jareth scratched at his ears as he glanced around, looking for an alternate path around. Coming up stumped, he turned back to the mud before them. "Here, climb up." He knelt down and helped Kira climb onto his back.
"Wait, what?" Kira was a bit surprised by the move as Jareth scooped her feet up off the ground, propping her up on his back with his tail. "You're not seriously..."
Sure enough, Jareth stepped out into the mud, ferrying her across. "It's not that far," he said.
"Oh my dog, are you kidding me?" Kira started laughing. "That has gotta be so gross."
"Nah, it's fine," Jareth lied as he cringed from the feeling of mud flowing over his sneakers. He pushed forward, trudging through until he was almost across when suddenly his foot sunk deep into the mud. "Woooah!"
"Aaah! Careful!" Kira yelped as she gripped Jareth's shoulders. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," said Jareth as he tried to pull his foot out. "Um... just a bit stuck."
"Here, let me get down," said Kira.
"No no! I can do this," said Jareth as he struggled to free his leg. It took a decent amount of force, but his foot finally popped free, but clad only in a muddy white and grey sock. "Uff... well, there goes my shoe."
"Oh no," Kira was still laughing. "Let me down and I'll help you get it back."
"No, seriously, let me get you to dry ground," said Jareth, continuing his trudging until they were on terra-firma. Kira hoped down from Jareth's back, getting a look at his feet. His remaining shoe had turned from navy blue to brown, as did the sock on his de-shoed foot.
"Oh wow, I'm so sorry," said Kira. "Maybe we can dig it out?"
"Eh, it was my dumb idea," said Jareth, staring down at his own muddy feet. "Let's just let it go," He shrugged and continued onwards.
Kira just blinked dumbfoundedly at Jareth, still not sure what to make of him. He was now stumbling through the woods minus one shoe, and didn't seem all that bothered. It was so bizarre that he was this calm about it, but in the end, she just shrugged it off and followed him.
It wasn't long before an interesting smell started to fill the air. "Oh, what is that?" Kira sniffed at the air, detecting a hint of some odd spice.
"It means we're getting close," said Jareth, leading her along into a clearing with bright lights. Kira could hear people up ahead, along with music playing.
"I didn't know there was anything this far out here," said Kira.
"You'll find interesting things everywhere if you're willing to look," said Jareth as the clearing opened up, revealing a small building by the lakeside.
"What is this place?" said Kira.
"It's called Ferdinand's," said Jareth. "One of Eudora's best kept secrets."
"Well, color me intrigued," said Kira as the two approached the small waterfront building.
Unbeknownst to the duo, they had been followed by three familiar figures, one of which was still clutching Jareth's bike seat in his hand. They had almost lost them by taking a detour around the flooded area through the thick trees, but so far from civilization, it was hard to miss Ferdinand's.
"C'mon guys, hurry up!" Zak called out to the others trailing behind him.
"This is not how I planned on spending my night," Jake growled as he trudged through the brush scraping at his bare legs.
"Ever hear of a thing called pants?" Zak snapped at him. "You don't hear Jesse complaining, do you?"
"I think I have a rock in my shoe..." Jesse whined.
"Ugh, just shut up and come here," said Zak as he motioned them towards the tree's edge. "Look! There they are!"
"Ok, so what exactly is your plan then?" said Jake.
"I'm thinking," said Zak.
"Well, think faster, cause the smell from that place is making me hungry," said Jake.
"Can you keep your stomach under control?" said Zak. "We can't let them see us!"
Jake paused for a moment. "Why not?"
"Why not?" Zak repeated. "Kira will kill us if she sees us!"
"No she won't," said Jake. "She'll kill you. We've got no stake in this."
"How about I'll kill you then?" said Zak.
"Threats, huh?" Jake sneered. "C'mon Jess, you hungry?"
"What? No!" Zak grabbed Jake's arm. "You are not going out there!"
"Look, if you wanna go crazy psycho stalker on your sister, then go ahead," said Jake. "But don't drag us into this."
"Hey! Friends are supposed to stand by each other," Zak snapped. "Isn't that right Jess?"
Jesse wasn't paying all that much attention, being more focused on the smells wafting through the air. "Is that roasted cauliflower?"
"Two against one it seems," said Jake, pulling away from Zak through the tree line with Jesse quickly following him.
"No! Get back here!" Zak hissed at them, but to no avail. He growled angrily before kicking a bush and running off.
"You mean you've never had shrimp before?"
"I don't think so," said Kira as she eyed the small curly shellfish she was holding in her fingers.
"I find that hard to believe," Jareth laughed. "I guess it's like fish, just kinda... bite sized."
Kira shrugged and popped the piece of shrimp into her mouth, and was quickly hit with a sudden heat. "Oh! Hot!"
"Ah, probably should've warned you that things can be spicy here," said Jareth.
"Mff! It's fine," said Kira, quickly grabbing her cup of lemonade to wash it down.
"Well, this is a total wash," said Jareth looking down at his feet. His socks and remaining shoe had been completely ruined by mud. Kira watched as he yanked the shoe off, tossing it off the dock they were sitting on and into the bushes where it landed out of sight.
"I'm really sorry about that,' said Kira.
"Eh, don't worry about it," said Jareth as he peeled his muddy socks off, dipping his bare feet into the lake.
Kira's ear twitched curiously. "You seem so... relaxed about this."
"I guess so," said Jareth.
"I mean... about everything really," said Kira. "It's almost like nothing fazes you."
"I guess I don't see the point about getting upset over things," said Jareth, playfully swirling his toes around in the water. "Easier to just go with the flow I guess."
"Go with the flow, huh?" said Kira, mulling the thought over in her head, but got distracted by the sight of Jake and Jesse out of the corner of her eye. "Wait, is that..."
"Huh?" Jareth looked over his shoulder. "Oh! Aren't those friends of yours?"
"That's a strong word. Excuse me a minute," said Kira, standing up and marching towards Jake and Jesse. "Alright morons, what are you doing here?"
Jesse let out a nervous squeak as Jake put on his best innocent face. "Oh uh uh, hey! What are you doing here?"
"Cut the crap!" Kira snapped. "Were you following me? Is Zak with you"
"Whaaaaaaat? No, no, no way, right Jesse?" Jake said elbowing Jesse in the ribs. Jesse responded by nervously shaking his head.
"So, what? You just happened to end up at the same place I'm on a date at?" Kira crossed her arms, glaring at them.
"Uhhhh yes! Yeah, that's what happened," said Jake.
"R-r-roasted cauliflower..." Jesse stammered, holding up the basket of roasted vegetables he had just bought.
"Hey, everything ok here," Jareth approached Kira from behind.
"Uh, yeah, I think so," said Kira.
"Oh hey, you're here too! What a surprise!" Jake laughed nervously.
"You were the guys playing Kingdom Warfare at lunch, right?" said Jareth.
"Y-Yes!" Jesse said excitedly, his cheeks turning bright red beneath his fur. "D-d-did you know there's a new expansion next month, and-"
"Hey bud, another time, ok?" said Jareth, putting his arm around Kira. "We're on a date here, and I'm guessing you guys don't want your date interrupted."
Jake and Jesse both lurched nervously upright going stiff as Jareth and Kira turned to leave. "Nononono! We're not, uh... not like that!" Jake laughed nervously. "Well, he is, but I'm not."
Kira laughed as she heard Jesse shrieking and running away. "That was pretty cool."
"Hmm? Did something happen," said Jareth, seemingly unaware of the goings on behind him. "Hey! You feel like dancing?"
"Huh? Dancing? Here?" said Kira. There was music playing, but there wasn't exactly a place set aside for dancing.
"Yeah, no law against it," said Jareth leading her onto the grass. Kira decided to just go along with it, kicking her shoes off and joining Jareth in a sort of freeform dance. It was ridiculous and was gaining the attention of pretty much everyone, but it didn't seem to bother her. This was fun, and that was all that seemed to matter.
"Now they're dancing?" Jake stared at the two of them curiously. "This guy is out to lunch."
"Well... I guess it looks kinda fun," said Jesse, "Um... do you wanna-"
"Dude, no," Jake rolled his eyes sarcastically.
"I can't watch this," Kira cringed. "Maybe we should just stop and call my dad?"
"No no, it's fine," Jareth insisted. "Just tell me if you see any broken glass." He had insisted on walking Kira home, but he had nothing on his feet, which was proving more than a little difficult.
"Please don't even say that," Kira chuckled nervously.
"Oh ha ha, I'm glad my misery is so- OW!" Jareth suddenly jumped, clutching his foot.
"Oh no, are you-"
"It's fine, it's fine!" said Jareth, putting his foot back down.
Kira tried to compose herself through her nervous laughing. "I'm sorry. This must have been such a miserable night."
"Miserable?" said Jareth. "Why would you say that?"
"Cause your bike got vandalized, you lost your shoes, and now I'm worried you might end up with tetanus or something," said Kira.
"My bike and shoes can be replaced," said Jareth. "And you don't catch tetanus from stepping on a stick. Wasn't everything else fun?"
"Well... yeah," said Kira.
"Then why focus on the negative so much?" said Jareth.
Kira just stared at him, almost in awe. "You really are something else."
"Technically true, I guess," Jareth shrugged.
Kira laughed as they continued on, eventually reaching her house. "So I guess I'll see you tomorrow at school then?" said Jareth.
"Wait, are you planning on walking home barefoot?" said Kira.
"I guess I am," said Jareth.
"No, I can't let you do that," said Kira as she started to head for the door. "Hold on, I'll go ask my dad to drive you home."
"Uh, I don't know if that's such a good idea," Jareth said nervously.
"Well I can't let you walk all that way in your bare feet," said Kira, scratching her head trying to think of an idea, when she was suddenly hit with an idea. "Oh! Wait here!"
She quickly ran inside, exchanging quick pleasantries with her parents before making a beeline for Zak's room, not even acknowledging him before she started rummaging through his closet.
"Um, can I help you?" Zak sat up on the bed, completely taken aback by the sight of Kira digging through his closet.
"These don't fit you anymore, right?" said Kira, emerging holding a pair of brown leather sandals.
"Uh, maybe? I haven't-"
"Great, thanks," Kira didn't wait for him to finish before leaving the room.
"Hey! I didn't say you could take those!" Zak called after her, but Kira just ignored him.
She re-emerged from the front door where Jareth was still waiting for her. "Here! You can take these."
Jareth eyed the sandals in her hands. "Huh? Who's are these?"
"They're my brother's, but he never wears them anymore," said Kira. "I know, he has weird fashion sense."
The sandals were a brown leather, having clear signs of being well worn already, with a cross strap along the instep, and a heel cup to hold them on. Jareth took them and slid them on, testing them out a little. "Hey, not bad. Perfect fit, nice and comfy, and I can get down with this style. What do you think?"
"They look better on you then they ever did on my brother," Kira giggled.
"Good enough for me," said Jareth. "I'll give ‘em back tomorrow."
"No, keep ‘em," said Kira. "He never wears these, and he has like 5 other pairs."
"You're sure?" said Jareth.
"Sure I'm sure," said Kira, giving him a small kiss on the cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Jareth paused for a moment, then smiled at her, his ears giving a slight wiggle. "Sounds great! See you then."
Kira watched as he disappeared down the street before turning around to go back inside. Zak was waiting for her outside his room. "What was that about?"
"He needed a pair of shoes," said Kira, brushing past him. "I figured you wouldn't mind volunteering one of the five hundred pairs you own."
"I do mind actually," said Zak. "I don't want his smelly feet in my nice shoes!"
"Oh my dog! Will you give it a rest?" said Kira exasperatedly as she sat down on Zak's bed. "You've been acting like a big baby about this all day!"
"I am not!" Zak argued. "I'm telling you, that guy is a creep!"
"Oh come on!" Kira sighed, lying back on Zak's bed, "Do you even know- ow! What the..." She had bumped her head on something under Zak's pillow. Reaching underneath, she felt something small and leathery, pulling it out to reveal Jareth's bike seat.
"Um, I can explain-" Zak tried to start.
"You..." Kira's mind quickly connected the dots. "You were following us?"
"Well, you see-"
"You stole his bike seat?!" Kira jumped up and whapped Zak across the head with the seat.
"Ow! If you'll just listen-"
"You utter creep!" Kira shouted, continuing to whack him with the seat. "And you have the nerve to call him a creep?!"
"Ow! Stop! I was just-"
"You were just staying the hell out of my life from now on!" Kira gave him a swift kick to the shin before storming out of his room, slamming the door behind her.
"But I..." Zak stood there for a moment before throwing himself back down on the bed face first, letting out an exasperated sigh.
"So, you were stalking her?"
"Really? Cause it sounds like stalking."
Zak slumped down on the table. "I wasn't stalking! I was observing!"
"And stealing a bike seat," said Jake.
"That wasn't the plan," Zak groaned.
"Right, you meant to steal the whole bike," said Roscoe.
"I didn't... ugh!" Zak threw his head back. "Sam, you're smart. How do I fix this?"
"Fix this?" said Sammy. "What do you mean fix this?"
"Kira's pissed at me," said Zak. "I need to make her not pissed at me!"
"In that regard, I think you're fucked," said Sammy, his smug expression not changing a bit.
"Oh shut up," said Zak, turning to the others at the table. "What about you guys?"
"Personally, I'm onboard with the ‘you're fucked' theory," said Jake.
There was silence at the table for a moment, before one small voice spoke up.
"You could try apologizing."
Everyone looked up at Jesse's simple suggestion before Zak spoke. "I already tried that. She won't even speak to me."
"I didn't mean to her..." Jesse said meekly.
It took Zak a moment to figure out who Jesse meant. He glanced over at the table where Kira and Gloria were sitting, Jareth was sitting with them, and he still had Zak's sandals on his feet.
"Alright," Zak sighed, standing up. "You guys come with me and... I dunno, just try to look imposing or something."
The four of them followed Zak, none of them really knowing what it meant to look imposing. Kira refused to acknowledge them, but Jareth did. "Hey! It's you guys!" He sounded almost happy to see them.
"Um... hey," said Zak, caught a little off guard. "So, I guess I owe you an apology."
"Oh yeah?" said Jareth.
"Yeah," said Zak, noticing Kira glaring up at him. "I, uh... acted inappropriately, and-"
"Whatever, it's cool," said Jareth.
"Huh?" Zak was taken slightly aback.
"Yeah, it's in the past, nothing to do about it, so whatever," Jareth smiled.
"Well... ok then," Zak started to back away slowly.
"Why don't you guys sit with us?" Jareth motioned for them to sit down.
Zak started to object, but the rest of his group had already walked past him and sat down. "Yeah, sure..." Zak took a seat next to Jareth, catching a glance at Kira giving him a dirty look.
"Oh, can I get these back to you tomorrow?" said Jareth, pointing down at his feet, still clad in Zak's sandals. "I still don't have anything else to wear."
"Uh..." Zak gave Kira another glance, who was now shooting him daggers, "Y-you can keep ‘em..."
"Really? Geez, thanks," Jareth smiled. "Gotta admit, these are growing on me."
"Yeah, great..." said Zak, giving Kira another glance, who now had a smirk on her face as he sunk down into his chair, wishing he could be anywhere else.