[Future Event] ==>
Jane was, as always, overthinking things. She got the same look of annoyed dismay whenever they spent time together. From the way she held herself with too much forced relaxation in an attempt to appear nonchalant, to the way she scrunched up her button nose and worried her bottom lip when she thought he couldn’t see - she was good at being in the boardroom. But nobody she’d sat down with to broker a deal had been a Strider.
And Striders were simply the best puppeteers.
For now though he shoved all the history between them into a corner. Breath deeply, tread carefully, and don’t fuck this up was steadily becoming his mantra this morning. No matter how slim the chances of Jake and Jane ending up together, he would be mature and keep them both in his life. Contingency plans were his specialty; he had learned long ago that banking all your cards on one outcome would usually prove disastrous.
“I’ve got it memorized,” he assured her as she pulled out the recipe card to offer him. It was Jake’s favourite, after all.
Turning back to the storage space in the kitchen he quickly located the waffle iron he had found during his first sweep of the place. He had been surprised to find it, still in its box, but considering the fact that Roxy was never even up for breakfast and that it had been a gift, he assumed it was from her mother. The place was littered with such items from both parties - the result of their silent feud.
At the mention of fruit he had already started mixing up the batter, having cleared a sizeable patch of the counter near a socket to plug it in. “You can call down if you want. Just hit zero.” It struck him as a little odd that Jane knew less about the place Roxy lived than he himself did. Apparently their schedules had been even more conflicting than Roxy had let on.
Jane tried to school her face into the variety she would use for playing poker, were she a gambler, but it was simply no use— not when she was dealing with the master of Poker Faces himself.
Normally, she was good at hiding her displeasure. However, something about Dirk made it difficult to hide her unease and discomfort. Perhaps it was, in part, because she wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to hide it at all.
But, by golly, she was determined to get along with Dirk, even if it killed her. She didn’t particularly understand why the hostility was still present, especially since she’d given into the fact that Jake was definitely not going to like her back. (Oh, Arceus, still her heart— it still hurt to say that.) They’d gotten along just swell as kids… aside from the whole Betty Crocker thing, but the idea that a company for baked goods and technology had a hand in his parents’ deaths was completely insane.
Then again, that was when Jane’s crush was small and easily ignored, as opposed to the completely smitten love she’d developed. She supposed that once you were rivals with Dirk Strider, there was no turning back.
She packed the card away, having predicted that Dirk would already know the recipe. But just because she’d forseen it didn’t mean it was a disappointment. Dirk would take good care of Jake. She knew he would. In fact, he was probably the only person in the world that she trusted to take care of Jake, aside from perhaps herself and
Betty Crocker Grandma English. (Hmm, where had that stray thought come from?)
“Oh? I usually just head to the convenience store in the lobby,” Jane remarked curiously. She’d always picked up an apple or something there on her way out after a sleepover. It irked her that Dirk still somehow knew more about how Roxy lived than Jane did; was her building really one of the complexes that had room service? “After all, it’s only a few sets of stairs.”
She seemed to recall something about one of his brothers… perhaps was it the youngest one? Ah, she hadn’t spoken to him very often… Dane? No, Dave. It was Dave.
Dave, who was perpetually warning people about staircases. Just… telling them to be careful?
Something like that. She doubted it had any relevance to Dirk.
She turned around and headed out of the kitchen, fully intent on heading downstairs. It was a blow to her pride that she’d rather not admit to not know such a basic fact about Roxy’s apartment. She was almost at the door when she remembered that it would take her five minutes to get to the bottom floor in the elevator alone, much less the stairs, and who knows how long the line at the convenience was? And she was not going to cede her turf (i.e. the kitchen) to Dirk.
She swallowed her pride and picked up the phone.
After placing an order for some fruit, Jane returned to the kitchen.
“Thank you for informing me of the delivery service.”
She was rather proud of the lack of wavering in her voice.