Side Fangs #80: “Party Crashers”
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Kai parked the Matora family backup minivan and glared at Ko. Her twin sister didn’t notice, however, as she was looking towards Kalei’s house.

“I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t Koridia invite us to this?” Ko asked.

“Because we’re banned from her house?” Kai asked.

Ko winced.

“I hope you’re having second thoughts about this,” Kai said. “I can always just drive us home.”

“No way! I haven’t even…no!” Ko said.

“You could always just get your license, so I don’t always have to drive you.” Kai said. “Also, why are they here?” She asked, pointing to the backseat where Arielle Roux and Latte Bein were seated.

“Greetings, Matora sisters!” Roux said.

“Sinister greetings.” Latte said.

“First off, you already said hi when I picked you up,” Kai said. “And uh, second off. I forget.”

“We’re here for the same reason Ko is. We couldn’t pass up the chance to crash a sleepover with our true love, Lillia!”

This time Ko noticed Kai staring daggers at her and laughed nervously.

“Ko, I’m just gonna say it.” Kai said.

“No.” Ko said.

“This…feels like…”

“Shut up. It’s not.”

“This absolutely feels like a cluster. You’re making another cluster here.”

“Shut up. It’s so different.”


“Well, this time I only have one girl in mind.”

“Uh huh, that’s how the last one started.”

“No, shut up,” Ko said, counting on her fingers. “I had three crushes, and I decided to play the field and ask them all out. What would you do if they all said yes?”

“I would decide who I liked most I guess?” Kai said. “And in your case that was all three equally somehow. And then it somehow like. Uh. Biggified from there.”

“I think you mean ‘escalated.’” Roux said.

“Shut up, Roux, no one asked you.” Ko said.

“The two minions being involved is different, I’ll give you that.” Kai said. “Why did you make such a big stink about doing this tonight?”

“Normally I wouldn’t care,” Ko said. “I already scared Zeta off once off the trail of Cadence with my badassetry. But I recently heard that she cheated on her last girlfriend, so it had me thinking.”

“Thinking stupidly.” Kai said.

“Thinking tactically.” Ko said. “Zeta Faleur, alone with Lillia at some point tonight? Without me there to block it? What if the crush comes back? Or if it never left? What if she’s just been waiting until she has a girlfriend so she can cheat on her like some…I don’t even know what you’d call it?”

“You think Zeta Faleur is capable of cheating?” Kai asked. “She can’t even do a swear word. I saw her cry because she accidentally unscrewed a screw in her desk and thought she was going to be expelled.”

“People can surprise you, my dear sister.” Ko said.

“I thought I said to quit talking to me like that.” Kai said. “And you probably heard it wrong.”

“Well, even if I didn’t. I don’t want Zeta and Lillia to be in the same place alone like this. So I’m gonna go in there and get her to confess what she’s up to and badass my way above her again so Lillia only has eyes for me.”

“And what are we going to do?” Roux asked.

“Be annoying, I guess?” Ko said.

“We’re gonna do that badass thing but better.” Latte said. “I’ll even kill Zeta if I have to.”

“OK, Latte just threatened to murder Faleur.” Kai said, locking the already locked car doors again just to be safe. “I hate that I’m the voice of reason here.”

“You’re not,” Ko said. “And she’s just bluffing anyways.”

“You don’t know that.” Latte said.

“I do.” Roux said. “You were rehearsing that kill line back at school. That was the first time I heard you say it without adding ‘metaphorically.’”

“Dude, Latte wants to metaphorically kill Faleur,” Kai said. “That’s like even worse than regular killing.”

“I think metaphorically means pretend.” Ko said.

“Well.” Kai strummed the steering wheel. “Still.”

Ko unlocked her door and looked to her sister. “Last chance for you to tell me this is a bad idea.”

“It’s a bad idea,” Kai said. “I’ll be waiting right here for max fifteen minutes because it’s pretty chilly today.”

“What? You’re the getaway vehicle!” Ko said.

“Then text me if you need a getaway, we don’t live far.” Kai said. “I’m not sitting out here in the cold.”

“Whatever.” Ko said, getting out of the car.

“Thank you for the ride!” Roux said as she and Latte crawled out of their seats and joined Ko walking in the dark.

* * *

Kalei had a bad feeling about this. She knew only Ko Matora did that triple doorbell ring. How did she even know there was a sleepover tonight? She stopped at the front door, hesitating and hedging her bets if Ko would go away if she ignored her for long enough.

“Kalei! Did you have more friends coming?” Mahina called out from the gym.

“Uh, no!” Kalei yelled back.

“Well, I’m pretty sure I saw the Matora sisters’ van drive by and there’s a girl at the door. If you’re not going to tell them they’re still banned from my house, I will!”

“I'll tell them…” Kalei said.

Sure enough, when Kalei opened the front door, Ko waited for her.

“Dude, you can’t stay here long,” Kalei said before Ko could get a word in. “My mom still doesn’t want you in our house after you busted her table…” Kalei leaned to look behind Ko. “Why the hell are Roux and Latte with you?”

“We’re here for love,” Latte said.

“Whatever, can you all just go?”

“Wow, Kalei, really rude.” Ko said. “I just wanted to talk then I’ll get out of your hair. And the girls I wanted to talk to are right there.” Ko pointed ahead.

“Huh?” Kalei turned to see Zeta, Oka, and Lillia behind her.