A/N: To make it easier for me to write dialog, I've eliminated most honorifics. Also, I've only been able to get the first two volumes of Maid-Sama so it's set loosely after the events of Vol. 2
"Come on, Mi-saaa," Erika wheedled as they sat together for their lunch break. "You need to relax and get out for a while. Please?"
Misa took a bite of chicken salad to give herself time to ponder the request. "I have homework, and some proposed clubs needed to be reviewed…"
"It's just two hours!" Erika insisted. "My other friends are out of town or busy with their own boyfriends, and it's no fun shopping alone."
Misa felt herself giving in at Erika's pleading look. Erika was a good coworker and friend and a very pleasant soul. Besides, she knew—despite her disdain for anything "girly"—that shopping for a dress alone was unpleasant and productive. Well, she knew it in theory, anyway; her work uniform was about as feminine as she got and it ended there.
Erika (who attended a high school the next town over) was going to Miyabigaoka High's end-of-summer prom with Makoto Fujioka, one of Maid Latte's regulars. Despite their class differences—something that had worried Erika the first time Makoto had asked her out—they were a natural and loving couple. All the other maids (except for Misa, of course) swooned over the couple and were sure they'd marry someday.
"All right," Misa relented.
"Yay!" Erika leapt up joyfully, nearly spilling her chocolate parfait. "We'll go after our shift on Saturday. I can't wait!"
"Me, neither," Misa said with a forced smile.
Erika's promised two-hour limit dragged into three hours. By the time they were at Paris Evening, the fourth store Erika had dragged her into, Misa was ready to run away screaming. Erika still hadn't found a dress, despite Misa's dispassionate but earnest encouragement. She swallowed a sigh of frustration.
Then Erika stepped out of the fitting room in a shimmering, tastefully form-fitting dress of a pale pink hue. Misa stared and smiled approvingly despite herself. Even she was impressed; the dress suited Erika perfectly.
"That is perfect!" Misa said, with a fleeting thought of how unlike it was of her to be so enthusiastic about something that she deemed, once again, as "too girly".
"I was hoping you'd say that," Erika blushed. "I think I look really good in it, but I didn't want to seem vain…."
"You look wonderful," Misa smiled. "Now, you buy that dress and then we'll grab something to eat at the food court."
Over a lunch of kimchi ramen and ice creams, Misa and Erika talked. Or, rather, Erika talked, chattering away about the prom and what she and Makoto had planned for the night. Misa listened politely as her coworker talked about what music would be played and who at school would be afraid to dance, and who hadn't been able to get a date…all topics completely foreign to Misa.
"And, can you believe the most popular girl got turned down by the tennis club's star player…"
Misa zoned out at that point and gazed into space.
"President! What are you doing here?" a boastful voice exclaimed.
Misa's looked up sharply.
"Igarashi," she said coldly.
Erika stared, glancing between her friend and Igarashi, who stood before them with an expectant smile.
"You know Tora Igarashi? Makoto is on the tennis team with him and says he's the star player!" she blurted, as if Tora wasn't standing there.
Tora made no effort to hide a cocky grin.
"I offered her a scholarship to Miyabigaoka last month," he said, giving a dazzling smile that disarmed Erika and annoyed Misa.
"Don't start this again!"
"I wasn't planning to. I was going to invite you to the prom, Misa-chan."
Erika's face lit up and she smiled broadly at Misa, who all but forgot she was present.
"No," Misa hissed.
Erika studied Misa's expression carefully and realized that there was more of a history between Misa and Tora than the former was letting on. When Tora kept pushing and Misa became more and more flustered, Erika stepped in to save her, going with the first "escape plan" that came to her mind.
"I'm sure Misa's flattered, but I already set her up with Yokei Konegi," she said quite convincingly.
"Once again, you come to Konegi's rescue," Tora sneered. "Why, that boy could hardly even smile at a girl without being coached. "Well, have fun, Misa. I'm sure you'll quite enjoy your night with the most boring boy at the school."
Tora walked away with an air of injured pride, muttering things not fit to be repeated. Erika looked shocked; clearly, Tora Igarashi was not all that her boyfriend made him out to be. She turned to Misa with a smile; Misa, however, was not smiling. Erika shrank back at the glare she was giving her.
"Are you crazy?"
"Excuse me?" Erika gasped at Misa's unfriendly tone.
"I didn't want to go to the prom!" Misa protested.
"I know don't, that was a lie to make him go away…." Erika said, puzzled.
"But Igarashi will hunt me down once he realizes I'm not there or…"
She was about to say "or let Seika know I work at a maid café", but didn't feel like getting into why she hid where she worked from the entire school. Especially not with a coworker who was so enthusiastic about Maid Latte.
"…or he'll think it's because I like Takumi and start a fight with him," Misa lied lamely, knowing all too well that Takumi could defeat Tora before a fight even began.
"Well, then, we'll just have to find you a dress. If there's no other choice. And Yohei really is a sweet boy, poor thing's just shy. Now, let's go find you a dress!"
Misa wished a meteorite would come and destroy the world at this moment.