madimpossibledreamer: Jiraiya|Yosuke jumping and using a throwing star (jiraiya|yosuke)
[personal profile] madimpossibledreamer
that song I found on youtube?  It sounds really persona 2.

Main Points:
Persona 4 Arcana Life
Chapter Summary: Rise snoops around and tries to discover Souji's crush.  All for his own good, of course.  (And maybe her own curiosity, but that's a secondary factor.)

Word Count: 1230
Rating: gen

         Rise’s used to this, dealing with people whose stage personality differs from their real one.  Priestess is a whole ‘nother level, but part of that is probably the fact that she’s bipolar.  And one hell of an actress, the star on hiatus thinks admiringly.  Her meds seem to be doing her a world of good, and even when she’s depressed she can put on a happy face.  The show must ever go on.
         And the whole Gothic thing—she chose not to do that on stage.  From what Rise hears.  And given that the Arcana Life people are pretty much themselves even as they choose to be Arcana of the Tarot, well, it’s a fairly believable rumor.
         “You know, fans aren’t supposed to be backstage,” she calls out with a hint of annoyance.
         “I’m not exactly a fan…” Rise calls out, and that earns the other peeking her head around the corner. 
         “Wow.  Risette.  Damn.  Come on in.”  She gestures with a lace-covered arm, disappearing into the room again.
         She does, feeling the emotions rising to haunt her, seeing the familiar backstage with instruments and costumes lying around, but she’s on a mission and can’t afford to get distracted.  Priestess is in the middle of trying to get on her blue and white ice-themed dress.  It’s probably difficult to do on her own.
         “Let me help.  I’m here to talk to you anyway,” Rise offers.
         It doesn’t earn a reply, just Priestess shrugging her shoulders noncommittally and turning around without a word, but she figures that’s close enough to permission.  There’s a bit of uncomfortable silence before Rise begins.  “I’m here on behalf of a friend.”
         She’s interrupted by an orange whirlwind bursting into the room and beginning to rifle through things.  “Yo, Kame, I’m missing my handkerchief apparently, have you seen—”  The voice stops completely.  “I’m not hallucinating, right?  That’s Risette in our dressing room, right?  Was she on the program somewhere?  Am I blind now?  Do I need glasses?”
         “Yes.  No.  I don’t know.  You already have some for shows.  Please tell me you’re going to be professional about this.”  She’s so sarcastic.  It’s kind of funny, when you’re not on the receiving end, that is.
         “Hey, I’ll have you know I’m a consummate professional.”  The Magician clutches at his heart, like he’s wounded, and winks at Rise for good measure.  Then he holds out his hand, Western-style, for a handshake.  It’s a bit odd, but then, they haven’t ever been formally introduced, aside from a few moments as the venues and managers scramble to get everything together for the shows.  She notes he’s mastered the art of looking normal in front of an audience, immediately switching from the panicked ‘not being observed’ guy to a casual, cool Prince of Junes.  He’d already been a natural at it, the few times they’d met passing each other backstage between parts, but by now it’s like it’s a second skin.
         She shakes it, notes that he’s a little surprised by the strength she displays (dancing requires a lot of strength, and she’s not about to get caught on her own without some kind of defense even if she’s pretty much out of the way, because Himiko is not a fighter-type Persona).  He doesn’t attempt to intimidate her, but he’s not treating her like a fragile princess, either, which she appreciates.  “And so is Risette, as you know having met her, so you don’t have anything to worry about, Kame-chan.”
         Rise gets the distinct impression Kame’s rolling her eyes at them.
         “As pleasant as it would be, Magician-kun, I didn’t come to speak to you, and I only have a certain amount of time before—”  It’d already taken her longer than planned, anyway.
         “Oh, man, sorry!  Don’t let me keep you, then—I have to find my handkerchief, too.  Before rehearsal.  It’s always nice to see you, Risette.  We’ll have to catch up.  I’ll be in town for a while, so just call or something.”  He waves, and then he’s gone as quickly as he came.
         “If you’re running out of time, Risette-chan, you might want to ask what you came for,” Priestess states bluntly.  It’d be rude if there wasn’t a trace of care in there, too.
         Rise takes a deep breath.  “At school, we have this…well, he’s basically our Leader, and he has a crush.  I was wondering if you would consider—”
         “What’s he look like?” Priestess interrupts, and Rise lets her newfound confidence beat down the hint of anxiety that surfaces.
         “That’s right; you might recognize him.  He might’ve been to a few Arcana Life shows.  He’s really dignified.  He’s a teenager but he looks mature—”
         “Wait.”  Priestess sounds…a little breathless?  “You’re talking about Mr. Got Old Early, right?”
         Rise frowns.  That’s definitely rude, and it’s fine for the most part but Senpai’s crush making fun of him—
         And then Priestess starts laughing, deep, body-shaking laughs that require her to lean forward and rest her arms on her knees.  That’s…okay, that’s also rude, but Rise has no idea how to respond.
         Eventually she stops, wiping away her tears (and Rise spares a moment of envy for waterproof makeup).  “You’re kidding, right?  Guy with grey hair?  It’s not me he’s got a crush on.”  She still sounds vaguely breathless.
         And that can’t be right.
         “Did he talk to you?” is the only thing she can think to say, and so she does.  Demands it, really.
         “He didn’t have to,” Priestess says finally.  And then she sighs.  “Look, it’s not my place to talk about it.  But there’s a couple things.  Yeah, he’s got a crush on one of the members of Arcana Life, not me, and I’m not gonna say who.  They’ve talked, a couple of times.  If this was some sort of setup thing, count me in, because I’m getting tired of the moping.  And there’s the—you know that thing fans do when they’re interested in you?  Like, they never even glance anywhere else?  He was doing that, but not to me.  Barely even glanced at me, couldn’t take his eyes off one of the others.  He didn’t have to, not to tell me who he likes, and definitely because he didn’t feel compelled to.  Yeah, he likes my violin work, but I’m not the one who caught his attention.”
         Rise frowns, thoughtful and not annoyed anymore.  She hadn’t thought the childlike Judgement was Senpai’s type, but it’s hard to tell.  Still, if they attend—and Rise will make sure that happens in some way—she can watch and figure it out on her own, if it’s as obvious as Priestess is implying.  “Well, thank you for your help!” she finishes getting Priestess into her costume with a cheerful smile.
         Priestess meets her smile as she stands.  “Oh, it was my pleasure, believe me.”  She stands to leave the room and adds under her breath, “…He really was getting insufferable.”  It’s low enough she wasn’t meant to hear, but her hearing seems to have gotten better since she got her own Persona.
         At which point Rise’s brain stutters.  He?  …Well, that would explain why Senpai didn’t react to Risette’s charms at all…
         And it doesn’t change the plan at all.  Souji-senpai saved her life, her soul.  The least she can do is make him happy, with a little good-natured teasing along the way.

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