chapter summary: yukiko, chie, and souji meet up with yosuke. in the past, souji tells his friend how the outing with saki-senpai went and refers to koual as a friend.
word count: 2052
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You cling to this ‘girl’ persona for all you’re worth. It’s the only thing keeping you sane. “If you wanted to date anyone here, who would it be?”
The representative is about to speak, but Yosuke shakes his head. “I’ve got this,” he states with determination. It’s the same sort of confidence he gets in battle, channeled, nervous surety that always gets your heart racing.
This scares you a little.
He stares straight at you. “Seta.”
Instantly, there’s protest. Chie kicks him, if his yelp is any indication, and hisses, “That’s not funny!”
He waves it all away. “This isn’t a joke. Believe me,” he takes a deep breath, then continues, “…I might be a jerk sometimes, but I’d like to think I’m not that cruel.” He rubs his leg a little. “I’ve had a long time to think about this. Actually, I was hoping that this exact situation would come up when I put in the suggestion for the Group Date Café in the first place. Guy or girl, I don’t care. I realized, well…” He rubs the back of his head a little, the tips of his ears glowing red. “Aside from the guy thing, you’re exactly my type. You’re an amazing cook. And that’s, like, eight-tenths of the battle right there.”
He winks. Your mouth’s been open a while. You’re really hoping that you don’t look like a complete idiot.
“You’re funny. You’re shy, though when you start talking you open up and it’s amazing to see. You’re really intelligent and you do sports and you play my stupid obscure games and read the same manga and I don’t feel like such a loser, you know? You’re responsible and talented and everyone looks up to you, even some of the senpai. You’ve got a huge heart and you’re an amazing hero, and you’ve seen everything that makes me feel like I’m worthless and still like me for me, and someone that amazing doesn’t come around too often.”
By this point, Chie and Yukiko are listening with rapt attention, and even Daisuke’s impressed.
Yosuke meets your eyes, and for the first time you catch that he, too, is nervous. “So, I guess I’ll say it again. I’d date you, Seta.”
You smile for what feels like the first time in months and reach out a hand, and he takes it.
“So, this really is a group date, now,” Yosuke jokes, beaming ear to ear, like this was all his idea (which you now know it really kind of was). It’s far too goofy to be smug, though, and you’re wearing a matching grin.
You’d almost imagine the conversation never happened. There are a few days where Yosuke’s a little more hesitant to swing his arm around your shoulders, but that passes and it’s like nothing’s changed. It’s nice. It’s frustrating.
He doesn’t ask you if he’s the last person to know, though by now he must be reading the signs. It’s only by his behavior—subtle changes, but he’s putting more thought into his actions sometimes. Which is disconcerting. Weird.
He doesn’t tease Kanji—not about that, anyway. Not much in the grand scheme of things, honestly, but.
He doesn’t make any more jokes about the girls, and he certainly doesn’t call you late at night to talk about girls in your class.
“Let him in.”
“Are you sure?” The way he’s looking at you, Dojima knows what’s going on.
“I’m not leaving until I know he’s okay,” Yosuke states firmly. He shrinks a little from Dojima’s glare but stands firm.
You bring him up to your room and close the door. You sit on your bed, cross-legged, and stare at the wall. Only when the silence becomes uncomfortable and Yosuke shifts, about to break it, do you speak.
“I’m gay,” you state bluntly, and to his credit Yosuke doesn’t miss the point or try to joke it off. He’s really quiet, though. “So excuse me if I don’t join you in freaking out about Kanji.” It comes out more bitter than you’d like.
“Crap, I’m sorry.” Well, that’s better than you hoped, anyway. He puts a hand on your shoulder and it’s a little more than you can handle right now. “I’d say I was joking around, that I didn’t mean a lot of the things I said, but that probably just means I shouldn’t have said them, huh?” That’s…surprisingly thoughtful. And mature. “I-I want to say the thought of a guy flirting with me doesn’t freak me out, but…you’re my best friend. I’m a pathetic friend, huh?”
Usually, you’d defend him with more vigour, but right now you’re feeling lousy and all you can manage is shaking your head.
Unfortunately, when Yosuke’s decided to stop being oblivious, he’s actually pretty observant. He pauses and then stares. “U-um. You’ve been flirting with me for a while, haven’t you?”
You make a frustrated groaning-sort of noise, and fight the urge to flop dramatically on your bed.
“How long?” He still hasn’t removed the hand.
“Since I thought you asked me out on the second day of class,” you answer. He can be persistent when he wants to be and you don’t want to find out his interrogation techniques.
He blinks. “S-Souji, that’s…”
“I know,” you growl and try not to cry.
He sighs, then pats you. “Well, I’ll try to be better about it, and we’l rescue Kanji like all the others, so—try not to worry about it. Try and get some sleep, okay?” He leaves, closing the door behind him.
Sleep is a long time coming.
“Lay off!” you yell into the phone.
Yosuke’s taken aback. “P-Partner, you all right?”
You sigh. “I’m fine. Just tired. Sorry about that.”
“Oh-okay…” He doesn’t sound all that convinced.
You feel a rush, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. That’s probably what has you grinning like a lunatic. You’re glad Teddie interrupts, because you’re not sure how to go about explaining what just happened.
“I can’t leave it alone,” you say, and Yosuke winks at you.
“I’m glad to know you’re that kinda guy,” he says, and his voice is soft and grateful and you try not to blush. Apparently, you’re appear even if you don’t trust your voice, because he turns to Chie.
Yosuke’s Shadow calling you boring almost hurts worse than the wind attack. Figures I’d be weak to him. A treacherous voice in your mind whispers but it’s true, isn’t it. I’m boring, and Yosuke doesn’t care about boring things.
You angrily shove the voice aside and concentrate on the fight.
( immortals: the choice of a free will )