Disclaimer: I own neither Jojo's Bizarre Adventure or Highschool DxD
Josuke immediately noticed an unfamiliar weight hold him down as he stirred from his slumber. He groaned as he started to rub out the sleepiness in his eyes, wondering if he was experiencing what people called sleep paralysis for the first time. But then he realized that he wouldn't be able to move his arms in such a case.
"Mmm~. Don't move around so much…"
Josuke stiffened. He knew that was Akeno's voice. And when he gave it some more thought, he could make out what felt like two pairs of arms tangled around his waist and chest. That… feels like more than just one person.
He easily guessed who the other was. But Josuke didn't want to find out. He just wanted to go back to sleep and pretend he was still ignorant to the guests in his bed. But the perspiration building on his brow and the nervous tension in his throat made it clear that he wasn't capable of ignoring his guests.
"Akeno-chan… Koneko-chan…" Josuke slowly opened his eyes, staring at the ceiling above as he tried to calmly address the girls.
"You called~?" Josuke felt a dangerously soft pillow press against his arm, and he tried with all his might not to look down as the raven haired Devil answered him. "Oh, but it looks like little Koneko is still asleep."
Josuke swallowed hard, his face draining of color as he tried to drill a hole in the spot on the ceiling where his eyes were focused. "Please tell me… you're both clothed."
"Oh, Josuke-kun. Don't worry. We didn't go full nude like Rias tends to."
Josuke would have found some relief in that thought. But the way Akeno said it…
"We're just in our lingerie! Isn't that better~?"
Ah. There it is. Josuke fought with all of his will to keep his body in check. He was a man, after all, and it was so, so easy for morning wood to spring up when you didn't want it. And right now, Josuke felt his body scream to rise up. But he fought it. If it weren't so painful, he might even consider making Crazy Diamond Dora it back. He had no clue what Akeno or Koneko would do if they caught sight of 'lil jojo' getting excited. He certainly didn't want to find out.
"Good morning, Jojo…" Koneko seemed to stir from Josuke's left side, hugging closer into his chest. She was apparently making a pillow of his right pectoral, nuzzling into him. "Can we sleep a little longer?"
Josuke inhaled a deep breath, deciding that the more they cuddled, the more difficult it was for him to control his body. So that was enough for today.
Josuke leaned forward on his knees, gnashing his teeth. Koneko and Akeno sat on the carpet in front of him on their knees, the former looking away guiltily while the latter just smiled. As Akeno said, they were both in rather risque attire, both girls wearing see-through, hip high gowns that didn't leave any detail of their underwear to the imagination.
"Seriously. You two couldn't wait a day?" Josuke muttered, massaging his forehead.
"You were warm…" Koneko's face was an ever present rosy color, unable to meet his scolding gaze. "And your chest was comfy…"
Josuke fought the blush away that tried to rise up when he heard Koneko's not so quiet whisper.
"We just wanted to make sure you were comfortable in your new accommodations! Your bed is so big now, you looked lonely in it by yourself." Akeno giggled without a shred of guilt.
"Look, my bed is… big?" Josuke blinked, suddenly taking in his surroundings. His jaw fell as he finally took the time to study his room, realizing that it was three times the size of what it originally was. "Huh?"
"Do you like it? Sirzechs-sama's renovations were quite quick!" Akeno waved her hand around as if presenting it to him. Josuke slowly stood from his bed which, now looking at it, really was a king size rather than the twin XL he originally owned. The floor was covered in a comfortable suede carpet rather than the itchy cotton floor he was used to. His modest 40 inch TV had been replaced by a 55 inch flat screen that was mounted against the wall with an entertainment center resting below it with all of his games and consoles sitting on top of it. The posters he had of various artists like Prince and Pink Floyd were now framed and organized in a more decorative way than he had put them in.
"They… added all this… while I was asleep?" Josuke mumbled out as he scanned his room inch by inch, dumbfounded.
"Indeed! But that's not even the half of it. Wait until you see the outside." Akeno stood from her spot on the ground. "Would you like to go and see?"
"Yeah… but after you change!" Josuke blushed furiously as Akeno's features became more apparent with each small move she made.
"Oh, boo~! I'm comfortable though…" Akeno whined before her lips curled up. "Oh, well. I suppose we should change. Thankfully you have a bathroom in your room that we can use."
"I do?" Josuke looked around again. Sure enough, a new door had been built in, Akeno opening it up to reveal a white tile bathroom.
"We won't be long." Koneko followed after Akeno, arms wrapping around her sides as she became self-conscious.
"Of course, you're welcome to join us if you-"
"Just hurry up and get changed." Josuke drawled, eliciting a laugh from Akeno as she closed the door behind them. Josuke sighed before looking around at his room, seeing how much space and added leisures he now had. And despite the rude awakening he got, he had to admit one thing above all else.
"Holy shit, my room is amazing now…"
It wasn't long before he and the girls were ready, walking through the house and out the front. It seems that any changes made to their base house merely expanded upon every room. The only one left untouched, as promised, was his grandfather's old room. That aside, their house became just short of a mansion. Josuke had been dragged around by his mother the moment she saw him to show all the changes. He really couldn't blame her considering the speed of the change as well as how drastic.
"Man, rich people can really do anything!" Tomoko laughed as she dragged her son to the front yard, Akeno and Koneko trailing behind them. "I figured that it wouldn't take too long, but nothing like that!"
"Yeah… guess money can really make things a lot faster, huh?" Josuke felt sweat trailing down his face, thinking that perhaps they had transformed the house far too quickly to just be brushed off as 'loaded'. But despite what he thought of their own renovations, Tomoko and Josuke couldn't stop from gawking when they saw the Hyoudou residence. At least, where the Hyoudou residence used to be.
What they saw wasn't just a mansion. It was almost an entire luxury resort. While their house had been given an obvious doubling in size, the Hyoudou residence was completely redone. It stood over five stories high with absolutely no trace of the former house left behind. Josuke had to wonder just why they decided to make such a flashy change. Hell, how did they even manage to get so much room for the building? This place stuck out like a sore thumb, even in their moderately nice suburban area. Both of their… homes did.
"J-Just great…" Josuke mumbled, unsure how anyone could explain this away.
"Wow…" Josuke looked at his mom tentatively. "Is… is this how it always is for rich people?"
She still buys that excuse?! Josuke knew his mom was smart, but then again she's likely never given much thought to the lengths it takes to build a house like this. Still, this is way too much!
"Dude!" Josuke turned to see Issei running over to him, stars in his eyes. "Isn't this crazy?! Our places are friggin' decked out!"
"Y-Yeah, they are, but… it feels like a lot, still…" Josuke massaged his neck in worry. "What about the neighbors that lived around here?"
"Oh, don't worry about that. I heard that the Gremory's bought out anyone close by so it wouldn't be an issue!" Tomoko waved off his worries. "Still, as grand as it all is, it does seem like a bit much… They definitely tossed a ton of money just to rebuild our places."
"Money is no object when it comes to the Gremories." Akeno giggled from the side, putting a hand over her lips. "I wouldn't think too much about it, Tomoko-san."
"Well, if it's really no issue for them, I won't complain." Tomoko shrugged, smiling up at her house with starry eyes.
"Yo! Guys!" Josuke turned to see Okuyasu running down the street, only half dressed up and panting for air. "Have you seen what they did to my place?! It's friggin' amaziii…" Okuyasu then stopped as he looked up at the Hyoudou residence. "Holy shit! Your place is even bigger!"
"Yeah… they definitely went overboard…" Issei laughed sheepishly.
"Still, I ain't complainin'! It's like livin' in a dream!" Okuyasu practically squealed, putting his hands together. "Who woulda known bein' friends with Devils would-" Josuke and Issei slapped their hands over his mouth, hushing him before sparing a look back at Tomoko.
"Hey, Akeno-chan? Were there any features added that I don't know about?" Thankfully the Higashikata mother was too busy fawning over her own house, allowing Akeno to explain some of the developments made for her.
"Don't mention that kinda stuff around my mom, got it?! She doesn't know!" Josuke whispered, the punk Stand user nodding sheepishly in understanding.
"R-Right… My bad…" Okuyasu could only give a sheepish laugh, rubbing his neck awkwardly.
"You all look pleasantly surprised." Josuke turned to see Rias approaching, Asia trailing slowly behind her as she gawked at the houses for herself. "I'm sure it was quite a shock. I told my brother not to go overboard. But I guess to him this really isn't…"
"I can only imagine what his house is like…" Issei scratched his chin as he pondered upon the idea.
"Well, we should probably get ready for school instead of spending our morning gawking. We don't want to be late." Rias ushered the others, though half of them looked rather sour. "Oh, don't be like that. Today's the last day before break, then we'll be off! Well, from school at least."
"I'd like to introduce the Occult Research Club's new… advisor…."
The majority of the Occult Research Club couldn't stop their jaws from hitting the ground as Sona introduced none other than Azazel to them. The Fallen Angel wore a shit eating grin as he winked at them with a thumbs up.
"Yo~, kiddos! Call me Azazel-sensei!"
"Just great…" Josuke sighed, looking at Rias. "I guess we know now what he was talking about yesterday…"
"Unfortunately…" Rias grit her teeth, going over to Sona and pulling her aside. "How did this happen?! Why is he here?"
"Well… Sirzechs-sama recommended putting an advisor in charge of your club. Azazel volunteered for the job as a 'way to keep building relations'." Sona couldn't hide a guilty look on her face, eyes averting from Rias. "And admittedly… it was either him or Serafall, so…"
"So you went with him, huh?" Rias felt a vein popped on her head but sighed. "Well, I suppose I get it. What's done is done, I suppose…"
"Aw, come on, Rias! I'm a good guy, I swear!" Azazel laughed, obviously having listened in on their conversation. "I promise that i'll be able to help you kids get whipped into shape!"
"Weren't you going to help Jotaro-san work on that meteor for some kind of Sacred Gear?" Josuke asked incredulously.
"Oh, I am. But that's going to be more of a project after school to work on. I've gotta make sure you kids are whipped into shape, after all!" Azazel waved off the question, passing the students up to take a seat in Rias' chair. Something she clearly took annoyance with. "You've all got a lot~ of work ahead of you if you ever plan on fighting Vali again."
"But didn't Josuke and Issei kick his ass?" Okuyasu asked, putting a finger to his lips.
"Heh, that was pure luck if I'm honest. Vali was holding back in the fight against those two. Admittedly, you definitely made him think a little outside the box with your teamwork, but you two clearly have a ton of room for improvement." Azazel pointed out, causing both teens to wince.
"I hate to say it, but I can't disagree. Once that asshole injured me, I couldn't really contribute much outside of merging that piece with Issei." Josuke sighed, his expression becoming sullen at the thought.
"Yeah, but if it wasn't for you, I'd be toast." Issei shook his head, rubbing his arm. "If it wasn't for that armband, I'd probably have to give up even more of myself. I'm really far behind that guy."
"No kidding. You all have some weaknesses that need work. And that's why I'm here." Azazel smirked, leaning back in his chair. "You all have some time before the Young Devil's Gathering, right? We're gonna use that to whip you all into shape."
"Of course. I've been planning on training my peerage before then." Rias huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Young Devil's Gathering?" Josuke asked, raising a brow.
"It's an annual meeting that our generation of Devils participates in. It's the only time, outside of special circumstances, that we're allowed to participate in Rating Games against others." Akeno explained for him.
"And with my help, you'll all be ready to go and win it handily!" The grin Azazel wore never failed to annoy Rias, her eye twitching. "Don't worry, I'm not here just to bust some balls. I'm serious about whipping you kids into shape. It'll be gruelling, but we need you all to be ready for the battles to come."
"You're talking about the Khaos Brigade, correct?" Rias said, eyes narrowing as she spoke the name.
"That's right. We're going to have a run in with them, sooner or later. Right now, both sides are in a preparatory stage." Azazel stroked his goatee, looking around at each student. "Now that the Three-excuse me, Four Powers have assembled, they'll be biding their time and preparing for more fights as well. Thankfully this gives us time to get you all stronger, but it cuts both ways."
"Who knows how much they'll improve while we train, too." Josuke's brow knitted, sweat trailing down his brow.
"Exactly. But we can't worry about that now. What we have to worry about is our own strength growing first." Azazel pointed out, his fingers tapping against the table in a rhythmic beat. "For now, we'll focus on the immediate battles to come, the Rating Games. They're anything but simple, and if played right, a pawn can take out a king. I'll try to make that one of the things I teach you."
"Well… at least we've got me and Gasper's combo to work with!" Issei offered hopefully, jerking a thumb toward the dhampir. "Isn't that right?"
"Y-Yes! I'll try my best to help us win!" Gasper said, sounding confident in their teamwork.
"Forbidden Balor View? Sorry, but it's too iffy, especially considering its user. Not nearly useful enough to turn the tide when we need it." Azazel said rather bluntly.
"I'm sorry for being useless!" Gasper took his words to heart, quickly tucking hiself under a box.
"That was a little harsh…" Josuke mumbled, looking at the young Devil in sympathy.
"I'm just being honest. Gotta face facts in this situation." Azazel shrugged before turning to Kiba. "You, Holy Sword kid. How long can you maintain your Balance Breaker?"
"An hour is my current limit."
"No good. Let's try and get that up to three days." Azazel's carefree demeanor fell for a moment, an air of professionalism coming over him. "What about you, Welsh Dragon?"
"I can…. Only maintain it for ten seconds. In the best case scenario." Issei's shoulders slumped as he pursed his lips.
"Better start from scratch, then. Vali can hold his Balance Breaker for a month. That's how far behind you are." Azazel's eyes scanned the room before landing on Akeno. "Akeno Himejima… tell me, do you still hold a grudge against Baraquil?"
"Of course. I don't plan on forgiving that man." Akeno's eyes hardened as she met Azazel's, Josuke feeling the atmosphere becoming thick. "It's because of him that my mother's dead."
"I see… He didn't say anything when you became a Devil." Azazel mumbled.
"Of course not. He has no say in any such matters." Akeno snapped, quickly being riled up by the subject.
"Hey, is this really necessary to talk about?" Josuke spoke up, pulling attention to him. "She obviously doesn't have anything for that guy. Bringing that up now won't help."
"Sorry, but I'm just looking for ways to help her get stronger. Believe it or not, her father is the best way to that considering her affinity." Azazel declared.
"I don't consider that man my father!" Akeno snapped, causing Josuke to put a gentle hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him and immediately calmed down, casting her eyes to the ground.
"Hm… Well, I don't think that you joining the Gremory family was a bad thing, at least. I wonder what Baraquil makes of all this." Josuke gave him a seething glare, and Azazel finally took the hint. "Well, I guess that's a matter for another day. Hey, Issei. Alright if I call you that? Your dream is to build a harem, right?"
"Here we go…" Josuke muttered as he started to expect the worst next.
"Uh yeah, I guess…" Issei answered noncommittally.
"Then how about I teach you about women? I've had hundreds of harems in the past." A dirty look spread across Azazel's face, and Issei met it with a far less reserved expression of excitement.
"A-Are you serious?!"
"Hah! You can't tell me you're a virgin!" Azazel laughed at his excitement.
"I am!" Issei didn't hesitate to be honest.
"All right. Why don't we find a woman to make a man out of you?"
"H-Hey! What about me?!" Okuyasu looked almost equally as thirsty, blowing air out of his nose in anticipation. "C-Can I join in?! I wanna learn about women!"
"You too?!" Xenovia blurted, almost sounding hurt.
"D-Don't single me out! You'll make me feel guilty!" Okuyasu blanched, unable to meet Xenovia's gaze.
"Heh. Guess it's to be expected of a couple virgin teens like you kids. I myself gave into the breasts of women. Heck, that's how I fell from grace." Azazel said almost too casually.
"You've got to be kidding me…" Josuke wore a look of utter disgust on his face.
"It's true. I guess the stories of the Grigori leaders falling for human women were all true." Rias sighed, shaking her head. "They gave up precious knowledge from heaven so that they could have sex."
"You really fell from heaven because of that dumb shit?" Josuke's disgust only grew with that.
"Ah, but we were so young, and the women were beautiful. How could we resist?" Azazel laughed before directing a smug grin toward Josuke. "I heard you were pretty uptight compared to your friends. Maybe we should get your cherry popped so that you relax a little?"
"Shut up! I'm not interested!" Josuke's face lit up like a Christmas tree.
"Come on, Josuke! Don't ruin this for the rest of us!" Okuyasu wrapped an arm around his neck, pulling him back with a greedy smile. "Just accept that it's how our lives are gonna be hangin' out with Devils!"
"I do feel a sudden kinship with Fallen Angels now." Issei smiled almost proudly, clearly disappointing his best friend.
"Oh yeah, I get it kid. So why don't we take you and Okuyasu here, on a little tour to celebrate you both leaving your virginities behind." Azazel offered with a grin, both teens practically foaming at the mouth at the idea.
"I'll do whatever you want, Azazel-sensei!" They cried out in unison.
"Just give it a rest, would you?" Josuke mumbled, rubbing his face. "Well, maybe it would help Issei chill out… or have the opposite effect and make him worse."
"Yes! I am… deeply concerned over what effect such things could have on my servant!" Rias covered Issei's eyes as she pulled him away from Azazel. "So stop giving him funny ideas! I'm in charge of his chastity and that's that!"
"U-Uh I'm not a servant, so-" Xenovia pulled back on Okuyasu's collar before he could finish.
"Hah! Guess we'll have to give that idea a try some other time!" Azazel laughed, slapping Issei's shoulder. "Well, you are the holder of the Boosted Gear, and dragons are pretty accustomed to polyamorous lifestyles. So I doubt I'll have much to teach you."
"Weren't we talking about training?!" Josuke snapped, eyes narrowed at Azazel. "How the hell did this become the topic?!"
"What can I say? Nothing better to talk about in my book." Azazel shrugged, even as Josuke took a step forward with a balled fist. "Okay, okay, relax. In truth, part of it is to help your pal grow stronger. I mean, you saw how he powered up when the tits of his master and friends were threatened. Imagine if we can channel that into his training!"
Josuke's eyes widened before he hunched over, clutching at his chest. "Why… why did you have to remind me of that? I'm still embarrassed thinking about it."
"There there." Akeno giggled, rubbing his back.
"Well, anyways, you all should get used to me being around. I'll be helping you all get stronger from square one." Azazel crossed his arms confidently. "And whether you think so or not, these coming Rating Games will be valuable experience in preparation for the coming battles."
"I guess that makes sense… if I were thrown into a war zone right now, I'd be in trouble." Issei admitted, biting his thumb.
"Which is why I'm here. I'll help each of you prepare as much as possible. Starting with these Rating Games. Sirzechs even gave me permission to do some mock battles to simulate them as practice. So trust in me." Everyone looked around, somewhat tentative but also understanding that Azazel was going nowhere.
"Alright. I suppose we'll be in your hands then." Rias accepted, earning a firm nod from the Fallen Angel.
"Good! Let's help each other out the best we can, alright?" Azazel smiled before a mischievous expression took over. "I'll unlock the secrets of all your Sacred Gears. I'll work everyone to their limits and then some, and find out just what makes those weapons tick. And then I'll be able to progress my research even further than I ever hoped in such a short time."
"So we're your guinea pigs, huh?" Issei felt sweat trail down his cheek, his trust shaken as quickly as he'd given it.
"Well, since we're all gathered, I do have some more news to share:" Rias brought the room's attention to her. "We'll be taking a trip to the Underworld this summer. And since we're going to have the Young Devil's gathering shortly thereafter, we'll be doing most, if not all, our training there."
"Wait, we're really going to the Underworld? But why there?" Issei asked curiously.
"It's simple, really. I make a habit of visiting home every summer. So I thought that it would be best to just train while home rather than get too caught up in my trip and neglect it." Rias explained, scanning the room. "So everyone should prepare to pack for a long trip. We're going to be gone from the human world for a while."
"Uh… does that include us?" Okuyasu asked, sharing a glance with Josuke.
"If you all want. I've already received permission to bring you along if you so wish it. But do know we won't be back until the end of August." Rias told them honestly, causing Josuke to blink.
"A-All the way to August? Just great… I'll have to talk to my mom about it, but she'll probably be fine. Especially considering the makeover the house just went through…" Josuke rubbed his neck.
"We'll be sure to put our own word in. I'm sure mother will be just fine with it." Akeno smiled encouragingly, Koneko swiftly nodding her head in agreement.
"It would be best if you could. We'll want you trained up as much as anyone else here. You're both leading representatives of the Stand Faction, after all." Azazel pointed out. "Of course, if you'd like for me to talk to her, I could. I have heard your mother is-"
Azazel's shirt was snatched quicker than he could react, Crazy Diamond hovering over Josuke's shoulder, ready to pounce. "Make any moves on my mom and I'll merge your balls with the Angelo Stone."
Azazel held his hands up in surrender, eyes twitching to the side as a bead of sweat rolled down his face. "Noted. Will go nowhere near the Joestar mom…"
"H-How soon are we leaving?" Gasper asked, surprisingly enough.
"The day after tomorrow. I wanted to give adequate time for everyone to prepare to leave." Rias explained, tilting her head. "Why?"
"O-Oh! N-N-No reason!" Gasper clammed up, ducking back under his box. "J-Just wondering!"
Rias spared a glance at Issei, the brunette only shrugging in response. "Well, everyone. I think that will be all for today. Spend the rest of today and tomorrow preparing for departure. But before we go, let's make sure that we get a photo for the end of the semester!" It didn't take long for the club members (and their new adviser) to line up for a picture together. Issei was forced to pull a bag off of Gasper's head, but it turned out just fine after that.
"Alright, we'll call it there for today. No contracts, we'll be taking off from those until the end of the summer break to focus on training. Be sure to inform your contracts." Rias told them.
"Rohan-sensei is going to be upset. But I'm sure he'll understand…" Asia sighed, pulling her phone out to contact him.
"Well, consider me informed, eh?" Azazel laughed, nudging Issei with his elbow.
"Yaay… but now that means I've gotta find another contract to set up." Issei groaned tiredly. "By the way, I'm surprised your daughter isn't joining us now that you're here."
"Uh… yeah…" Azazel cast his gaze to the side, swallowing a lump in his throat. "I tried to get her to join after being elected advisor, but she wasn't… too interested."
"Your daughter really has it out for you, huh?" Josuke raised a brow in wonder.
"She just likes being rebellious. A petty revenge for the fact that I've had so many wives around and she only liked a few of them…" Azazel sighed. "Well, as much as she doesn't want to, she will be coming with us to train, at least on and off. I guess Vali's words had the desired effect."
"He did say some pretty intense stuff to her in their face off. I wonder if she'll really surpass you eventually." Rias stroked her chin, interested in the Fallen Angel hybrid's progress.
"I suppose so. Well, guess I'll take off with that. Gotta get some stuff set up before I leave so that I can go back and forth between the lab and the Underworld for my work." Azazel headed for the front door, waving back at them. "See you kids in a couple days."
"I guess this is the proper moment to adjourn as well." Rias said, soon following after Azazel. "Remember to get everything you need packed for the trip."
"Yes, president!" Her servants answered before filing after her.
Issei felt a tug on his sleeve stop him, stopping to look back and see Gasper looking up at him shyly. "Hey, Gasper. What's up?"
"Um…" Gasper squirmed in place, having trouble getting his words out. "Could you… help me shop?"
"Shop? Sure! What'd you need?"
"Um… some clothes… more than what I have…" Gasper looked down, face red. "And… something more… manly…"
"Manly?" Issei blinked, surprised. "I thought you liked wearing girl clothes?"
"I-I do, but… I-I wanna improve and become a man!" Gasper tried to speak confidently, though his voice still came out whiney. "C-Can you help me find better clothes? I-I wanna be a man like you and Okuyasu-san!"
"Whoa, what's with all the energy? Trying to impress a girl or somethin'?" Issei laughed at the idea, thinking there was no way that was true. He didn't notice how stiff Gasper had gotten or the overwhelming blush that came over his face.
"Oh~, clothes shoppin' huh?!" Okuyasu draped an arm over Gasper's shoulder. "We can help with that! We'll make you look like a real man!"
"Okuyasu's right. You've gotta leave dressing you to us experts!" Josuke grinned slapping Gasper's shoulder.
The dhampir looked between them, his eyes bulging and becoming teary. "R-Really?! You'll both help me dress manly?"
"Of course! We can't leave you hanging like that. Besides, Issei's dress sense is pretty basic, so we'll hook you up with the right stuff." Josuke gave a thumbs up.
"I hate to say it, but they're right. I don't have much of a head for dressing myself, but Josuke knows all about that. Even if his own style is questionable." Issei chuckled.
"R-Really?! I'm in your debt!" Gasper bowed to the three before rising up, eyes sparkling. "Help me become a man!"
"I doubt changing your style will make you manlier, but I guess it's a step in the right direction." Josuke laughed, Gasper deflating at his words.
"H-How do I look?"
Issei, Josuke and Okuyasu struggled to answer immediately. Gasper stood before them in clothes hand selected by Josuke. A designer brand orange tee with black skinny jeans. It looked good on the first year Devil, sure, but it certainly didn't change one aspect:
He still looks like a girl. They each groused, sharing knowing looks with one another.
"Y-You look good! So… how do you feel dressing like that?" Issei asked.
"The pants are a little tight, but… I like it." Gasper said, looking at himself in the mirror. "I-I think I look a little manlier too!"
"Y-Yeah… well, we'll keep that outfit, but let's try the other stuff." Josuke suggested, Gasper's eyes brimming with excitement.
"Okay! I'll go try some of the other things you picked!" Gasper said, quickly disappearing into the dressing room.
The three let out a collective sigh before huddling together.
"It's one thing to work with feminine clothes, but…. It's another to work with a guy that looks like a girl." Josuke admitted, biting his bottom lip. "Talk about a great challenge."
"No kiddin'. I mean, we found clothes that will look good on him, but it doesn't exactly look 'manly'." Okuyasu nodded his agreement.
"We'll just have to keep trying. I mean, he certainly looks more boyish in what you picked… well, maybe more tomboyish I guess." Issei tapped his arm, trying to think.
"I'm ready!" They drew their gazes back up, Gasper now decked out in a completely different outfit. Instead of the simple tee and pants, he dressed in a loose necked sweater with a pair of tight shorts. Again, it was a good looking outfit, but…
"Gaspar… your clothes make it easier to tell you're a boy, but…" Josuke sighed, deciding to be honest. "… it definitely doesn't scream 'manly' like you want."
"Eh? Eh?!" Gasper's eyes brimmed with tears instantaneously, the vampire quickly retreating to the dressing room. "I knew it! It's impossible! I'm so useless!"
"Oh, come on now, Gasper! Don't look at it like that!" Issei sighed, walking up to the door. "It looks good on you, we promise!"
"But it doesn't look manly!"
"Well uh… I guess that's how you define manly!" Okuyasu held a finger up. "I mean, bein' manly's more than just your clothes!"
"R-Right! In fact, I think the pretty boy style you've got is easy to work with!" Josuke quickly agreed. "I mean, look at me and Okuyasu! Most people wouldn't call our styles traditionally manly, you know?"
Gasper was quiet for a moment. But finally the dressing room door creaked open as his eyes peered out from behind it. "Really?"
"Yeah! You've gotta establish your style first and then make it many with what you do!" Josuke reasoned. "I pull off this look because I made it work! You just have to do the same!"
Gasper sniffled, slowly pulling the door open. He wiggled in place for a moment but gave a slow nod. "Okay… I guess it wasn't going to be that easy…"
"You've got this, dude! We'll help you out as much as possible, but you've got to establish that image yourself." Issei pat his shoulder. "Now why don't you try on something else and show us?"
"Okay…" Gasper wiped his eyes before knitting his brow in determination. "I'll do my best!"
The three let out a relieved breath once he closed the door, happy to have salvaged the boy's confidence. They returned to the bench they previously sat on, leaning back against the wall. "So, Gasper, what got you so interested in being 'manly' in the first place?" Josuke asked curiously, leaning his cheek into his palm.
"I bet it was for a girl, huh?" Okuyasu laughed, nudging the guys with his elbow. "Just ki-"
"H-How'd you know?!"
The three teens blinked before their jaws dropped. "Seriously?!"
"Ah! I-I mean-no!" Gasper squeaked out. "N-N-Not at all!"
"Hey, it's too late to lie now! Give it up!" Okuyasu demanded, leaning over the open top of his dressing room. "Give us the details!"
"Kyaa~! I'm still changing, Okuyasu-san!"
"Hey, stop making a scene!" Josuke pulled him off the door. "People will really think you're peeking!"
"Still, I wasn't expecting you to actually have a crush on a girl…" Issei mumbled before a smile spread across his lips. "So, who is it Gasper? Someone in the club? I can't imagine you've met anyone else."
"N-No… no one in the club…" Gasper admitted, his feet visibly squirming from below the dressing room door.
"Ah, I bet it's Azazel's daughter! She's real hot, huh? I get it!" Okuyasu laughed, grinning like an idiot.
"No… not her either…" Gasper denied, causing the boys to look at one another and shrug. "She… She goes to Kuoh Academy though…"
"Huh. A girl we don't know, then?" Josuke said, genuinely surprised. "So, what's she like?"
Gasper let out a soft giggle, his toes twiddling together. "Sh-She's… really nice and… really pretty. She has long wavy black hair like silk… We've talked a couple times recently, and I… I think I really like her."
"Wow. Who would have guessed you'd be talking to a girl with no one knowing!" Issei mumbled, rubbing the back of his head. "So… how big are her tit-"
Josuke shoved his elbow into Issei's sternum, causing him to buckle over. "Well, we're happy to hear you're coming out of your box a bit. With a stranger, too!" Josuke smiled, mildly impressed. "I'd say you progressed more than we thought!"
"Yeah, no kiddin'! Now you're startin' to look like a man!" Okuyasu laughed. "You're gonna make me jealous if you get a girl before me!"
But you could be with one, idiot. Issei and Josuke shared the same thought as they looked at the punk Stand user in disappointment.
"R-Really?! Th-That makes me happy to hear…" Gasper couldn't stop from making a feminine giggle, somewhat robbing the previous illusion from before. "Actually, I… I'm going to speak with her tomorrow. I want to make sure we talk before we go on our long trip. I hope she'll be okay."
"I'm sure she'll understand. It's not like we can help it." Josuke shrugged.
"Yeah, just tell her that you promise to be back soon!" Issei encouraged. "So, what's her name? Maybe one of us has class with her."
"Oh, I hadn't thought about that…" Gasper drew the dressing room door open, a grin brimming with mirth across his lips. "Her name is Yukako! Yukako Yamagishi!"
What anticipation had built up suddenly died. The color drained from all three teen's faces as their jaws slowly dropped. Gasper blinked, looking around in confusion. "What's wrong? Do you guys know her?"
"... Yeah… about that…."
To be continued…
Thanks as always to my beta nitewind for helping me out!
Another short chapter! Sorry, I've been dreading the coming arcs for a bit now. Mostly because the material I'll be using is being taken from the manga since many advised against using the anime adaptation.
But don't worry. I'm making sure I make it to the end of this story. Which will likely be after the final arc with Myrcella and her peerage. If not, it will most likely be the penultimate arc.
That said, I want to give a shout out to my pal StoneColdArt over on twitter! He helped me out with the new cover to the story and I was very happy to have it drawn up! He's been a huge supporter of the story for some time now and is one of the reasons I've still got the motivations to write for this story :) Check him out when you get the chance! And heck, stop by my twitter at MN0Luffy! I share a lot of the art I've had drawn up in the past that you might not have seen yet for this story and others I write!
Anyways, that's the end of that chapter. Looking forward to writing some of the things that I wanted to twist around a bit in what's to come, but we'll see just how much with time. Please leave a review, a follow and a favorite if you'd be so kind, and maybe add to the neglected TVTropes page when you get the chance!