Y'know...I hate having unfinished stories in my Docs. It's like leaving a sentence with no proper punctuation. However, combine that with writer's block and you have a recipe for disaster. It makes me feel bad, too, when I see people are still favoriting this story even while I've been gone. Much appreciated!
I have a one-off for Souji/Naoto in the works, so let's hold hands and hope that doesn't take an eternity to publish. For now, enjoy this.
Futaba burst into Leblanc, willfully ignoring Sojiro's groan of protest that she was bothering his customers. Rather than dally, she simply bolted up to her key item's attic-turned-bedroom and skirted dramatically around Morgana's usual perch. She stumbled and fell into a heap on the bean bag Akira had strategically placed since the last incident. "Futaba. Fancy meeting you here."
"Heyo. What're you up to this time?"
"Making tools. Remember, we're heading into Mementos tomorrow."
"You don't even use any of those. All you bring in your kit are the billion lockpicks you have tucked away."
"It's good practice. I'm at the point where I can make five different tools in one sitting - these things take time, Futaba."
"Uh huh, I'm sure."
Futaba sat up long enough to kick her boots next to Akira's big box of whatevers, reaching over and just barely reaching the power button of his game console. Akira plucked the remote off his desk and turned on the TV, tossing it to Futaba when she turned to him with a grin and an outstretched hand. "Thanks."
"Mhm. Now let me finish this and we can play that new game Makoto bought you."
"I'll just install it in the background."
"You do that."
The impromptu plan lasted about fifteen minutes. "Akira~, play with me!"
Futaba groaned, flopping onto her back next to Akira's chair and kicking her feet up onto his lap. "Akira~!"
"Futaba, if I finish this now, we'll have more time to play later. Also, I kinda need my lap."
"No, you don't. You're making infiltration tools. With your big, dumb man hands."
"I might need to scoot over. With my big, dumb man feet."
"Just take me with you."
"No. You'll bump your head, and that would be terrible."
"C'mon, you polished the floor to a mirror sheen! I can eat dinner off this floor."
"But I wouldn't be able to because you'd ruin it and give me a plate."
"Yea, you better be."
Akira smiled to himself as Futaba broke out into a fit of giggles, picking up one of his memos for elemental bombs as he reached down with his other hand to tickle Futaba's toes. "Whoa - hey!"
Futaba squealed and locked her heels around his hand, grinning triumphantly at her knockoff of the move she saw in Makoto's new game. "Gotcha! Now you can't tickle me or finish the tools you never use!"
She paused when he simply turned back to his desk, about to object to being plainly ignored when he looked down at her and lifted something. "You were saying?"
Akira tossed up a white ball, catching and holding it where Futaba could see the faint condensation on the surface. "You have magic hands."
"So I've been told."
Akira simply spared her a smirk of his own as he set the bomb down, leaving the girl to connect the dots. "Oh, eww."
He laughed openly at that, setting the bomb down and standing from his desk. He leaned down and offered both his arms to help Futaba up. "...Hungry."
"I know, me too. I'll treat you to something after I'm done here. Maybe we can sneak past Sojiro when he's not looking."
"Nah. He already spotted me on the way in."
Akira chuckled and shook his head. "And here I thought you were learning about infiltration."
"Makoto's usual game plan usually involves smashing over sneaking."
"Isn't that weird? She helps with our planning, but when the mask goes on - wild."
"I heard that."
Akira looked up from the orb chilling his hand to see Makoto walking up the stairs wearing a expression torn between amusement and confusion. Balance neatly on her hand was a tray laden with a plate of cookies and three mugs of what was most certainly coffee. "Boss instructed me to take these up. His reasoning was that you were busy and Futaba-chan was too lazy."
Akira simply smirked down at Futaba. "Looks like Makoto's not the only one who needs to work on their sneaky peeky skills."
"I feel like I'm missing a piece of this conversation."
Makoto set the tray on top of Akira's desk and passed him a mug, leaning down and pulling Futaba up to sit more comfortably on the bean bag. "Thaaaanks, Makoto."
"Mm. Sit up when you eat these, okay?"
The council president leaned on the desk and finally picked up her mug, reaching down with her free hand to pluck up Akira's case of lockpicks. "...You never use any of these."
"That's twice now that someone dissed my gizmos and gadgets galore. It's a workout, okay? For the mind. O-or something. And I totally use the lockpicks."
"You probably should've started with that."
"I don't need you to critique my personal method of enunciation, Futaba."
"Ooh, pulling out the big guns. Must've cut ya deep there."
Makoto smiled and set down the case. Meanwhile, Akira set down a screwdriver and looked up at his wall, which had become home to many of the airsoft guns he had bought from Untouchable. Sojiro had simply given the varied arsenal a wary look but didn't object to when Akira started hanging them up. Akira picked up the Tkachev II and tested its feel in his hand. It felt heavy, familiar with how long he had been using it, but in reality it was still a very high-quality plastic model firearm. He smiled softly and took a sip of coffee, feeling inspiration spread through him as he did. "...Makoto. Futaba."
"I think I know what to do with all these items."
Akira reached under his desk and pulled out a footlocker which, upon kicking it open, revealed an array of elemental bombs. The ice one he completed prior was dropped unceremoniously into the locker in favor of him pulling out a vaguely red ball instead. Rather than a weapon, it looked a weirdly warm rubber ball. Without warning, he suddenly wound back and hurled the ball at the Jack Frost punching bag sitting just next to his souvenir shelf. It burst into a wisp of vibrant red for a scant second, leaving the punching bag simply reeling from the impact a moment later.
Makoto, of course, reacted with abject horror, covering her mouth with her hands and letting out a dramatic and needlessly sarcastic, "Frosty-kun, no…"
Futaba was able to snap out of her stunned silence when Makoto failed to hold back her giggles at just how silly that sounded. Rather than comment, Futaba instead chose to slap Akira's shin as a command to move and grabbed the white ball out of the foot locker. "What'd you call this one?"
"It's a grenade, though."
"Yeah, well...when it goes boom, uh...it'll be spraying, they'll be praying. 'Cause it's super cold."
Futaba, all without moving from her spot on the bean bag, tossed the glorified snowball at Jack Frost. This time, it burst into a cloud of sparkling white dust, as if she had thrown a snowball. The Jack Frost mural seemed to glow happily at this prospect. Makoto smiled at the sight before noticing that both Akira and Futaba were staring at her with expressions that could only be described as predatory. "Makoto~..."
Akira simply lifted his locker onto the desk and motioned to the number of weapons inside. "Your turn."
[- - -]
Sojiro heaved a sigh as he shut the door behind the last guest of the day, relished the sense of relief washing over him as he flipped the sign on the door to 'CLOSED'. Just before he could take a seat at the bar and watch TV channels he actually liked when he heard a muffled BOOM rattle the entire building. He briefly considered grabbing his trusty mauling mug until he heard an ecstatic squeal. That was enough for him to relent and instead rush up the stairs.
The sight that greeted him was rather...unexpected. Akira, Makoto, and Futaba were all sprawled out on the floor and utterly roaring with laughter. The room, however, was far more bizarre. The walls, the floor, even the ceiling was awash in vivid bursts of red, white, green, and an amalgam of so many more colors that it almost made Sojiro's eyes hurt. "..."
Finally, Sojiro smiled and walked back down to the cafe. "Painting the room like it's avant garde. Buncha goofballs, all of 'em."
The elder gentleman simply chuckled and headed outside to light up a cigarette.
I'm rusty and I'm paranoid. If you feel like humoring me and my attempts, leave a review if you feel like. Thanks for reading. I'm gonna get out of this rut, I promise, just give me a bit. I mean, a bit more than you already have, ehehe.
Till next time, Zanmat0 signing out.