All characters therein property of Atlus. The song is 'Lost in Stereo' by All Time Low.

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Yosuke really shouldn't have been as surprised as he was to see Rise dance, that night at Club Escapade. She was an idol, after all; she danced, sung, acted for a living. It just suddenly occurred to him, leaning up against the bar, bobbing his head to the music. She wasn't just I-work-in-the-media good; she was the best damn dancer he'd ever seen. Her body just seemed to know the music, move with it, sway and bounce with every guitar riff.

Souji strolled over beside him, gave a friendly nod as he passed by, talking quietly with Kanji. Bathroom, probably; Yosuke couldn't take his eyes off Rise long enough to check. A new song started up, and even on a half-filled dancefloor, she just owned the whole damn thing. Yosuke glanced upwards, listening as the guitars swelled in the song, a voice - English? Geez, could at least have it in Japanese - cutting through it in a beat he found himself liking immensely.

Lost in stereo, lost in stereo

Yosuke closed his eyes for a moment, head bobbing along to the music, his conciousness falling into the same rhythm. Rise was swaying her hips with the beat already; he focused on the lyrics as much as he could, watching the idol raise her hands up, pigtails bobbing with the song.

She works for the weekend

Mix tape of her favorite bands

Tearin' up the radio

Lost in the stereo sound

She sure looked 'lost in stereo', that was for sure; something Yosuke could completely identify with. He'd been given crap more than once about his omnipresent headphones, but it wasn't anything bad. It was just that nobody understood, not even Souji, how much his music meant to him.

She's trouble in a tank top

Pretty little time bomb

Blowing up

I'll take you down

Yosuke snorted to himself, foot tapping out against the bar; that was true as hell. Screw Chie, man, getting Rise pissed was a lot scarier. He sipped his drink, still watching her over the rim; the tempo was picking up and so was she, hips jerking from side to side, arms reaching up behind her head, anchoring her swinging dance. God, she was gorgeous.

In fact, he thought, Rise had mentioned something about that just after she joined the team, hadn't she? Kanji had said something about how those headphones had to be getting in the way of fighting, 'especially with all that flipping around and shit you do, senpai'. He'd been about to snap out a retort when Rise had beaten him to it, slamming her hands down on the food court table.

"Don't make fun of him, Kanji!" she'd said. "Loving music is a great thing!"

Yosuke had blinked, made a few unintelligible sounds, then managed a wink and a smile when Rise had looked at him. "See, Kanji? Rise gets it."

She'd smiled at him. He'd felt a little lighter that day.

Living in the radio

Lost in the stereo sound

That described him, really; not a day went by without him taking some time to lay back, headphones on, losing himself in the music. It kept him level with all the stress of this investigation. Living in the radio. Shit, better than the TV.

She's dancing alone

I'm ready to go

But she's so

(Lost in stereo, lost in stereo)

Come to think of it, the few times he and Rise had been alone? They'd pretty much just talked about music. He'd felt an odd closeness to her then, growing even more animated than usual as they prattled on about bands and music. She'd cracked him up when she'd tried to imitate that guitar solo from the Kabuki Cyborgs song making the sounds. Who knew idols could spit like that?

She's out of control

So beautiful

(Lost in stereo, lost in stereo)

Rise spun on one foot, caught his eye briefly as she swayed her head from side to side, a one-two-three beat against the music. She gave him a big smile; he grinned back with a wave. He really shouldn't have been surprised when she crossed the dancefloor, her bobbing head matching his tapping foot, coming to a halt in front of him.

And I've been

Waiting for so long

But she'll never know

I'm losing hope

"Come dance with me, senpai!" Rise chirped. Yosuke nearly spat his drink out all over her, settling instead for a choking cough, eyes widening.

"H-huh? Me?" he sputtered; Rise laughed, then nodded.

"Of course! C'mon, I know you're the only one who'd get this." she replied with a firm nod; Yosuke felt her iron grip on his wrist, dragging him out before he had a chance to reply. "Quick, before the song ends! I love these guys."

"You know who they are?" Yosuke managed, before Rise had dragged them into the middle of the floor. The girl whirled around, a drumbeat swelling up and claiming her utterly, continuing her previous swaying of the hips. Yosuke found that it was even more attention-grabbing when you were this close.

'Cause she's so

(Lost in stereo, lost in stereo)

Lost in stereo, lost in stereo

Yosuke gave up, let the music take over; hell, this was probably his only chance to dance with Risette, so he'd better take the damn chance before it disappeared forever. His head started bobbing, body moving of its own accord, following the path the music carved.

Shake down on a Saturday

Sit back

Gotta catch my breath

The lyrics started to meld and warp into one another; he closed his eyes, letting it go, headphones clacking around his neck.

"You know these guys?"

Tattoos and a switchblade attitude

Snakebite heart with a bubblegum smile

"Uh-huh! They did one of my ad campaigns earlier in the year. Really nice guys!"

Sex in stereo

Don't turn the radio down

A particular part caught Yosuke's interest; his mouth hung open briefly as he took it, giving some flourish to his moves, a tiny noise escaping him as his arms made some rather foolish movements.

She's out of control

So beautiful

Yosuke opened his eyes as Rise giggled; he noticed her face was already flushed with the effort, a light sheen of sweat on her face. He hoped he wasn't flushing red himself as she shifted back a little, did a little wiggle along with the breaking-down bassline before returning to that same closeness. Yosuke noticed they were almost moving in time. He'd never met a girl who had the rhythm of Rise.

"You noticed, huh?" she grinned. "I like that part too."

And I've been

Waiting for so long

But she'll never know

The beat went on; Yosuke gave thanks to hours spent rocking out in his room and the sheer stamina he'd gained inside the TV for his newfound energy, grinning wide down at Rise.

And I'm just like cellophane

'Cause she sees right through me

Yosuke made a motion with his hands, eyes locked on her now; could he move closer? Rise nodded, shutting her eyes. A handclap cut through the melody of the song; she raised her hands to do the same. Yosuke chuckled as he moved closer. More people were on the dancefloor now, almost full to bursting. Probably wanted to be closer to the famous idol.

I know she's glitter and gold

And that's just the price I pay

But damnit, Yosuke thought, for the rest of this song, Rise was his. It surprised him as he realised, with what little function that wasn't given over to the music, that as soon as this song was over, the spell would be broken. They'd go back to senpai and kouhai.

When I don't even know her name

She's slipping away

She'd go back to her hopeless crush on Souji, and he'd go back to feeling utterly hopeless whenever they had some time alone.

Tearin' up the radio

Lost in the stereo sound

But damnit, this wasn't the time to think of that. His hands moved out, hesitantly, ghosted over her hips. There was a good move here, and he couldn't think, never could when music was blanking out his mind like this...

She's dancing alone

I'm ready to go

His fingers twitched even as his feet pounded on the floor; Rise's hips gave a long sweep with an elongated syllable from the lead singer, brushing against his outstretched fingers.

But she's so

"Do it properly, senpai." Rise murmured

(Lost in stereo, lost in stereo)

Yosuke made a surprised noise.

She's out of control

So beautiful

"R-right."

And I've been

Waiting for so long

But she'll never know

I'm losing hope

'Cause she's so

Yosuke got about thirty seconds of the best music of his life. Rise moved against him, in any other situation torturously close; here and now, the closest thing to perfect he'd ever experienced. Sweat and strawberry shampoo mingled in his nostrils as his head dipped down, holding gently onto her hips, fingers tingling with warmth as they danced. It had never felt more natural than it did in that moment.

Yosuke drew a breath, braced himself. He could feel it coming.

Lost in stereo, lost in stereo...

A final clashing of guitars and cymbals and the music died, synthesisers shaking out the voices in a final scream as their feet stilled. Yosuke could hear Rise catching her breath; he barely remembered to let go, stepping back to fix his headphones about his neck, waiting for the inevitable telling-off.

"...y'know, you're a really good dancer, senpai."

Yosuke whipped his head up; Rise had her hands behind her back, no slapping motion in sight. He blinked, gaping more than a little.

"...huh?"

A firm nod from the girl, pigtails bobbing. "Uh-huh! We should do it again sometime."

Yosuke attempted to speak but nothing came out; holy shit, she'd...and then she'd asked him to...a small, still-functioning part of his brain said - in a voice eerily similar to his Shadow - that here, finally, was a girl who got it. Rise tilted sideways slightly, gave a smile to someone, then returned her focus to Yosuke.

"Okay, c'mon. They've got the table ready for us upstairs. You coming?"

"Y-yeah. Right behind you."

Another track started up, a high-tempo electronica track which had been playing on all the best radio stations lately. Yosuke tuned it out, following along behind Rise, only coming back to his senses when he noticed Souji standing at the top of the stairs, arms folded. Yosuke nodded in acknowledgement; Souji gave that small, knowing smile he was so damn good at. Yosuke decided that he'd just danced with friggin' Rise Kujikawa. He didn't care what that was about.

In fact, all in all? It would have been the best night of that whole year, if not for two awful, horrible words.

King's Game.