Title: Different Scripts
Fandom: Persona 4
Characters/Pairings: implied Souji/Yosuke
Rating: PG
Warnings: Set post-game, so very mild ending spoilers.
Notes: Yosuke deals with six hundred thirty-seven kilometers.



Different Scripts




What comes after saving the world is somewhat anticlimactic.

If this were a movie, there'd be a parade, and official laudations, and a crazy party with loud music and firecrackers. There's none of it, though, because no one will know what they've done, what they've managed to do, and there's no party because the eleven o'clock train isn't waiting, not even for the end of the world.

It's weird how the brain or the heart or whatever it is manages to overdramatize, though, like the closing of the sliding doors is a wall slamming down to separate dimensions, like the train gaining speed along the tracks isn't just carrying Souji back to Tokyo, but out of their lives and into another world. It doesn't help that Souji's face behind the windowpane is wearing that odd tiny smile, like he won't let himself be sad for their sake, because it means they shouldn't be, either, and that's not working out so well even when the train's just leaving, but after? Yeah, no holds barred.

Rise's sort of cry-laughing, or laugh-crying, Chie's dabbing her eyes and Teddie's spraying snot and water like he's got his tear ducts hooked up to the world's largest aquarium. Yukiko's hanging her head, but a close look reveals the teardrops collecting on her chin, and Detective Dojima is just standing there all awkwardly while Nanako's turning his pants into a handkerchief. Naoto's just kind of quiet, and he guesses the composure comes with the job, because even Kanji's gulping like he wants to let loose, and damn if all that sniffling isn't making Yosuke want to do the same.

He can't, though, because their leader wasn't letting himself, and if Souji's not here then he's responsible for keeping their act together. He says as much, too, and something along the lines of how Souji wouldn't want all those tears — and his voice is cracking up on the name, dammit — and then Chie says, "Wait, you?" with this mildly hysterical giggle-sob, and somehow that instantly lifts the mood, when they can all have a round of giggle-sobs at his expense.

Yosuke doesn't really mind for once, just puffs himself up and says, "Hell yeah, me," but can't quite launch into a reminder of how he was the second, went on to be Souji's second, because his eyes are already misting over as it is.

They hang around the train station for a while, not sure what to do with themselves and getting odd looks from the next slew of passengers because they're kind of looking like someone's puppy died, until eventually Dojima-san mumbles something about sodas, and they trudge collectively to the next vending machine. Yosuke has melon-pineapple, and it settles in his belly as this knot of ice-cool sweetness that's giving him a stomachache, but he's pretty sure half the ache isn't the soda's fault.

It's like they all expected the end of the world to change things, if not the way things are on the planet at large, then at least this tiny bit of unfairness.

The movies always make it seem nicer than this.



The movies never tell you how things go on after the world is saved.

They never show you what happens with that giant meteor crater, or the exploded alien ships, they never tell you who cleans up the mess and where they're getting the tap water from or why on Earth that konbini is still standing.

In Yosuke's case, the story ended with Souji leaving, and he kind of forgot that that day was a Monday and so the next day would be Tuesday, with all the things that make a Tuesday the ultimate day of uselessness. Like school. And lessons given by sadists who think it's never too early to get a headstart on the new term.

He can't really concentrate on the material, numbers and letters swimming together into this indistinguishable blur, and its worse than usual because now, instead of blissful blankness, his brain goes skipping off to wondering what Souji's doing, whether he got any sleep from the long ride and whether he thinks school's weird, too, too quiet with too many missing pieces, and no one to kick his shin and whisper the right answer when the sadist decides it's time for a pop quiz.

"The Amazon river, Mr. Hanamura," Mrs. Sofue says, her scepter tapping impatiently against her folded arms. "Can you, or can you not tell me which explorers first perceived its magnificent shores?"

"Um," he says, because what in the blazes does he want with the Amazon when he's got more important things to think about, and the grin itches when he tries to make it brighter. "Um, the Amazons?"

The class erupts into cackles, and normally he'd pat himself on the back for that, but today's just not his day.

"Very funny, Mr. Hanamura. I'll be expecting an essay from you," Mrs. Sofue says stiffly, "On the exploration of the Amazon river. Three thousand words."

Normally he'd wail about that with righteous indignation, during and after class, but again, just not his day.

He goes back to staring out the window at the budding trees once the teacher's turned to the board again, and thus completely misses the note aimed in his general direction. The little paper wad bounces off his shoulder, startling him out of another round of what-ifs. He glances around, notices Chie sitting suspiciously straight and staring at the blackboard like she's fascinated by Amazons, and smoothes out the crumpled paper.

It takes him a moment to get the words to make sense, his brain still stuck in other-land, but when they do, they pull out the first smile he really feels like giving.

Can't concentrate, either.



The reason the movies never tell you about the after is because the after is boring as all fudge.

It's pretty odd to realize that he has a bad case of ennui — a Souji word, that — after an entire year without, and now it's back like that year never happened, like he's still the weirdo kid from the unwanted shopping temple stuck in hickville and going stir-crazy. Which is funny, because that hasn't changed, not really, even though he could grab Teddie and call Yukiko and Kanji and everyone else, ask them to hang out and do... something. Anything. It doesn't really matter.

The meetings have gotten pretty awkward, though, because sooner or later the conversation will die down and Yosuke will know that this is the Collective Remembrance Moment, where they're all indulging the memory of some past outing that included Souji, or wondering what he's doing. He's got to be ready for that, because it means he'll be dragging around those same thoughts for the rest of the day.

The other reason for the ennui is that, again, Souji's not here, though this is about him specifically, because now Yosuke's out of a partner for Katamari and video nights and nobody's in charge of the popcorn and nobody is trying to smother him in his sleep for alleged snoring. Nobody to drag to Okina and prowl the music stores with, nobody to stand there with his eyes closed and the headphones held closely to his ears while Yosuke's throwing albums at him because Souji didn't have a proper CD collection when he came here.

It's especially bad at Junes, because a lot of the work is pretty mind-numbing and it was always easier to put up with the occasional bitchy customer or the huffy part-timers from the other class when Souji was there to laugh it off with or complain at or turn sweeping the floors at closing time into a fencing match with the mops. It doesn't really make sense, because he left friends behind before, or they left him behind, and it was just something that happened, a bit sad but what could you do? None of it really hurt, not like this, and it doesn't make sense at all because he knows that feeling, the same kind he often got after Saki-sempai was gone, and that's pretty screwed up because it's not like Souji's dead.



The movies also never tell you about what the people do after the Mysterious Stranger has mounted his steed and ridden out of town in a cloud of dust.

Mostly because those stories are pretty sad, it'd just be thirty minutes filled with the bar maid pining and the rest of the townsfolk shuffling on in their jobs, and the new sheriff not having a damn clue what's what.

Yosuke makes a point to hang out with Nanako, as do the others, because that's something they inherited from Souji, some kind of... well, duty isn't the right word, because that makes Nanako sound like a chore when she really isn't, but it's still something like their job, and his job especially, because, as he said, he's got to keep things together when the leader's not here. She seems to be coping with Souji's absence the best, actually, gleefully scampering after him at Junes and talking about home and school and friends. She's coping the best out of all of them, or so Yosuke thinks until the time when he's helping her tidy the house and catches sight of a crayon-colored shoebox full of letters, all the opened envelopes reading "Seta, Souji" on the back and nestled in there as if they're the most precious thing in the world.

He can't decide whether he's the inept rookie sheriff or more the pining bar maid, that evening, or perhaps he's even the blacksmith with delusions of a desperado lifestyle, flipping his cell phone open and closed with a rapid, nervous click-clickety-click. He should have some excuse, he figures, if he's going to do it, some kind of alibi or at least a good reason. He's made a point not to call Souji, even though he knows the others talk to him a lot, because he's supposed to be holding the fort and this feels a bit like admitting defeat, like selecting Souji's number from the address book is the same thing as saying he's failed. Failed at what exactly, he isn't sure.

Eventually, his fingers decide that he's being a girl about this, pressing the dial button without his consent, and then it's too late to stop it because even if he disconnects, Souji'll know he tried to call, and "tried to" is ten times worse than actually calling.

Silence, a freaking long silence, and then—


He's so caught up in counting the seconds that he takes a moment too long to answer, because Souji says, "You there?"

"Yeah. Yeah I'm... here. Um. Hi."

"Hi," Souji echoes drolly, and it's just one word, but he missed it.

"Um. I... hope I'm not bothering or anything."

"No." The sound of books snapping shut, probably Souji sweeping schoolwork to the side if he's at home, leaning back in the computer chair. "No, not at all. Is something the matter?"

"No," he says, a little too quickly, realizing how meek he must have sounded. He really is being a girl about this. "Just... wondering what you were up to, and things."

A little pause, and he can't blame Souji for thinking this weird, being contacted by the guy who called himself his partner after three months of radio silence. "I'm... good. You've probably heard most of the sordid details of my life from Rise."

"Well, about that... you didn't really end up sheltering those penguins, did you."

"I wasn't sheltering them. Just keeping them off the road until the guys from the zoo came to fetch them."

"Taming them with tuna sandwiches." He's not even surprised anymore. Surprise is one of the first things you have to learn to wrestle into submission if you want to be part of Souji-land, because otherwise, you never stop walking around with a landed fish expression.

"It was salmon roe sushi and they looked hungry," Souji says, and he can hear the grin in his voice, warm and real.

"Well, if you want them on the team, I'm out. We're already working with a fox, I'm not looking forward to dealing with shadow penguins."

"I promise I'm not going to adopt them. They'd have difficulties climbing stairs, for one."

"I might consider the matter if they learn how to turn themselves into kamikaze bombers."

Laughter, tinny and crackly from the receiver because Souji's being too loud, and for a moment it's easy to pretend that he's not six hundred and thirty-seven kilometers away. Then Yosuke realizes he's kind of run out of things to say, because what is there that he doesn't already know from Rise or Yukiko or Teddie, and what is there in Inaba and his routine that Souji hasn't seen a hundred times over? That's how these things start, though, with hellos that turn more and more formal over time, and the non-questions about how you're doing and how school is and what you're going to do on the weekend, and he doesn't want that. It's weird to start repeat-asking all the things he heard from Rise, and Souji probably thinks so, too, but he'd rather hear them from the source, paint for himself some kind of picture of the new life that Souji's leading over there.

Souji doesn't complain, though he could, bogged down by schoolwork and extra classes that his mom booked for him, because they'll look good when he's applying for university, so bogged down that he couldn't even disentangle himself for Golden Week, though he wanted to, "really wanted to." He doesn't say that he's bored, that studying was more fun when they could gather everyone and maybe Daisuke and Kou at the secret headquarters, but Yosuke likes to imagine he is, anyway, that any friends he's made in Tokyo aren't friends-friends that treat him to steak or graciously allow him to whoop their ass at Tekken or punch the living daylights out of him over some stupid ball of envy-anger-sadness lodged in their chest, and that Souji doesn't take extra special care not to put tofu in their lunch or share his earphones with them or — and here he goes red all over again like he kept doing for a week after — give them hugs when they're having a really, really shitty day.


Really manly hugs over manly snot-and-water, and it is totally not strange to need a man-hug every once in a while.

"...of course it isn't," Souji says tolerantly, like he wasn't just in the middle of talking about his drama club, and Yosuke says something that sounds like "gwarck" and drops the phone.

"If it helps your conscience, it was a supremely manly gwarck," Souji supplies after he's picked the phone back up and reattached the display to the keypad properly.

"You are so lucky that you aren't here or anywhere within throwing distance, Seta," Yosuke says, "and if you ever tell anyone about the noises I make on the phone, I have methods to dispose of you very quietly."

"...and in a manly way?"

"Oh, that is IT," and then the rest of the conversation degenerates into him shouting more and more obscure death threats and Souji laughing until Yosuke's mom bangs on the door and tells him to put a cork in it, it's going on midnight, or she's going to make him.



The movies never tell you about envy after the credits roll, the envy of the ones who have to stay behind, because that'd get in the way of a happy ending.

They most especially never tell you about Yosuke's kind of envy, because this kind of envy is stupid. Over the past few weeks — or maybe it's months, he doesn't really know anymore, because his life's gotten too weird — he's realized that he's starting to be envious of random strangers. Random strangers living anywhere between six hundred and thirty-seven and zero, because six hundred and thirty-seven minus anything is better than the full number.

This kind of envy really isn't all that new to him; back when he first moved to Inaba, it was all he could think about, how anyone living even slightly away from the town, in places with busier streets and things to see, with karaoke clubs to hang out in and proper arcades, in anything remotely resembling civilization, was better off than being stuck here, dead in the center of the most boring place on Earth.

Now, though, he's started measuring the quality of life by how far things are from Tokyo, and there's weird thoughts popping into his head at the most unexpected times, like how even the mailman is now closer to Souji than the one who helped him save the world, and these kinds of things are what's making him want to check his temperature and find a secret facility dedicated to the study of alien viruses, because that's what this has got to —

"Yosuke? Are you even listening to me?"

"Um." He blinks, drawn back to reality where Rise called after her move, rattling off her schedule and her address and how her new manager is totally great at, well, managing. "Sorry. You were saying?"

"I was just saying I wish this AC could turn up higher. Heat's a killer. I tried to ring up Sempai and can you believe it? The poor guy's stuck in class. Class! Who does that. And he said the AC's broken. I hope he doesn't get a heat stroke; he's probably sweating buckets right about now." A giggle breaks through her sympathetic tone, like she's enjoying the mental image of Souji sweating buckets in his prep course and trying to peel off his uniform as much as decency allows, tugging at his collar, shifting to unstick his pants from his seat, popping the first button open —

"—suke? Hey. Are you getting heat stroke?"

He must be, if he can remember how Souji used to hook his fingers under the rim of his collar.

"Don't go dying on me, you hear?"

"I should probably find some ice or something."

"Oooh, nice." An appreciative giggle-squeal, and normally he'd congratulate himself for making Risette say "oooh, nice" to him, but his brain's hung up on fingers-in-collar and isn't quite ready to process anything else.

Yosuke gets up, trudges into the kitchen and opens the freezer for a cool pack. A quick glance out the window shows that sun's nearly done setting, and still no end to the heat in sight. Tomorrow is swim-picnic time with the gang, at least, so he can stop moping about the house and getting his brain stuck.

"Say, uh." Rise's voice has dropped, like she's thinking, teeth worrying her bottom lip. "I thought of grabbing a tub of ice cream and showing up when school lets out, but... You wouldn't remember Sempai's favorite?" A pause, and there's something odd in her voice that gets his attention. "I was trying to remember, in the studio. But I couldn't. I just couldn't."

"...Rise, are you...?" He doesn't want to say 'crying', but there's that little choke in her voice that's making him wonder.

"Well, I mean," and the rest gets lost in a pair of sliding doors opening onto a busy street in downtown Tokyo.

"Come again?"

"—gone for what, four months, four-and-a-half, and I can't remember what ice cream he liked! What kind of friend shows up not remembering these things?" She laughs a little, helplessly. "I only know it was something that'd rot your teeth just looking at it."

"...Raspberry-vanilla, with raspberry bits," Yosuke supplies after a minute of rifling through afternoons of watching Souji devour cone after cone, with no signs of sugar rush in sight.

"Aww, yeah, that was it. Thank you so much, sempai. You saved me!" Another pause. "...you won't tell him, will you?"

"Your secret's safe with me, promise," he says, and he kind of wants to tell her not to take the ice cream thing to heart so much, because she really seems to, but he had to think for a moment himself, and he's sure as hell minding that he had to think.

"Okay, thanks. Train's coming, I gotta run if I want to make it. Bye-bye, and no dying!"

The disconnecting blip swallows his goodbye, and he spends a few minutes staring at the "connection terminated" message on the display, picturing Rise dashing for the train in the simmering bay heat, rushing off to catch Souji before he can leave school, and realizing that she's joined the ranks of people he envies, because she can go see Souji whenever she wants now, and he can't.

He shakes his head, tossing the lukewarm cool pack into the freezer and resolving to find some way to occupy himself. He's turning into one of those dreadful dependant people you always see in chick flicks, who go around dividing their life into "before Souji" and "after Souji" and then have an angst-fest because after Souji, well, what kind of life is there?



"I've come to the conclusion that I'm watching a movie about my life where someone who looks like me is going around doing things I'd never do."

"What kinds of things?" Souji says, and there's rustling in the background as he's switching all the grocery bags to his other arm, to be able to hold the phone better. The unflappable attitude is something Yosuke always wanted, just the tone saying he wouldn't even bat an eyelash if Yosuke told him he'd decided to follow his persona's oh-so-very-obvious calling and become a professional disco dancer.

"Just... things." Like hell he's going to tell Souji about the chick flick epiphany.

"Are they good or bad things?" Souji really does have the perfect voice for calming down little kids or partners six hundred and thirty-seven kilometers away and on the verge of going just a little bonkers. He could become a psychiatrist, really, and Yosuke could be the first customer on the couch, at the rate things are going.

"Yes. No. Maybe."

"Well, let me put it this way. Has the you-who-is-not-you turned to a life of crime by abducting kittens and sacrificing them to volcano gods, or is it more the normal kind of endgame schizophrenia?"

"No. No, I don't think so. About the kittens, I mean." He sighs, drags a hand through his hair. "Maybe you're right."

"About what?"

"About the endgame schizophrenia. I still haven't decided what I want to do." It's a safer bet than saying that he's envious of all the people who live within bullet train distance to Souji. "My dad wants me to go on to uni, get a degree in... man, I don't even know. Economics, probably. Something in, with nice job chances. I mean, my grades aren't stellar, but there's enough places."

"And you?" Jingling as Souji pulls out a key, accompanied by the dull click as he twists it in the lock.


Yosuke is fiddling with the phone strap, thinking back to conversations with the group. Yukiko still wants to study, inn or no, some kind of tourism management thing that he can't really wrap his head around, and Chie has been hounding Detective Dojima with questions about police school. Kou's got a basketball scholarship and Daisuke's been thinking of opening up a grill place or something, and crazy or no, their ideas all feel a lot more solid than his. He's been mostly drifting, with no real purpose in mind; in fact, the year Souji was there was the most focused he's ever been about anything, really.

The phone strap bangs against the casing. "I mean, it's kind of... you make plans and then you realize you never had any plans. That kind of thing."

"Yeah. Speaking of plans, there's something I want to do, but... I'm stuck waging a battle against my mother."

"I'd offer back-up, but are you sure it's okay to sic Izanagi on your mom?"

Souji chuckles. "It's just about my going to Tokyo-U."

"Damn, man. Your grades are good enough for that?"

A silence, and he can see Souji shrugging, the way he always did in the face of admiration. Yosuke never knew if it was just humility or if he really didn't think of it as anything special. "Well, it's not where I'd like to go, at any rate."

"You're not going to study?"

"Sure I am. Just not in Tokyo."

"Oh. Wait. Wait wait wait, you're not going overseas, are you?"

"No, that's... are you okay, Yosuke?"

"Huh? Yeah." He clears his throat to get rid of the crack in his voice. Panicky over the thought of Souji going to America, when he faced down a vengeful goddess just this spring. "Yeah, I'm good."

"Good. She just caught me filling out apps for Kyoto-U, and... well, she's not happy about it."

Yosuke doesn't have any picture of Souji's mother in his head, can't remember ever hearing anything of substance on his family, but if Souji's adopting that tone of voice, it's probably not the normal kind of motherly dismay. "...Wait. Wait, Kyoto? Really?"

"Six hundred thirty-seven minus five hundred fifteen," Souji's smiling now, because Yosuke's smiling, glad he's not the only one who was turning the distance over in his mind, again and again, "is a whole lot closer than anything else."



The only kind of lunatic plans in movies are the plans of super-villains or super-geniuses.

Nobody ends up bothering with the ordinary, everyday kind of lunacy, the kind of lunacy that has Yosuke studying brochures and leaflets like he's never wanted anything else in his life.

"You're scary, Yosuke," Teddie says when he catches him furiously trying to calculate his grade average for the end of the year. Places in Kyoto are a lot more prestigious than elsewhere, but if he studies his ass off for the rest of the term, he should scrape by with a couple of Bs. Funny, that. He never thought it'd matter, making a real effort.

"Really scary," Chie says when he turns down a Jackie Chan night in favor of studying biology.

If he pauses long enough between the endoplasmic reticulum and the ribosomes, he'd have to admit that he's scaring himself, just a tiny bit. Sure, uni's his ticket out of Inaba and to places with a little more life and a little less gossip, but that barely seems to factor into the decision at all, and that's just a little too weird to examine closely. He'd talk to Souji about it, but that'd make him seem like a psycho. It's sure as hell making him look clingy. He's not sure what that says about him.

"So... Kyoto?"

He's lying on his back, in the middle of cleaning the bike he finally splurged on — against his parents' "we're not paying the bail money if you get in trouble," and against Yukiko's "if you have the choice between dustbins and us, please pick the dustbins" — and promptly drops the wrench on his stomach.


"You okay?"

"You've been asking that a lot," he observes, rubbing the sore spot and wincing.

"That's because you seem to be hurting yourself a lot when you're on the phone with me," Souji points out.

"I'm just not very good at handling wrenches and your questions at the same time. Who told?"

Souji is clearing his throat. "I'm under an oath not to reveal my—"



"Naoto?" Yosuke says, feeling betrayed. All this time he was worried about Chie's or Yukiko's mirth, and Naoto's the one to tell Souji the story of how he's turning into a clingy monkey.

"Well, she found it—"


"Pardon?" The clatter of pots in the background, and if he listens closely, it's one... two... five, Souji on a manic cooking spree.

"You can say it, you know. Weird."

"I wasn't going to." Souji's tone is mildly affronted, but Yosuke knows he's only owing it to discretion that Souji doesn't ask whether this is about him, because then he'd have to flounder for a stupidly transparent excuse. "I'm just a bit surprised. You didn't say anything about it last time."

"Well, uh." Looks like he's going to have to dig out that stupidly transparent excuse, anyway. "It's the closest option, really. And. Uh. Well. It's pretty boring without you."

There. He said it. Sounds safe enough and not girly.

Souji laughs. "I've been missing your entrances. Nobody here crashes bikes quite like you."

"Oi. I'll have you know I haven't crashed Priscilla yet. Nor do I plan to."


"Hey, what do you have against Priscilla?"


"Oh, just you wait. You'll be begging me for a ride."

"I bet," Souji says, and for a moment his tone's kind of weird, so Yosuke blinks, rewinds the last three lines, says "gah," and, through utmost effort, keeps himself from dropping the phone this time.

"You were going to hit yourself with something, weren't you." Souji is sounding way too amused at his pain, but between flipping the stir fry and commandeering the army of pots, he eventually sobers. "Anyways, about Kyoto. Originally, I thought of getting my own place... but sharing would be kind of neat, don't you think? Though I'd better not let that slip in front of my parents. War's ongoing."

"Wait, still?" Yosuke frowns, reaches for the wrench again. "It's been... three weeks?"

"Well, my parents can be kind of stubborn."

"Why? I mean, it's not like you haven't lived apart before, so..."

A sigh, the first time he's heard something like exasperation from Souji. "It's not that. Just... prestige."

"Oh man." He's heard of people with parents like that before, hell, Kou's clan is pretty hung-up on decorum and family honor and a good image, but that's the first he's ever heard about it from Souji. The thought feels kind of uncomfortable, gives him the idea that maybe he wasn't as good a friend as he thought, not really prodding Souji for his family life. Rise's not said anything about it, either, just that Souji's home alone most of the time, and that the apartment is, in her words, "very posh and very clean." He's starting to think he should've been paying more attention to her descriptions.

"I'm sure I'll get it sorted out, but... don't let the others know just yet. I wouldn't want—"


"What? What was that? Man, Yosuke, you said—"

"Hey, it's not my fault, I swear. They tortured it out of me."


"I'm sorry, alright? I didn't realize what a big deal it was, and..." He wipes a hand across his forehead, realizing too late that his fingers are covered in grease. Great. "Hey, I'm sure it'll work out. If you want back-up, I could start a petition. I'm sure half the town'd sign."


"No. No, I don't think anyone told her yet. Hey. Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good. Don't worry about it." Souji's almost sounding flippant now, and he's not sure he likes that tone.

"Really? You'd tell me if something was up, right? I'm responsible for watching our fearless leader's ass, after all."

A snerk, and he chucks the wrench reflexively, remembering too late that there's no one to hit, only the clatter-clang as it slams against the tool rack on the other side of the garage. "Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm serious here!"

"I know. I know you are. Thanks... partner." A pause, and the word shouldn't make him as happy as it does, that after more than six months, this hasn't changed, he hasn't been replaced. "Listen, I have to get going. Class. I'll let you know if something crops up. Think about what I said, okay?"


Termination beep, and it takes Yosuke a moment to realize that Souji has effectively avoided him in his infuriating Souji way. He spends a good five minutes rifling back through the convoluted conversation to find what he's supposed to be thinking about, and when he does, his brain happily pulls out insane idea #2531, and he narrowly avoids hitting his head on Priscilla's chrome plating because the thought of having Souji chopstick-feed him snow peas is just too weird.



Movie endings show how things are supposed to be, but they don't ever show the weird endings, the real endings, because those kinds of endings aren't endings at all.

There's no room in them for a girl who spent her childhood wanting to be Sherlock Holmes, or a punk who sews plushies, or a girl who isn't a princess, or a guy who was born in a bear costume, a girl who lost sight of herself or another girl who was scared of being left behind.

And there's no room in them for a guy who keeps watching his cell, day in, day out, who hisses "oh shit" when the battery's about to go dead in the middle of class, who has weird daydreams about mornings and afternoons in some vague nondescript apartment where the color of the wallpaper doesn't matter because he's sitting on the floor in the middle of chips crumbs and pillows and books on business studies, and prodding Souji in the back with his left big toe so he'll shut off the Playstation and roll over to help him with homework.

But life isn't like the movies, and that's why there's room for a text message in the last period on a Friday that sends said guy leaping out of his seat and bolting out the door under the dumbstruck gazes of the entire class. One minute later, the scenario repeats itself when two more chairs end up slamming to the floor, and another minute later, the same thing's happening in the second grade downstairs, but by then, Yosuke's already doing a u-turn that scrapes some paint off Priscilla, and goes speeding off to Inaba Station to the fading echo of Chie's yells, because life just doesn't get any better than this.

Day off. Checking places in K.

- S.





- Fin -


A/N: No, he's still not figured it out, the silly boy. XD Anyway, C&C is much appreciated.