I don't really remembered how I came across the idea, but as soon as I thought of it I started sniggering. I really do think that if the protagonist had gone alone, this had a good chance of actually happening, especially because Junpei always comments on how much she eats. But anyway, you might be surprised to know how many times I edited this thing. I was finally happy with it, and am actually really pleased with how the whole thing turned out. I hope you enjoy it as well, and please tell me what you all think.
Disclaimer: Still have not been able to find out how to actually own the rights to this game. Will probably never be able to.
Let's Make a Deal
It was pretty suspicious when Ryouji and Junpei had looked so content earlier that afternoon. She hadn't seen them that excited in a while, in fact even the Geishas that morning hadn't made them look nearly that happy. Riichi should have figured out something was up, but had decided to ignore it in favor of paying more attention to the 'girl time' Fuuka and Yukari had suggested they have. Now she wasn't saying it wasn't important. In fact, she thought they needed their girl time as much as Fuuka had. It had been a lot of fun to actually sit down and talk amongst themselves like they were normal teenagers for once. Mitsuru had even seemed to pick herself up out of her depression and was giving more input then any of them had ever hoped for. Which was actually how they had decided to end up in the hot springs together. A continuation, of their girl time.
Riichi figured she really only had herself to blame. Her earlier suspicions should have skyrocketed when she had run into the boys just before she met up with the other girls to take a soak. They had been in such high spirits that it was almost alarming just to look at them. Or rather Junpei and Ryouji were, Akihiko just looked drained. But the former two just greeted her, made a few cracks about how pretty she looked, and then alerted her to the fact that Fuuka was looking for her. A fact that she already knew, but was too surprised and alarmed to remember she did.
So when they had climbed into the hot springs and heard that mysterious splashing, she should have known what the warning bells in her head were pointing towards.
"Let's go check on Fuuka," Yukari suggested, tugging worriedly on Riichi's arm. Her face was such a billboard of unease that it was almost making Riichi scared as well.
But the brunette gently eased herself out of Yukari's grip and pointed in the other direction. "Alright, but I'm going to check a little further in." Yukari looked positively horrified at the prospect of being left alone, and Riichi had to hasten to assure the girl. "It's okay, I'll be right behind you I promise. You should meet up with Fuuka real soon too, she's just around the rock."
Yukari bit her lip before hesitantly nodding her head. "O-okay. I'm sure it's nothing though, are you sure you want to check it out?"
Riichi smiled and gave a soft nod. "I'll be okay, now go ahead." The other girl hesitated slightly before nodding herself and hurrying back so fast that Riichi was sent wondering how she could gain that much speed while wading. She gave a short sigh before heading in the opposite direction. Whatever had made that noise she would find out, come hell or high water. Literally in that last case.
The girl set her sights on an opening to the rock in the middle of the springs, and started towards it. She narrowed her eyes, straining to get a better look. When she was only about a foot away Riichi felt a hand grasp her wrist and pull her downwards. She opened her mouth to yelp, but was silenced when another hand clamped itself securely over her mouth. Riichi went down with a splash, which was only made louder by her violent thrashing.
"Stop it, dammit quiet down will ya'!"
She stopped at once with that harsh whisper in her ear. The girl looked up to see the frantic faces of Junpei, Ryouji, and Akihiko. Her confusion was only elevated more when she remembered where exactly they were.
Junpei removed his hand from her wrist and put a finger to his lips in a shushing motion. He then hesitantly removed his hand from her mouth, going slower than needed to make sure she wouldn't start screaming.
Riichi, still unable to fully collect her wits, frantically clutched at the her towel. "What are you guys doing here?" she whispered, adopting their sound level in her confusion.
Ryouji gave a nervous laugh. She had to admit he still looked a hell of a lot calmer than the other two were though. "Well, we didn't know it was so close to the changing time," he admitted. "Actually I suppose it was us thinking it was too late for anyone else to actually come."
Junpei made a move as if to hit him. "Shut up you idiot," he hissed, "We'll get caught."
"Will both of you settle down!" Akihiko finally butted in. "It's bad enough we're in this situation, if we get caught…" he trailed off. He suddenly went pale and his gaze landed on Riichi.
All four of them jumped at the sound of Fuuka's calling, though miraculously made no noise. They each frantically looked at each other before moving further into the crevice of the rock. When this action was done and Riichi found herself wedged between the rock and Ryouji with the two others on either side of her, something suddenly occurred to her.
"Why am I hiding?" she whispered, glaring at Ryouji's smiling face. Though with her statement he was looking more uncomfortable by the minute.
Junpei roughly grabbed her shoulder. "I'm begging you," he pleaded. "Don't rat us out."
The girl gave a soft snort. "And why not? This is sexual harassment you know." Despite what she was saying, she was neither increasing her volume, or making a move to blow their cover.
Becoming increasingly frantic by the second, Junpei gave her a frenzied shake. "I'll treat you to ramen for a week!" he hissed.
This was enough to get the girl interested. Riichi perked up before narrowing her eyes. "Two weeks," she bargained. "And it has to be the Hagakure special."
"Two weeks!" Junpei hissed. "I'm not made of money!"
She merely shrugged. "Apparently me saving your ass isn't worth treating your good friend to ramen." With that said, she opened her mouth and sucked in a breath. Before she could even think about the shout she was planning to do, Akihiko slapped his hand over her mouth.
"Junpei will treat you for three weeks," he growled, glaring daggers at the boy in question.
Junpei was positively aghast at this suggestion. "Are you crazy?" he snarled. "And bargain your own damn money!"
"Guys," Ryouji piped in, "I think they're getting closer."
Sure enough the telltale splash of wading could be heard. It was getting louder by the minute, and if she calculated correctly they would probably be discovered in the next five. "Tick-tock," she shrugged. "I won't be the one in trouble if you don't decide soon."
This made Akihiko more agitated. "Junpei, if you don't take this deal I'll throw you out there alone. It's yours and Ryouji's fault we got into this mess anyway."
"Then why doesn't he have to do anything?" Junpei responded. He jabbed a finger violently into Ryouji's shoulder, as if doing so would turn all their attention on him.
Instead Ryouji just chuckled. "Well, that's because I've already seen Rii-chan na-"
This time it was Ryouji who was silenced by a hand. The owner of said hand hissed up at him, dangerous smile in place. "If you say anymore Ryou~ji," Riichi hissed through ground teeth, singing his name slightly in emphasis. "It will be you out there all alone." Ryouji just continued to smile and nodded against her hand. Despite not having it directed at them, the other two wondered if maybe it wasn't more dangerous in here than out there with Mitsuru.
"Riichi?" Yukari called.
"Taking it or not?" Riichi asked, all thoughts of proper grammar out the window with the threat of discovery looming closer and closer.
Junpei made a pained expression before lowering his head in defeat. "Deal," he finally mumbled.
That was all Riichi needed. She hurriedly linked her pinky with his before removing her hand from Ryouji's mouth and cupping it around her own. "I'm still here," she called. With this declaration all three of the boys went wide-eyed.
"You said," Junpei hissed, and was hushed once more by her glare.
"Oh thank god." Yukari's relieved exclamation made them realize just how close they had gotten to being discovered. "Riichi come on let's-"
"Stop!" Riichi shouted, making the boys jump and apparently shocking the girls wherever they were as well because there was a responding splash. "I-I dropped my towel, and I still can't find it," the brunette called back, her voice laced with embarrassment.
"Liar," Junpei whispered, to which Akihiko responded with a glare of pure venom. Riichi merely ignored him.
"Really?" Fuuka this time. "Do you want us to help you find it Riichi-chan?"
Riichi bit her lip and gave a silent scream of frustration. "No," she called back, her voice almost cracking in her desperation. "It's really embarrassing, and I'm sure I'll find it soon. There's not that much room left to search, so just go on without me okay?"
There was a long silence in which the girls seemed to be hesitating. Riichi had the sneaking suspicion that they sensed something wasn't right. Her teeth sunk deeper into her lip, making her wince when she was successful in breaking through the skin.
Finally they seemed to be making progress. "Alright," Yukari called back, though it was obvious from her tone that she was more than simply suspicious. "Meet up with us back in our room okay." The sound of splashing went on for a while, followed by the murmurings of the girls. After a few more minutes the door slid open and then shut.
All four of them let out a breath.
"Thank god that's over," Junpei whistled, leaning back against the rock in exhaustion.
Akihiko wasted no time in escaping the confines of the crevice. "You guys are damn lucky Mitsuru didn't decide to come looking," he snapped once a respectable distance away. His gaze landed on Riichi and all of a sudden his face went red. He twisted around, refusing to look back at the other three. "Uh, th-thanks for that," he stammered. Riichi merely cocked her head in confusion.
Junpei's face alit with realization. "Is it that hard to look at her in a towel?" he teased. In an attempt to only add salt to the wound he picked himself up off the rock and wedged himself in-between Ryouji and Riichi. Slinging an arm over both their shoulders he herded them back into the open. "You saw her in a swimsuit in Yakushima didn't you?"
Ryouji pouted in disappointment. "I bet she was really cute too," he sighed.
"Shut up you," Riichi sniffed, turning a light pink. "And Junpei if you don't keep up your end of the bargain I swear I'll make sure the whole school knows you like to peep in on girls in the springs."
"Really, why am I the only one getting shit for this!" he snapped.
Riichi just snarled back. "Because Senpai wouldn't knowingly do something like this, and Ryouji I'm sure just went along with it because it was you who suggested it."
Junpei matched her glare. "What makes you think Ryouji wasn't the one who suggested it?"
He was stunned when Riichi looked mildly surprised. Soon though her mouth curled into a smile that couldn't mean anything else but danger. "Of course he didn't," she chirped. "Because if he did, Ryouji's going to find it awfully hard to find a date for a long, long time."
Junpei couldn't help but shiver, and Ryouji gave a slightly strained laugh from behind, "Rii-chan's such a kidder."
"We'll see how much I'm kidding," she muttered darkly.
Junpei seemed to decide it was in everyone's best interest if that particular exchange ended. He swung his arm back over Riichi's shoulders and gave her a light shake. "Alright cutie," he said, making her look up at him in surprise. "Let's go raid some rooms. We're bound to find some couple who's a little too close to be socially acceptable."
The lone girl's eyes lit up and she moved one hand to sling around Junpei's shoulders and the other to pump the air. "Alright!" she called. "Onward march!"
Ryouji took his chance to sidle up to her and gently took Riichi's free hand in his own. "I'm up for it too," he put in, giving the other two a cheery thumbs up. "Akihiko-san," he called to the boxer, "Are you joining as well?"
Akihiko merely shook his head. "I just want to lay down," he sighed. The other three were slightly alarmed at how exhausted he really sounded.
"Senpai c'mon, you only live once," Junpei laughed, looking at Riichi and Ryouji for affirmation. The first gave a sharp nod, looking a little too into it for comfort, the latter merely chuckled amiably. "It'll be a celebration. You know, for escaping the wrath of an execution."
Riichi detached herself from Junpei, who responded by removing his arm from her as well, and gave her own thumbs up. "It'll be fun," she assured. "Especially because for some reason they never think anyone's gonna walk in on them. Their expressions should be priceless."
It was Ryouji's turn for input. "It would be a lot more romantic if they went out on the riverbank to do it. Think of it as giving pointers." He sighed and shook his head as if it was childish to think otherwise, an act that made Riichi jab her elbow into his ribs and glare at him in warning. It was noted though that she never once attempted to unlace her fingers from his.
Akihiko gave yet another exhausted sigh and a shake of his own head. "I'll leave the three stooges to their antics," he replied. "Now can we please just get out of here."
'Wet blanket,' Junpei snorted, followed by Riichi's, 'Senpai you're no fun,' and Ryouji merely gave a shrug of his shoulders. Despite the fact that two of the three proclaimed 'stooges' looked exceptionally displeased, all three of them followed the boxer out of the springs.
They had just began chatting again when they slid open the door to the changing area and stopped cold. Awaiting them was the irritated figures of Mitsuru and Yukari, a slightly confused and worried Fuuka, and Aigis.
"You guys have some explaining to do," Yukari ground out.
Mitsuru merely smiled. Even Riichi had to shiver at the feeling of her veins turning to ice. "Arisato," she quipped. "I would like an explanation later on, of why exactly you are leaving the hot springs with three almost-naked men." It was unanimously decided by the three almost-naked men later on, that while Riichi's was scary in her own way, Mitsuru's smile was damn well terrifying.
"I think you all know what this means," Mitsuru ended. Her tone, while icy, still didn't sound as angry as they were all positive she was.
Riichi decided now was the time, and sucked in a low breath. "Hey Junpei," she muttered, her tone completely flat.
"What now?" the boy almost whimpered.
"You now owe four weeks."
I know, I know, there is one thing wrong with the time-line in my story. I know it's not possible to be on dating status with Ryouji yet. But well, they're cute together, and since the events that happened in this story have no chance of happening in the actual game then I say I should be allowed another inconsistancy!