I'm always proud when I'm able to write something that can be counted as humor. Mostly because I'm not nealy as funny as I pretend to be.
Disclaimer: You know, when I manage to sneak into Atlus and steal the rights, I'll probably be too chicken to admit it.
Woe to the Unrequited
A few months into their acquaintance she lets him down with all the grace and subtlety of a freight train.
"You're like, the twin brother I've never had. Or some cousin or something."
It takes her a moment to realize that Junpei is giving her a rather incredulous look. Riichi responds with confusion. "What?" she so eloquently ventures. It is hard to imagine her truly concerned with the way she continues to scarf down her udon like a mad man.
The boy sighs and gives in. "Yeah, yeah. You're kind of like a brother yourself man," he snorts. His jab appears to be confirmed when she lifts the bowl to her mouth and slurps up the remaining broth in as undignified a manner possible.
When she brings the dishware back down she's grinning like a cat. "Bros for life eh?" the girl purrs.
And Junpei's 34th love ends before it's even allowed out of the starting gate.
She only ever sees him in the middle of the night. Despite the fact that she really likes it when he visits, she can't help but feel like she's allowing something scandalous.
"You know, I'm far too old for you," she comments one night.
Pharos looks almost amused at the announcement. "You'd be surprised," he replies simply.
She wonders what to make of it. While she does this he shifts closer to her, legs kicking childishly, and slyly laces his fingers with hers.
"I promise to fix it soon," he chirps. Riichi gives him a look. "Since it seems to bother you so much." In that moment his expression is far more adult then a child his age should be capable of. She begins to fear for her chastity.
"You're kind'a hot."
She looks up from her lunch and allows an eyebrow to elegantly arch. "Thank you?" Junpei is snickering in the background.
Kenji shrugs, friendly grin in place. "It's too bad you're not older. I would totally hit on you."
Riichi puts on her sweetest smile. "And if that happened I would totally tell you, you're far too out of your league insolent brat."
The boy swears never to cross the girl and for the next few weeks endures Junpei's constant ribbing.
It is during one of their nightly outings that she drops the unexpected question of, "Is it normal for boys to visit girls' rooms in the middle of the night?"
The question catches him so off guard that he ends up spitting his rice all over the table. Riichi doesn't seem fazed in the least. Ken clears his throat and tries best to answer around his ensuing blush. "I-I don't believe so."
She nods once, decisively. "I didn't think so either." After several moments of silence he decides that she is not going to pursue the topic further and that it is best to forget the conversation ever happened.
"So is it weird to think it's kind of cute when he does it?"
This time the rice goes the opposite way and Ken ends up choking quite marvelously. She misses it because her attention is now out the windows.
Ken sets his jaw and quickly asks for seconds on his rice. He was going to need all the strength he could muster if he wanted a chance in hell of beating this unexpected new rival, especially because they appeared to be far more formidable than a certain Akihiko Sanada. He still finds himself camped out in front of her room late at night in hopes of catching the scoundrel before he could make after-dark visits again.
They always seem to find themselves caught in the student council room alone. He doesn't mind, he rather likes it this way. Even more so when there isn't any urgent work that requires their attention.
Riichi makes a face at the window and since he isn't in her line of sight he allows his poker face to drop and smiles warmly at her. As if in response to him her expression brightens into something akin to admiration.
"Akihiko-senpai is probably the only one I know who can manage to look cool after exercising for hours," she comments offhandedly. Upon further investigation she is watching the boxing team do their running out on the track.
"Is that so?" he clips, as his mood immediately sours. "Well I suppose we must all be naturals at something."
"Shinji!" she calls, and something not unpleasant flares up behind the grating of his nerves.
"What?" He answers because unlike the rest of the dorm (excluding the ever-nagging Aki) ignoring her will not make the problem go away.
Riichi falls to her knees and rests her chin on the arm of the sofa next to his elbow. "Teach me to cook," she pleads. It's really an order; beneath her batting eyes and innocent façade she has no intention of letting him refuse. And he damn well knows it.
With a huge sigh he acquiesces. "Why?" It won't make a difference, but he would like to know the reason for his disturbance.
The girl shrugs. "We're baking in home ec next week and I want to appear as if I actually know what I'm doing."
His irritation is poorly hidden. "You know, you could be less subtle about using me," he snorts.
Another shrug and she's already up and heading towards the kitchen. "But you make it so easy," she teases over her shoulder. "Find yourself a girlfriend and I'll be morally obligated to leave you alone for this kind'a stuff."
There is no one who can make him want to kill someone like Riichi Arisato can.
It has become a habit for them to have to sneak out of restaurants. He blames his luck, she blames their inability to eat someplace that isn't known to the hordes of pissy girls who think they've laid claim to the boxer. To get out she huddles inside his jacket and he borrows one of Junpei's baseball caps. It is somewhat alarming how well this actually seems to work.
"I'll make you pancakes tomorrow," the girl announces. "It's the better option to being chased around town again."
Akihiko looks approvingly at her as she pulls the coat down from around her ears. "I'll be looking forward to it then," he replies.
She grins and gives a cocky thumbs-up. "Shinji told me they're passable, and as he's incapable of being honest that means they're awesome. So get ready to be amazed."
His excitement slowly begins to abate.
"How's your new school?"
Saori gives a restrained giggle. "It's very welcoming. Everyone is so nice. I wish you were here though." She blushes on her end, though the other girl can't see it through the phone. "Anything new with you?" she quickly asks and hopes that Riichi can't hear how unnatural it is.
Riichi pauses and Saori imagines her biting her lip. "There was this new transfer student," she answers. "It's really exhausting though. He's far too sweet, so now I've got to fight to keep his creepy fans away from him." Saori responds with a pained chuckle of feigned understanding.
The older girl listens to her friend's concerns for a few more minutes before she finds something urgent she needs to do.
She's rather good with sewing and knitting. A small part of him takes this as a sign that they are actually soul mates. Soul mates enjoyed the same things right? Bebe knows this is a rather romantic spin on things, but it's good to be a romantic.
"Riichi-sama," he calls from the other side of the room. The girl hums in reply, her attention still obviously focused on her work. "Would you like to come to France over ze summer break with me?" It's a pretty bold proposition he decides, and blushes accordingly.
She swears under her breath as a finger slips and she messes up a stitch. "Sure, Bebe," she calls back. "Sounds great." It doesn't matter that she's not really paying attention to him, she had said yes and that was all the answer he needed. Now he just needed to find out how to pay to get them there.
Bebe almost whoops in excitement. "Zat eez great, Riichi-sama," he cries. "We shall 'ave a wonderful summer."
Riichi finally looks up from her work. "Summer?" she repeats, as if she doesn't quite understand the word. "Oh, I'm sorry, I've already got plans with Junpei." She doesn't look at him long enough to see his expression, a mixture of disappointment and horror. Instead she raises her work in front of her like a banner. "I think I'm done, do you like it?" She starts talking again without waiting for an answer. "It's for a boy in my dorm. He's still wearing shorts in winter so I wanted to make him something warm."
Bebe isn't really paying attention anymore. He's preparing himself for a very lonely summer.
"Riichi-san, I propose marriage to you."
The girl in question chokes on her steak and the rest of the dorm goes appropriately silent. All of them—save Riichi, who was still trying to dislodge the meat, and Ken who was awkwardly rubbing her back—stare at her in shock and confusion. The android ignores them to focus solely on Riichi's answer.
With a last little cough Riichi regains composure. "This is very sudden," she stammers. The faint pink on her cheeks makes her look very pretty. "I'm not sure what to say."
Junpei, having gotten over his shock, snorts next to her. "Why would you want to marry Reech, Ai-tan? She'd be the worst wife ever." Riichi rewards his answer with a sharp elbow to his ribs.
Aigis' determined expression doesn't so much as twitch. "When one commits to marriage, one promises to spend the rest of their life with their partner. Is this not so?" The group nods in unison. "Then this shall bind me to Riichi-san for the rest of our lives. I already promised to do as such, this will make it official."
Riichi coughs awkwardly. "I'm flattered, Aigis," she responds, choosing her words carefully. "I don't think I'm ready for marriage yet. Um, maybe in a few years?"
"I see, I will wait then." Despite her obvious disappointment the others go back to their previous tasks. Riichi gives her an apologetic look as she picks herself up and leaves to go upstairs. Aigis can merely sit there and wonder if she should have gone about it a different way.
She leans against him and his arms loosely encircle her shoulders in turn. Her gaze settles on the ceiling. They don't have much longer until he disappears.
"Were you happy?" she asks.
His smile is bittersweet. "Of course I was."
Riichi's expression becomes slightly sweeter as her eyes begin to water. "Good. That's all I can ask for then."
His hold on her grows a little bit tighter. They are silent until she opens her mouth once more. "I'll always love you, okay?"
And Ryoji's chest cracks and squeezes because while he loves her back he knows he'll break her heart before he could ever hope to make her happy.