Slight spoilers for Arena. This takes place during Kanji's alternative route. Only a few characters have an alt. route.

Context: Before each round, the two characters talks things out, sometimes a misunderstanding, sometimes establishing facts, and after a battle (Because only the winner can move on to find the real instigator of the tourney) the loser is left between invisible walls, until a winner is established.


"Shit...did I go to far?" Kanji put a hand on the back of his neck, as he looked down at the fallen Naoto.

Lost in thought he didn't notice her regaining her senses and made a hushed noised. Kanji flinched.

Seeing her stir, he immediately offered a hand and she took it hestinatly.

Holding hands, his cheeks tinted red.

Dammit, he thought. He was gonna get lectured at by her, like the others.

"Kanji-kun are you back to your normal self?" She asked adjusting her cap, one eye closed.

"W-What do you mean?"

She raised an eyebrow.

"...I guess it doesn't matter, since this is a dream n' all..." He mumbled.

Naoto just gave him this unexplainable...look.

"Uh...look, since this is a dream an' all there's something t-that I want to tell...you..." He frowned and shifted his weight, fidgeting.

On impulse, he grabbed her hands and a cold sweat spread like a wave across his body.

Naoto was as still as a statue.

"Look. E-ev-ever since last Ap-April...I'm not gonna mince words dammit!" He said losing breathe.

A real man doesn't stutter, you know?

Naoto whom had been confused, was now arching an eyebrow.

"Even though this is a dream..."

"You are aware, you are aw-" She was cut off by his stammered declaration.

"I-I've-always" His heartbeat started to increase and his voice cracked as he said it quickly.

He gulped as his hands started to shake, "liked..."

Naoto went silent, a blank expression on her face.

"...You..." He choked out quietly.

Red peppers would be envious of the shade Naoto turned.

"Why are you telling me that you like Yu-senpai?" Naoto asked eyes bulging, her "boyish" tone cracking.

Kanji's eyes bulged as well and was close to stomping the floor.

"NO D-DAMMIT. I LIKE YOU, YOU N-NAO-CHAN." He found himself pointing to her.

The awkward silence thickened as the two tried not to meet eyes.

...

...

Kanji swore he saw a chair roll by.

...

...

"It's pathetic though that I can only tell you this in a dream though..." He let his shoulders slump and scowled, still not meeting her eyes.

She took of her cap and ran a hand through her hair, eyes getting wider, piecing everything together, "...this explains why you stutter around me. I thought that it might have to do with a complex; a fear of law enforcement, given you past record. The teasing from Yosuke-san and reasons why you focus on me so much during the investigation-" Her voice rising slowly.

"Ugh...I'm, I'm gonna go run some laps now!" He said hurriedly, back already turned. This was getting too real, he thought.

"Wait, Kanji-kun! Its dangerous out-" Her hand felt an invisible wall, trying to reach out to him.

He bolted.

He had gone to far, but the grin on his face stuck.