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NEW MESSAGE 📩
Yosuke Hanamura has turned on voice chat
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/13/2019 9:12 PM
"Oh, shit, how do I turn this off--"
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NEW MESSAGE 📩
UNKNOWN USER has turned on the voice chat
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/13/2019 9:21 PM
"Oh! Did I do this right? Hello?"
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/13/2019 9:23 PM
"Oh, uh, hi!" There's a chuckle. "Is this Haru-san...?"
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/13/2019 9:24 PM
"Good evening, Yosuke-kun! I'd say it's nice to meet you but, we've already done that, haven't we?" She also gives a little chortle.
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/13/2019 9:25 PM
Yosuke lets out a more genuine laugh, "It's nice to hear you're an actual girl, too-- a lot of guys like to pretend online. Um-- I guess... what are you up to?"
9:25 PM
"Oh, hey Akira-san! I guess you can type while we talk."
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/13/2019 9:26 PM
"Oh, but that's no fun! You should join us as well, Akira-san!"
9:31 PM
"Well, that's too bad. Still, at least you can hear us!"
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/13/2019 9:32 PM
"Yeah, I guess we can do all the talking... so, uh... what kinda job DO you have, Haru-san?"
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/13/2019 9:33 PM
"Oh! I work for a company. I got promoted just a few months ago!"
9:37 PM
"And you said you worked part time at Junes, right?"
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/13/2019 9:40 PM
"Part time, yeah..." He sounds ashamed, "Heh, it pays the bills-- I'm a manager, so I guess it's a little more than... part time."
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/13/2019 9:42 PM
"Managers certainly have it hard, being constantly on call. You must work awfully hard." At least she doesn't sound disgusted? Just concerned and maybe a little impressed.
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/13/2019 9:43 PM
"Oh, yeah... thank you, Haru-san," his voice has softened considerably. "But, I do gotta ask... you really don't know anything? About that other world." His tone changes completely with the serious question.
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/13/2019 10:11 PM
"To be honest, Yosuke-kun, it sounds much too amazing to be true. I couldn't imagine how something so. . .all encompassing? Could be real. Not without people trying to weaponize it." She sounds honest, if a bit pensive.
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/13/2019 10:19 PM
"They do. I've..." There's a pause, "I guess it wouldn't hurt to say-- someone was using the other world to murder people. Two people were killed, and one was killed because of it..." A sigh, tinny over the mic. "And someone really important to me... ALMOST died... but she's ok now. But that other world almost killed her. It can be weaponized." (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/15/2019 7:51 PM
"That's an awfully scary thought. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, Yosuke-kun." There's a long, thick pause before Haru speaks up again. "It's still terribly hard to believe. How would you even prove something like that?"
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/15/2019 8:00 PM
"Mmm..." There's the sound of a creak, the chair he was in leaning back, then a tinny sigh from Yosuke into the mic. "Well... show them, I guess. But you don't try to prove that sort of place to people-- it's dangerous. Best to have no one know."
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/15/2019 8:04 PM
"Well, you've certainly given me a lot to think about. For now, I think I'd like to sleep on everything you've told me." There's a quiet clatter in the background, the sound quality is pretty nice but the noise is fairly distant. "Thank you for sharing all this with me, Yosuke-san. I hope you'll get some rest too."
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 8/15/2019 8:07 PM
Yosuke smiles, and it comes out a bit in his voice. "Yeah! Thanks for listening, Haru-san..." He pauses. "Sorry that I keep making assumptions about you guys. I guess I'm just worried... if you guys are just... normal people... I don't want you to get involved in all this." Another tinny sigh, then a soft chuckle. "Sorry-- good night, Haru-san!"
8:07 PM
Yosuke Hanamura has left the Voice Chat (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/15/2019 8:17 PM
UNKNOWN USER has left the Voice Chat (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/15/2019 9:47 PM
The scribbled numbers almost glared up at them from the page, as if to mock their current predicament. Naoto made and took at least two dozen calls on every case, following up on leads, collecting alibis, relaying information--but this was different. There was no clear end to this particular mystery, and this person may only serve to elicit more questions than answers. But Haru Okumura was the only lead Naoto currently had. The time was 9pm when they finally pressed the dial button, and waited. (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/16/2019 10:47 AM
Since the absolution of the Phantom Thieves late night phone calls had dwindled to pretty much nothing. Even the soothing beeps of message notifications were absent. So when a number, wholly unfamiliar to Haru, appeared on her phone she nearly didn't answer. But, considering the timing, with her identity being revealed in that suspicious chat, it could only be so many things. So, with some sense of curiosity she picks up the phone and, with an inaudible click, answers. "Hello, Okumura Residence." Little did she know the detective prince had more than a few surprises in store for her this evening. (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/16/2019 8:19 PM
The number of dial cycles the average phone user set before their voicemail to pick up was five. Naoto held his breath through four, and switched to mentally prepping his message script on the half count when-- "...Ah--" It took only a millisecond to switch mindsets back to the original plan, a rationally understandable setback. But he took another to squash the irrational feeling that this was just another nail in the stage of a comedy of errors that was his professional career, and regain his composure. "Good evening, my name is Shirogane. I am calling to speak with Miss Haru on a matter of personal business. And..." a beat to consider. "I believe she should be expecting my call." (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/16/2019 8:37 PM
That little flub doesn't go unnoticed but it does soothe a few frayed nerves at the suddenness of the call. After all, it wouldn't be the first time someone had called her with a death threat before. . . "Good evening, Shirogane-san. You certainly do work quickly!" There's a tickle of amusement there that could hide the slight anxiousness from anyone except maybe one of the best investigative detectives in Japan. "How can I assist?" At least she didn't seem unwilling to speak with the detective. (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/16/2019 9:09 PM
They hadn't had the time to listen in on Yosuke's conversation with her earlier, but they could now certainly see how their senpai could mistake the highschool student for someone older, even after speaking directly. "Yes, well... trying times, and that sort." Naoto had no idea what sort of tone they should be using. Was 'business' formal enough for a prospective informant of her social status? Or was it intimidating to a teenage girl made all the more vulnerable with recent events? This required a level of emotional aptitude that Naoto simply didn't have. But by god, they were trying. "To be blunt, I was hoping for a chance to inspect your phone and its settings in our... 'shared app' as it were. Would you be available for coffee tomorrow?" (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/16/2019 9:31 PM
It wouldn't have surprised the heiress if the sole Shirogane child had asked to speak with her daughter, thinking her to be her own mother. Which was a can of worms in and of itself but, that was neither here nor there. "Hopefully I can help ease some of the things trying your nerves." It's still a bit awkward, both of them trying to gauge one another. Haru trying to see if Naoto was someone she could trust and potentially confide in and Naoto, on the opposite end trying to be considerate of an entirely different situation. It was like trying to dance with someone and you were both listening to two different songs. The beats may sync up periodically but, that just made the dissonance when it didn't that much more jarring. "How forward!" That amused chortle is all she can do to hold in a full blown giggle of delight. Even if the circumstances were not ideal, Haru, in her youth, had dreamed of situations just like this giving her a chance to speak with the so admired detective. She could feel her brain getting ahead of itself and touched a hand to her own cheek, producing a light shuffle, before speaking. "That does sound lovely. Shall we meet somewhere or would you like to come over? I'm certain I could make something for us, if you'd like." (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/16/2019 10:48 PM
Ah, that was too forward, wasn't it? She'd wanted to eliminate as much filler chatter as possible, but come to think of it, the elite clients and suspects she'd interviewed had this sort of social courtship routine they did before asking favours of another; that filler chatter was part of it. The heirs of those people that ended up in the interrogation room tended to either rebel against the social choreography or used it to their advantage. Thus far, this heiress was displaying neither of those, which left Naoto flying a little blind. Oh how she wished she'd taken just another day of reconnaissance to better gauge her steps. Haru, for her part, seemed absolutely delighted of the social faux pas Naoto had crossed, likely sensing the scales tipped in her favour. So much so in fact, she'd bypassed the idea of a neutral meeting ground and invited the adult directly onto her home playing field! Panicking ever so slightly, Naoto began salvaging an impromptu rulebook to play this game with, lest she be overtaken completely. "As lovely an offer as that sounds, I'm afraid I cannot impose so... immediately." She'd switched languages to a proper tone, trying to embody the part as much as possible. "I would suggest a more public venue, though you are free to choose the exact location." Mostly because Naoto couldn't assume what level of aristocracy would be appropriate, as well to appease any bodyguards that could be listening in. (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/19/2019 11:17 AM
Haru was a rebel of a different kind. She takes advantage of the slip ups you dont realize you've made until she's already maneuvered around you. Appearing outwardly leaning too much either way seems. . .disadvantageous to her. Hearing Naoto snap back into intensely formal pulled a soft giggle from the former thief. It was cute, hearing them scrabble for what little ground they'd lost. It seems they were someone who really didn't like to lose. "If you're certain. I do know this quaint little coffee shop we can go to if you don't mind indulging me a bit. It's been a while since I've gone, you see." It'd be nice to see Sojirou-san again, as well. That man really knew how to make a cup of coffee. (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/30/2019 7:28 PM
Yes, cordial was best for now, while they were both equally sizing each other up. Naoto had their questions, but they suspected @Echo, tangent lore whisperer would as well. If she belonged to the group Naoto hypothesised she may, then they were headed for a dual interrogation--ah, was that a pinch of excitement they felt? Hmm... "That would be an acceptable meeting location. I will follow up this conversation with a text mail; please confirm the cafe address and preferred meeting time that will work with your schedule, and I will work around that. As well as your phone with the app, I would ask that you bring anything else you may find.... relevant to the situation, as it were." Equal opportunity, and all that.
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/20/2020 12:01 AM
————————————————————————— It's an easy enough thing to find the Metro Station (for the police, not public transit) but being there again made the lone heiress's heart do something strange in her chest. Memories of a more harrowing visit. But, for once, she wouldn't be visiting for the death of someone near to her. Instead, it would be to meet up with her childhood ( 11 counts as childhood, right?) Idol. Hopefully the detective prince would divulge something interesting about everything that was going on. If not. . .then they could just enjoy the lunch she brought for them! It was a win-win either way, and she would keep that thought in mind as she asks for said detective and is requested to sit in the glass enclosed waiting room that way too many people can stare at her from. Hopefully she could kidnap the detective soon. . . (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/20/2020 9:46 PM
The whispers of the visitor had already fluttered around Naoto’s temporary desk by the time reception informed the detective of her arrival. They made sure to lock the borrowed computer and all desk drawers before heading down-- at least that would narrow prospective suspects should their files be tampered with again. Unlike the files they’d kept at home, all scattered to the wind since… whatever happened. Files which would have told Naoto what they had originally wanted to discuss with Haru Okumura. While they usually recommended Reid-techniques, they’d resigned themselves to the necessity of cold-reading of late. It’d worked thus far; by treating every conversation like an interrogation, Naoto had managed to gleam the right information from leading questions, body language, and facial cues alone, and no one was yet the wiser. Surely the same would work for this meeting as well? That was the plan, at least. Upon rounding the waiting room and catching sight of Okumura’s outfit, how absolutely out of place she looked amongst the other people in the room, Naoto blanched. A far cry from their simple dark dress shirt and pants, even their clothing choices screamed of the two’s differences. She really was an heiress, huh. “--Miss Okumura?” they managed outwardly. Inwardly, they were bracing for a battle. What on earth have I gotten myself into? (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/20/2020 10:09 PM
The waiting doesn't take long, as large as the metro police station was, knowing who you were there for made things much easier to handle. Still, she wished she could pull out her phone and play a game without seeming too rude. Even if she didn't need to look good for her father anymore, it wouldn't do to appear too airheaded to the public. For a while she sits, occupying her mind with any stray though she can grasp, until the metal rimmed glass doors threshold is crossed and the famed detective themselves stepped in with a call of her name. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you face to face, Shirogane-san." She stands after a moment, bowing. . .well, not quite. Perhaps a curtsie was more accurate? She still tips her head in respect, though not quite low enough for deference, but simultaneously steps one black heels foot in front of the other allowing her knees to bend at a perfected 120° angle. Clearly something practiced for long hours considering how smoothly she shifted into and out of the motions. Naoto may have their hands full. "Shall we go somewhere more private or is this to your standards?" A stray fluff of hair is tucked behind her ear as she levels a gentle smile at the detective. (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/20/2020 11:48 PM
The fluidity of the movement looks almost like a dance, hypnotising in execution and eliciting more than a few wary eyes from equally wary onlookers. It also pulls the cut-strings of a missing memory (hadn’t they known other dancers? When would they have had time to watch anyone dance?) but much like a snapped fishing line, reeling it in yields nothing. It’s frustrating, but unfortunately nothing new as of late. “Likewise, I am glad to have found a mutual opening in our schedules,” they nod in return, quickly taking stock of the limited information available: This apparently is their first physical meeting, mutual mysterious phone app, seemed to have had prior mobile correspondence outside of the application, clearly knew who they were, and yet covered for Hanamura (-senpai? Hm, yes that did sound right, somehow)’s name drop blunder. They could have sworn the Okumura heiress was still a high-school student, but then again Naoto couldn’t exactly trust their chronological memory right now. All this pointed to something going on off-record. Which meant… “There are several nearby greenery spaces to which we can relocate.” They were already stepping out the main doors, eager to get out from under the TMPD’s security cameras. A pause on the stair steps, turning back to their apparent companion in part to ensure they were following, but also to reconsider. What the devil were the social rules for this class of society? “Unless, you would prefer someplace indoors? In which case, there are cafes and restaurants in the other direction.” (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/21/2020 5:07 PM
There's a certain stiffness to the detective's speech and movement, even more so than when they spoke on the phone. Like they were trying to maneuver around her again. . . Fortunately, Haru is close behind as they move, rounded heels accentuating her steps as she follows along with the detective."I have an appointment at a café later, so a bit of green sounds wonderful!" Well, really it was a meeting with the other Phantom Thieves but, it wasn't exactly prudent to mention something like that. "Unless there's somewhere you'd like to go?" It would be interesting to see what the older officers taste was like. . . (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/21/2020 7:58 PM
Usually informants were more demanding than this, conscious that they held something important and looking to maximise their reward while minimising their vulnerability. Giving them a chance to control factors like time and location helped to ease their nerves. And yet, the younger woman kept pushing the control back into Naoto’s court, giving them chances to relocate and reconsider. Was it just aristocratic social courtesies? Or was she not, in fact, an informant? “Well then, green space it is. I hope not to delay your appointment.” Taking note of the extra bags she carried, along with the extravagant outfit complete with hat, and the tall heels-- perhaps they shouldn’t go too far. But how to gain her trust… “Can I help you carry anything?” (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/21/2020 8:50 PM
Eventually Naoto would learn that the vulnerability Haru displayed in situations where she could be put at a disadvantage was simply a guise to get what she wanted without a struggle. After all, what better way to get away with something than to let others think it was their idea to begin with? "Oh, not at all. If we become too engrossed I'm more than happy to reschedule. This is very important, after all." The younger woman is ready to move on before she's asked about her bags. It seems she wasn't totally prepared for that considering she blinks somewhat owlishly at the offer. "I'm alright, I couldn't ask you to do that!" After all, it wouldn't be much of a surprise if Naoto spied the lunch she made. . . (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/21/2020 11:27 PM
In some regional customs, particularly in Kyoto where the capital used to lay, social etiquette recommended that an offer be denied twice before accepting. It’d been quite a while since he’d been out to the Kansai region, and he didn’t recall the Okumura’s hailing from the west, but perhaps the upper capitalistic class had borrowed from the aristocracies of the past? “I assure you, it wouldn’t be any trouble.” Despite the hanging offer, Naoto begins walking in the direction of the pedestrian bridge, keeping an eye on his guest to gauge how much to slow his usual brisk pace for something more leisurely. “Especially after having you come out all this way.” All the way out to Chiyoda, and yet Naoto still hadn’t figured out why. The strange phone application was the only thing he could guess at, and the park was only not nearly far enough away to come up with any new theories on the go. If he was lucky, this wouldn’t blow up too poorly. At least. (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/22/2020 8:01 PM
Interestingly enough that particular practice has become much more global than in days past. Refusing too often is seen as rude, after all and 'high society' is all about politeness. Fake or not. "I couldn't possibly!" Is the immediate response as Haru strolled after him. Fortunately, despite her height, Haru was adept at walking quickly, even in heels, in a way that disguised how much she needed to extend her gait to do so. The flowiness of the dresses she normally wore helped with that a lot as well so there would be very little time between the department and their destination unless the detective prince slowed their transit themselves. "I'm more than happy to meet up with you. especially since I had business in the area already." Well. Business was really a generous term. Though, walking through the Eastern Imperial Gardens with Yusuke might not have counted properly as a business to most, she felt it was a very important part of her day. "I can't imagine you often meet strangers like this. What made you ask to meet me instead of any of your compatriots?" (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/22/2020 9:34 PM
Wasn’t that the million dollar question. It was true though: if this meeting was solely about the phone app, then surely Naoto could have enquired with one of the matching names in their contact list. So there must have been something more, something else that the unknown woman was meant to hold the key for. Who knew that trying to investigate your own motives would be so confounding. An exciting challenge, they had to admit, but confounding all the same. “On the contrary, meeting with strangers is a surprisingly large part of my job.” It wasn’t untrue, considering the TMPD used their contract more like an extended private-investigator than an in-house detective. “But it is exactly because we aren’t as well acquainted that made you the perfect candidate to speak with.” Probably. A quaint little park opened up before them, almost a startling splash of green amongst the grey office buildings. It only had the two picnic tables, and one was already occupied by a salaryman clearly on a smoke break. He seemed near the end of his open newspaper though, so Naoto gestured towards the other table. “Shall we?” (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/23/2020 10:35 PM
Probably. "Still, I was surprised you decided on me instead of the few strange users instead. Or perhaps I was easiest to contact?" Which wasn't unlikely. Her contact info hadn't changed since it was taken during the investigation of her father's death so Naoto very likely had immediate access to that at all times. Haru suddenly felt a wave of relief that Naoto hadn't simply shown up at her door. "Of course." Fortunately it looked like the salaryman wouldn't be continuing his. . stellar company, as he quickly finished off his cigarette upon their approach. Which was all the better, cigarette smoke didn't exactly go well with lunch, in her opinion. And what a lunch it was! Haru's adorable black bag aside the lunch she unfurls from it's confines is definitely something meant to impress. Or at the very least make up for shit diet choices of someone with a demanding career. Lots of colorful sides, several main dishes, she even pulls out two collapsible metal cups to fill with. . .whatever was in that thermos! "I hope this will do, I don't think the china would have traveled well." Which is a silly thing to say when she's basically unraveled a miniature feast. But from the half smile on her face it may have been a poorly delivered joke. "Pardon me for being forward but, I assumed you hadn't eaten yet so, please, have whatever you'd like." And no it doesn't look like they have a choice considering she's already pouring them whatever that drink is from the thermos. (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/24/2020 9:45 PM
They chose not to respond to her contact enquiry. Surely an heiress didn’t need the reminder of how public her life was. Naoto found that the more public and guarded that figure tried to be, the conversely more easy it was to obtain their information. Besides, they didn’t actually know how easily the past iteration of themselves had obtained her information. Choosing not to respond and being left speechless were very different emotions. How on earth had all of that fit into the bag she was carrying? No wonder she hadn’t allowed them to carry the tote--would they have even been able to lift it, with all of this crammed in?! “You’re, ah... certainly prepared...” was the best they could manage. But seeing Okumura stand so happily next to her handiwork, beaming over the offered drink gave Naoto a sort of boost to continue: “This is unexpected--and unnecessary, really. Had I known this would interfere with your lunch plans, I would have been happy cover your meal at a restaurant or even--" A low sort of grumbling interrupted them, painfully loud to Naoto’s inner ear. Any aura of confidence they thought they’d regained immediately crumbled, and their face burnt. Breakfast wasn’t part of their routine anyway, but come to think of it, they hadn’t had dinner last night either... (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 8/25/2020 10:06 PM
"Pardon if it's a bit forward. I know someone who's working towards becoming a part of the force and they often forget to eat as well." A careful maneuvering of her skirt and Haru has settled down across from the detective and is sipping her own drink, some sort of light fruit drink from the smell of it, before that growl gets the tiniest hiccup out of her. Oh, that's adorable. Haru can't help but cover her mouth to do her best not to simply laugh at the betrayal of Naoto's own body. And though she manages not to outright laugh, the amusement is plain of her face even as she holds a gloved hand to her mouth. "Shirogane-san, please. Take whatever you'd like! You'd really be doing me a favor! I certainly can't eat all this by myself, can I?" Plus food was a good way to relax the clearly very proper police aide. Even if neither of them got anything substantial out of this, it would be nice to at least get them to be less. . .intense around her. "Please take your time, we have plenty." It was clear she was insistent that the detective eat, considering the chopsticks placed in front of them as Haru continues to sip at her own drink. (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 8/31/2020 7:35 PM
It really was just one thing going wrong after another in Naoto’s life as of late. Okumura is courteous enough not to laugh outright, but neither was she letting it slide. What was probably supposed to be a friendly tone of voice sounds grating and mocking in their ears. What started as an embarrassed flush was now tinged with shame. No, of course she wouldn’t pass up this perfect opportunity to take the upper-hand. Naoto could not deny the meal now without being caught in a lie, nor could they leave without the reason being clear as day. The green space was relatively spacious, the air was fresh, and the table wide enough to fit all the containers comfortably, but it all suddenly feels overwhelmingly suffocating. Breathe. “Yes, I… I suppose we should try to lighten how much you’ll be carrying to your next appointment…” It’s a struggle to maintain an even tone, and likely yet another thing they would fail at today. Still, they manage to take the chopsticks, resigning themselves to this ordeal. At least there would be natural pauses in the conversation that can be excused with chewing, which would allow them to be able to draw their responses with more thought, and opens up lines of discussion-- Ah, there was the detective brain working again! “Did you make all this yourself, Okumura-san?” (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 9/5/2020 1:04 AM
"Yes, I did. I hope my asking about your allergies didn't give it away too much!" That that she seemed terribly bothered by the notion as she siped their chilled drink with a smile. "I wasn't sure what you'd like so I tried to make a variety." A variety is an understatement. Mini hamburgers, grilled fish, plum rice, omelettes, pickled vegetables, anzu beans, cherry tomatoes, fried eggplant, bamboo shoots, spicy edamame, stir fried lotus roots. . .the list went on and on. She really had packed damn near a veritable feast. And that was just for lunch! "I wanted to cover my bases." Another, quiet sip before those gloved hands settle around the cup, allowing the heiress to speak unencumbered. "Do you often skip lunch, Shirogane-san? It's really not good for your health." (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 9/10/2020 11:03 PM
A sheepish chuckle bubbled up between bites. “I’m afraid I’m not much of a cook myself, and it simply isn’t feasible to order in every day.” It didn’t seem so bad until they’d said it aloud. “I-I assure you though, my health is fine! Thank you for the concern all the same.” Still, the amount was simply staggering, both in variety and volume. Not to mention how professional it all tasted! Naoto couldn’t be sure whether their accidental fast was affecting their taste buds, but it seemed nigh impossible for the heiress to be so multi-talented. “It’s delicious, Okumura-san.” They made a point to make eye contact,, the first good look since the waiting room, hoping to convey their sincerity. “I admit I may have had some… misconceptions about your status and what that entailed. When-ever did you find the time to learn to cook this way?” (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 9/10/2020 11:22 PM
Haru doesn't seem keen on eating herself, appearing satisfied with sipping at her tea for the moment and letting Naoto have their pick of the food first. But at least she isn't simply staring at the detective while they ate. "Ah, you're much too kind." The compliment brings a delicate flush to her cheeks as they make eye contact across the picnic table before Haru's drink seems terribly interesting. "Well, if I may be honest, it started out as a way to use the food I grew in my garden and eventually evolved into a stress relief hobby. And, well. . ." She seems to near pointedly ignore the mention of her status, she didn't want to go down that road just yet, but that light pink on her cheeks is slowly deepening into a darker red as an elegantly gloved hand touches a cheek, as though the contact may cool it down. "I have to admit, I may have let my enthusiasm get the better of me. I've admired your work for quite a while, you see." Which could just as easily have been a ploy to get on the detective's good side, but that blush was definitely causes by something. "I might have wanted to. . .show off a bit, as it were. After all, you were quite dashing during your time as the detective prince." A glance up before a bashful yet carefree smile blooms on her face. "Not that that seems to have changed." (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 9/11/2020 12:53 AM
A sense of déjà vu washed over them as they listened to Okumura continue on. Once upon a time ago, an upperclassmen had tried to explain to Naoto that the “fans” they had amassed were not solely due to their detective work. But it was a lesson that they were never truly able to grasp, nor did it really seem an important discrepancy to make. And besides which, their “fame” had diminished in the media with the rise of a new teenager to throw the newscycle playbook at, mostly for the better in Naoto’s case. But that was as far as their memory went. With key details missing, every conversation had to be treated like an interrogation. They had to use every tool at their disposal to somehow MacGyver the scattered clues they’d left themself back into working theories. Okumura was undoubtedly doing the same information-gathering, they thought--justified, rather. Step one: humanise both yourself and the opposition; build a rapport based on that. Naoto had the advantage in that their reputation preceded them. “You mean to say this is all home-grown as well? I must say, I am impressed!” Despite not having the purest of intentions, Naoto was no actor: their compliments and praise were all genuine. “These portions are so large though; do you usually cook for your home?” (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 9/11/2020 5:34 AM
"Ah." Her home. That big empty penthouse that held nothing but bad memories. Her blush diminished a little bit at some of the more prominent flashes but she didn't dare linger in that mired past for too long. "Well, I cook for myself often and my friends now and again." Another topic she didn't seem keen on, if this were a Phoenix Wright game, a psyche lock would have just appeared, but nothing so virulent as to cause a major mood shift. "Perhaps next time I can bring you a few things from my garden as well! If lunch seems hard to come by for you." Even if they were trying to pry into what she did and didn't know at the moment, the 11 year old girl who watched the detective prince fight for justice in front of the adults satisfied with the status quo would not allow Haru to get away from this interaction without a promise of more meetings. After all, how often is it that you get to meet your first celebrity crush? "But, I shouldn't keep wasting your time." A hand disappears under the table as she pulls her purse into her lap, popping the latch keeping it closed to rummage just a bit for her phone. It isn't a band new model, perhaps maybe a year out of date, but it seems tor be in pristine condition despite the very thin case it is in. "I'm certain I don't have to ask but, please be sure not to look at anything other than the app, if you would? There are some secrets I'd like to keep on the first date, after all." And just like that her phone, the mysterious app already open on it, is placed just beside Naoto's own drink as she turns sets her purse away and finally began to actually eat. (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 9/20/2020 10:41 PM
It was just a small flash of something across her face--Okumura was gifted in the art of maintaining social expression--but that along with the topic change were enough to confirm Naoto’s hypotheses. In two exchanges, they had managed to determine that Okumura: did not purposefully flaunt her social status (money notwithstanding), lived alone, and had an intimately close group of friends (with an appetite, apparently). Along with her appearance on the strange application, Naoto felt like this was supposed to be like some pieces of a jigsaw slotting into place and yet, they were drawing a blank. As frustrating as it was, there was no sense worrying over it now. They placed their chopsticks down in a hurry, eager to look over how the aforementioned application behaved on another’s device. They might be missing something crucial in this puzzle, but the mystery of the application put them back on equal footing with everyone else. “Of course; you have my word. I know I could expect the same privacy were our roles reversed.” They didn’t, in fact, know that about Okumura just yet, but acknowledging different standings was another humanising method. Naoto was simply going down the textbook list. Functionally, the chat app was identical to Naoto’s, as expected. The list of confirmed names was disappointingly blank, with only one other name that Naoto didn’t already have, along with their own. They frowned in thought--one thing needed to be confirmed before continuing down that line though. “Was Hanamura-san pre-loaded from your contact list, or have you added him since the application’s appearance?” Hanamura had been quite frivolous with keeping his identity under lock, from what they could remember back-reading. (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 9/20/2020 11:04 PM
It is yet to be seen if they could expect the same courtesy from Haru had their rolls been reversed and she were tasked with investigating the former detective prince. But, for now, she's happy to assure them, with a smile. "Of course." The young heiress keeps herself distracted, or at least otherwise occupied, as her phone is handled. A chuckle escapes her as the detective rushes for it once offered but she maintains her poise outside of that instance. So much so that, when Naoto finally does ask her a question she makes them wait, leisurely chewing her food, taking a sip of her drink and dabbing her mouth clean before speaking. "Hanamura-chan is a recent development. I acquired yours when you called to set up our first meeting." Which was another odd thing. Being stood up is one thing but, for Naoto Shirogane, known busy body and poster child for punctuality to not only not show up but ghost her entirely afterwards. . . .It raised many more questions than she was sure she could ask. "What happened to that, by the way? I know you're busy but you certainly did worry me! I didn't hear from you for ages after that." (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 9/21/2020 12:04 AM
When what they thought had been a simple yes/no question didn’t yield an immediate response, they almost wondered if another line had somehow been crossed. They ran through a few scenarios that could have led to that reaction--Had Okumura and Hanamura had a falling out behind the scenes?--but their disaster-fication ground to a halt with the honorific of choice. -Chan? Their mental facilities were so distracted thinking of how that may have occurred so quickly that they nearly missed the next question. An important one, at that. It confirmed that Naoto had been the one to seek out this arrangement, which they had figured, but also provided a timeline. Even accounting for her speech pattern, ‘ages’ was a worrying choice. Their regular contacts were no strangers to Naoto disappearing for short periods, and no one suggested this time was unusually long, thankfully. Even if Okumura had nothing to reference against, it had been long enough to cause worry? Could this young woman have been the last person Naoto spoke to before… what ever happened? The thought put them on edge. “Yes, well… I should apologise for that again. It was not my intention to cause concern. I simply had some… technical difficulties, you could say.” As if to illustrate their point, they pulled out their own phone: the latest model, only released a few months prior. “It has been quite troublesome to re-sync calendar appointments and contacts, you see.” Which wasn’t even really a lie at all; the various backups Naoto made had all been mysteriously corrupted, and they had basically needed to start from scratch. Including this line of investigation “Speaking of--I do not yet have your information readded. I would like to conduct an experiment with regards to the contact list, if you are all right with providing your details?” They opened their phone to the add-contact screen and offered the device across the mountains of food. “Please leave the name field blank, if you would.” (edited)
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Echo, tangent lore whisperer 9/21/2020 7:51 PM
"I see. . ." Though Haru didn't really know Naoto as personally as their family and friends may have, but that excuse somehow. . .didn't hold water. Naoto didn't seem the type to forget something so important and on top of it not follow up. In fact Haru had been prepared for a flurry of text for rearranging and apologizing. And yet. . . "That certainly explains your phone! If I may be so bold, I very much anticipated something a bit more classic. Like a flip phone!" Ah, but now wasn't the time to tease, was it? The detective had already pulled out their phone and it wouldn't do to keep them waiting. "Oh, certainly!" At least this way she could be sure they definitely had her information. The cool lace of her gloved hand touches the underside of theirs, just to be sure she has the device and it doesn't fall into the food, before it slides away, phone in hand. She takes her time typing, doing her best not to somehow factory reset the phone, before she asks the question she'd been holding under her, figurative, hat. "Shirogane-san? You wouldn't happen to know what Hanamura-chan means when he talks about 'that other world,' would you? He talks about it often but it doesn't really make sense. . . Is this something he's brought up with you before now?" (edited)
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Shadow Cloned Fox 10/23/2020 10:31 PM
“Yes, well… one must upgrade eventually, with the pace of technology after all.” Naoto would not admit to holding out with their folding phone as long as they could before the necessity of tech forced their hand. The screen-phones were growing on them, but they still had to use a booklet-type phone case to get some semblance of comfort with the thing. A silence settled for a moment but it was, upon later reflection, a comfortable one. Although @Echo, tangent lore whisperer 's station and hierarchy made it difficult to navigate the appropriate familiarity level with her at times, and there was the whole memory-issue to skirt around, nevertheless there was something about the younger woman that put Naoto at ease. Introspection was not one of their fortes, but viewed from the outside, maybe they’d call this… a shared experience? What would they have experienced similarly-- And then there it was, straight from her own mouth. Naoto hummed to acknowledge they’d heard the question, but otherwise didn’t react immediately, continuing to scroll through Okumura’s phone. Comfortable or not, this was still rocky ground to be treading down with what was effectively a stranger. A stranger with whom they shared something in common. “The ‘other world,’ is something he’s spoken about since our time in high school,” Naoto started carefully as they navigated back to the top of the strange app on Okumura’s phone. They couldn’t be bothered to decipher what nonsense had been going on in her direct messages within the application, especially with the ‘Mochi’ character. “His group of his friends were already engrossed in this ‘other world’ talk by the time I met them in Inaba, just a little over six years ago now.”
10:31 PM
Despite the loss of their electronic reports and backups, Naoto had found their old physical notes in storage. Making heads or tails of their teenage ramblings was an entirely separate matter. “That being said, they also finished with it within that school year. Hanamura-san has reason to believe an ‘experience’ in highschool--which allegedly only began directly after he’d suffered a traumatic loss and during an impressionable age--could occur again, five years later. “To be clear, I am not denying what he has said within the application. But, to my knowledge, there are a number of inimitable conditions that must be met to have any chance at comprehension. Conditions that, for better or worse, this application may be somehow able to pick up on.” They extended their hand across the table in finality, watching Okumura for a reaction. “Have you finished entering the information?” (edited)
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Phea: full-time twink bullier 2/9/2023 9:37 PM
Walking home in the rain was never great—Yu hadn't even remembered to bring an umbrella to work, quickly becoming drenched as he stepped out of Yongen-Jaya station. The weather had made him look like a wet, dejected dog on the streets, having to keep his bag close and a hand over it to make sure any water hadn't seeped through. Maybe he should have taken this weather as a sign that what he had in mind wouldn't work out. It might have been better to postpone this talk for a later date, or not at all, if this terrible downpour had anything to say about it… Premonitions were something he had learned to take seriously, between Margaret and Marie, but he was already too set on discussing things with Yosuke to back off now. So, like a thunderbolt, he swung the front door open in a quick jolt, water dripping from every inch of his suit jacket as his eyes searched for Yosuke, uttering a much dreaded phrase for anyone to hear: "Can we talk?" Of course, he couldn't talk to Yosuke in his current state, having to go grab a change of clothes and dry himself off before they could even begin to approach talking about anything else. It didn't take too long, at least, for him to get dressed and presentable once more, situating himself across from his partner at the dining table, suddenly feeling the anxiety hit him more than ever. It was too late to back out now, though. He just had to face this all head on. "...I don't think this is working." He couldn't help his eyes from flickering away, mentally berating himself for his obvious statement. They both knew that already, didn't they? "I know I said I wanted to try it out, but… Nothing's improving for either of us, is it?"
9:37 PM
A soft sigh escaped his lips, gaze falling onto the table in front of them as he began to mindlessly trace out shapes. It was an anxious tick he'd picked up over the years, for whenever he didn't have anything to fold up or otherwise occupy his hands with. A light comfort, as he knew the mouthful he was about to receive from Yosuke. Yosuke said it wouldn't work, and he in should have listened… Then again, he had never been the best at that. In his mind, things had to be tried before any actual conclusion was reached, but maybe he should have already known there was no hope of this having a positive outcome. Spending every day watching Yosuke be miserable only brought him down more, too. What he had once hoped would be a cure to some of their issues only made him even more reluctant to come home, spending more hours at work training rookies and taking care of menial tasks until Makoto-senpai or Adachi-san practically ordered him to go home. Even then, he'd still occasionally be taking on other cases in his private work at night, getting home well after Yosuke had fallen asleep. Today had been the first one in a few days he'd actually gotten home relatively on time, not even on the orders of his superiors, but simply an acceptance that they couldn't keep dancing around the issue any longer. Not that he hadn't gotten a talking to from both of the older men, but this decision to actually approach Yosuke about all of this was his alone… Then again, that was probably pretty obvious, seeing how he was already being much too blunt without little tact. "What do you think we should do?" His partner had always been the brains of their relationship. If either of them had any idea of how to proceed, it would be him. Not that Yu hadn't had a couple things in mind, but… That wasn't how he wanted things to turn out.
9:37 PM
Of course Yu wanted to stay with Yosuke. Moving out was simply a last case scenario, but… If it had to come to that, for both of their sakes, then… That's how it would have to be, as much as the concept hurt to even think about.
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 2/9/2023 10:08 PM
Yosuke’s days were getting harder and harder to face. He had been mopey for a while after what happened that night, and had tried so desperately to be all smiles, but Yu told him, shortly after his hospital release, that pretending wasn’t going to fly. Of course, Yosuke warned him: “You’re not going to be any happier if I’m miserable all of the time.” However, Yosuke couldn’t deny that allowing himself to mope was much easier, but... he obviously saw how Yu handled it, though, by staying so late that Yosuke would go to bed alone, by avoiding him with work or by going to the bar, It went without saying that after the proposal was made, Yu didn’t want to deal with Yosuke anymore, as though he were too much of a hassle, too much of a burden. Yosuke anxiously filled his days with trying to clean and cook, a part of him wanting to feel worthy, but it didn’t help that he was still wounded and was sore all over. Whenever he passed a mirror, he thought he saw yellow eyes watching him, feeling stared at as he went about whatever house chore he could. (TW; Mentions of not eating and blood) He had scrubbed at the tiles and corners of wooden floors until his hands cracked and bled. He found things to clean and burned his hands with chemicals. He focused so hard on doing ANYTHING that he sometimes forgot meals, and when he made meals for two, he would pick at his bowl as the other one sat in the fridge, in a Tupperware waiting for Yu to eat. He was miserable allowing himself to be miserable, he was miserable because his mood was driving Yu away, and he was miserable just being alone with himself. When Yu finally came home on time, Yosuke had just finished dinner. He actually smiled a little, happy to see him in time to share a meal-- but his smile stiffened at the declaration, at the desire to talk. He knew this was coming already. He had prepared the conversation in his head. However, it didn’t stop the pinpricks of goosebumps to sprout all over his body, like hot TV fuzz, his head feeling pressed under and intense weight, his eyes threatening to water. He fought back the prickly feeling, feeling like he was underwater in his movements. Maybe this was a nightmare. He could never run in nightmares. He put aside the food and turned off the burner. The plate he had prepared for himself was covered, and he made his way to the small dining table, taking a seat and waiting. Yu finally came back, looking less like a soaked animal, and sat across from him. Those words were delivered, and Yosuke felt like his was spinning in orbit. Suddenly, an intense emotion rose up his throat, rage boiling over and making his face red. “Really? Because I TOLD you that’s what would happen,” Yosuke leaned over the table, trying to be imposing, trying to get into the other’s space, like a biting dog. “I stopped playing happy and you decide you’d rather be anywhere but near me. Don’t think I haven’t noticed-- you keep yourself at work nonstop, and don’t even come home until I’m asleep. Does it make you upset that I’m miserable? How do you think I feel?” Yosuke finally breathed in, deep, his eyes watering and his face red. He spouted off so much… but he was so, so angry, so betrayed, he didn’t even want to be near the other. “Why ask me…?” Yosuke shook his head. Yu had BEGGED him to be honest, and look what happened-- it made Yu run away. So what could they even do, at this point? Wait for Yosuke to get over it? “Just… maybe I should go away for a bit. Clearly I’m just bringing you down with me.”
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Phea: full-time twink bullier 2/9/2023 11:33 PM
Of course he expected Yosuke to be upset with him… Maybe not that upset, though, all things considered… It felt like the man was about to bite him, forcing him to fidget away as his partner threw himself across the table, hands nearly going white with how had he'd pressed them against the table before finally bringing them down to his lap after feeling enough pressure from Yosuke to make himself smaller, as miniscule as he could in order to not take up more space than absolutely necessary. Called out, too… Once again, expected, but not pleasant, especially with the bite afterwards. How Yosuke felt…? Of course he knew how Yosuke felt, he just… He… …He was just running away to not have to face seeing Yosuke so miserable, and, as a result, he only made things worse for his partner. He was actively harming him by acting this way. That… That proposal afterwards, unlike everything else, wasn't expected. It seemed Yosuke had that idea, too… Maybe he should have taken that as a sign that maybe it was the best move, but he didn't want to give up so easily. Not yet. "I'm… I…" The words were impossible to find, as much as he tried to reach for them. His mind was completely blank, Yosuke's words echoing again and again in his mind, taking up every inch of his skull until he couldn't hear his own thoughts. At that point, all he could do was say the words he knew would do nothing, but would hopefully at least silence the words playing over and over, getting louder and louder and overwhelming him to a point that he could barely even breathe. "I'm— I'm sorry." The words were strained against his throat, even making him jump back and wince as they came out much louder than he intended them to. At least the voices had settled down slightly, but it was still impossible to look towards Yosuke, his vision resting on his lap as he tugged at the bottom of his V-neck shirt he had thrown on.
11:33 PM
Breathe. One… Two… One… Two… This would all be okay. They just… Had to talk things out, and then it would all be okay, like it always is… "I know I haven't been handling the situation well. I just…" There was a pause, a shaky breath escaping him as he tried to steady himself. Not that it helped much, but he'd already been silent too long. He just needed to say something, anything, and by now his thoughts had been pouring out of his mouth without any sort of thought or restraint as desperation truly kicked in. "I'm sorry I've been a terrible partner. I didn't mean to hurt you so much. I can't justify myself, but… I…" Sickness had begun to overcome him, stomach twisting and turning as he desperately worked to catch his breath. Come on, he could do this… Even if it meant fighting through the upcoming onslaught of tears, he would try to find something that would work to rectify this spiraling situation. "I don't want to break up with you. I love you, more than anything." Those weren't lies—He could never lie about something like that. His fears and anxiety may have been controlling him, but he was still trying to speak from the heart, as best as he could. "We can work this out. I… I'm sure we can. Maybe… Couple's therapy, or… A vacation, away from all of this." Would that help? Would anything? Why wasn't there an obvious answer? Why couldn't he just fix this, like he could with almost anything else…? Why did it all have to come crashing down? Why here? Why now? "Please… Don't leave me." At last, he has finally found the strength to meet his partner's eyes, as blurry and shaky as his vision was. This felt… Pathetic. He felt like such a disappointment for not being able to keep it together… He was supposed to be strong for Yosuke, and now here he was, little more than a sobbing wreck… If Yosuke abandoned him now, he would deserve it. After all, he couldn't be the man his partner needed right now… He was just bringing him down, despite all efforts otherwise.
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 2/9/2023 11:48 PM
Yosuke had refused to meet his eyes for a long moment, vaguely aware of Yu’s changing state, but chose to ignore it. He had to think for himself for once… right? He had to be his own advocate. Being thrown aside the way he was had made him feel so miserable and alone… he couldn’t just forget that… But the way that Yu barked out that apology, and the way he looked like he was panicking-- having a panic attack? Yosuke couldn’t help it, expression melting into guilt, eyes trained onto his partner as he explained. Yosuke wasn’t breaking up with him, but… right now… they really were bringing each other down. “I don’t want to leave you either. I love you, too.” Yosuke let out a long breath, looking to the clean kitchen floor, eyeing a piece of dust he missed. “And… I’m willing to do anything to help things out… except…” He sighed, smiling sadly. “A vacation would be so nice, but I can’t,” and he didn’t reiterate why, “You know I can’t.” He looked up to watch Yu’s expression carefully, all of the anger and anxiety sapped out of him. Yu was suffering too-- it probably didn’t feel good to watch Yosuke self-destruct and be so miserable, with no way to help him. Yosuke held out his hands towards him as an offering. “We could be away from each other for a while, at least physically. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and… doesn’t Sho need someone watching him?” Yosuke tried for a smile, his voice gentle. Yu said not to try to be so positive all the time, but… that’s all Yosuke can do to feel useful, at the moment.
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Phea: full-time twink bullier 2/10/2023 12:26 AM
The shift in Yosuke's tone had thrown Yu for a loop. Sure, he might not have been able to catch everything, but he could tell Yosuke was trying to come off as much… Nicer. Softer. Sweeter. Like he was trying to comfort him. No… That's now how things should have been… Yosuke deserved to be angry. He deserved to hate him. Why was he being so nice…? Through his tears, he could barely make out Yosuke's motion towards him or its motives. All Yu knew right now is that he didn't want to be touched, nearly knocking the chair back as he tried desperately to distance himself from the other's hands. He had been lucky enough to land on the legs, at least, though it didn't seem like he would have noticed much either way. Breathe… Breathe… Breathe, dammit... Acting like this was only going to make Yosuke blame himself, and the last thing he wanted was to hurt Yosuke even more than he had… After all, this was all his fault, wasn't it…? He was the one stupid enough to run away because he hated seeing his partner in so much pain… He just had to take it like a man… Like a Narukami… …That line of thought had at least forced him to calm down enough to hear what Yosuke had to say next, raising his head to vaguely meet his partner's gaze. Why was he being so nice…? He really didn't have to be, especially after what he'd done… But… Yosuke had a point. He always did. Distance was the best option. They didn't have to break up. They just… Couldn't live together right now. Not all couples lived together. They could be happy without that. It would be better this way. "...Okay." It came out in a hoarse tone between breaths, but at least he'd been able to push something up at last. The word burned his throat, making him have to take another couple moments before he attempted to get anything else out, making sure this time his words would be a little clearer and louder, as difficult as it was. "I'll… I'll, talk to him, about it."
12:26 AM
That was all he said for a minute, having to spend the intervening time to ground himself, focusing on a random print of a cat on his socks in order to try to clear his vision again. The silence had let his mind calm down a little, too, the lack of stimuli making it easier for him to get control over his breath for good this time. His body still had a light shake to it, stomach churning and head beginning to pound, but at least he was a little more… Stable, for lack of a better term at the moment. "...What about you?" His voice was a little on the light side, but it was much calmer and natural than before. He wouldn't try to force anything other than the neutral tone and look on his face, though. He didn't have the energy to even bother. "I'll still pay my side of things, of course, but… Do you want to be alone?" Although things had become a little strained and distant between them, Yu knew that his partner dealt with being alone just about as well as he did. It was miserable, being by yourself… That wasn't a fate he wanted to leave Yosuke to… Well, more than he already had, at least.
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 2/10/2023 12:39 AM
When Yu jumped back at Yosuke reaching out, he realized that Yu was very volatile at the moment, and instead pulling his hands back to cup them in front of him on the table. He watched Yu and waited patiently for him to find his words, feeling the bones in his own knuckles, trying not to fidget or move. Yosuke would do anything right now to help him-- but Yosuke’s love language was touch, and he knew that would just make things worse… It hurt, to think of it like that, even though he knew it was nothing personal. Not wanting to be touched was a normal reaction, even if he was the exact opposite. Part of him thought, deep in his mind, that they were incompatible due to things like that. Yosuke was always nagging him like an old mom, Yosuke always wanted contact, Yosuke always wanted to be nearby and he wasn’t much of a drinker… but they did love each other, and they were both willing to compromise for that. “I think it’d be good for you,” he offers him that small smile that didn’t quite meet his eyes, “I think both of you would really enjoy that.” When it was brought back to him, Yosuke let out a long breath, resting his chin on his hand and staring at piece of dust again. He thought through all of his contacts before he came to someone… “I think I’ll ask Teddie to come stay with us. She needs help with Hikaru, and…” Yosuke was already planning the call to quit his job. Yosuke was already planning on holing up in his room if he didn’t have something to occupy him. After tonight, he didn’t know if he could feel happy for a long, long time… But he could pretend, for Teddie and the little one. He could pretend and they wouldn’t know like Yu did, he hoped. He could pretend to be ok for someone else. He feels like he could never be alone, not after the past week had made him feel. “Let’s plan on that, okay?” His eyes soften. “It’s okay.”
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Phea: full-time twink bullier 2/10/2023 2:13 AM
It was hard to ignore how Yosuke trailed off, unsaid words leaving Yu to only wonder what his partner had meant to finish with. And… What? "And they would do a lot better at being there for me than you?" "And they would actually care about me?" "And they wouldn't be so selfish to put their own needs before mine?" …That sort of thought wasn't helping anything, he knew. Yosuke seemed genuine in wanting things to go positively here. Yu just needed to stop letting his anxiety get the best of him right now. Cautiously, his hands had hovered across the table, slowly prying Yosuke's hands apart to intertwine with his own. It wasn't much, but… He wanted to provide him the same sort of support that his partner had provided. Touch wasn't something he despised—far from it, considering how many partners he had over the years that had been by far their largest show of affection—but it wasn't something he wanted unprompted. If there would be touch, he preferred to initiate or at least be able to witness his partner's movements with a clear headspace. Maybe touch in the middle of a panic attack wasn't what he wanted, but he still wanted to make Yosuke happy, however he could. Give him something, after how he had acted. "...Is it really okay? Or are you just saying that?" It wasn't a particularly hard push, by any means. If Yosuke didn't answer, he wasn't going to follow it up, but he at least wanted him to know that he was there to listen if his partner did want to voice his feelings. After all, he hadn't exactly been great at showcasing that lately… It was a necessary reminder, which how terrible he'd been.
2:13 AM
At least he could offer some sort of alternative… He considered his options, adjusting his grip on the other's hands to lightly rub circles into the palms of his hands with his thumbs, using it both as a further attempt at comfort for Yosuke as well as a bit of a way to release his leftover anxious energy in a soft, repetitive motion. It also helped him think a little more, too, watching the way his fingers moved at a nice, consistent rhythm. "...You can yell at me more, if you want." Maybe that was a joke…? His voice was pretty meek while speaking, eyes focused on their hands rather than his partner's face. Taking that into account… No, it probably wasn't a joke, but it wasn't exactly an open offer, either. "I think I can take it now." Yeah… No, he might have just started crying again, but if Yosuke really wanted to, he would at least try his best to stay a little calmer this time… But, maybe there was something else that might make Yosuke a little more happy, at least temporarily. "Or… We can just cuddle for a bit." This time, he was the one trying for a lifeless smile, tilting his head slightly to feign a little extra charm. Maybe that would be enough to make the act convincing, but, even if he did have a passion for the stage, it was a little difficult at the moment. "I'm not sure I have the energy to pack stuff up at the moment." That was the preferable situation, but he could understand if Yosuke didn't want to go that far right now. After all, he'd only been screaming at him a few minutes ago… Both of them were flawed in their desires to simply brush past things, though. They always wanted everything to go back to the way it was. The way things were meant to be, happy and bright and… Not horrifically depressing.
2:14 AM
"Just…" He paused for a moment, trailing off as he looked for the words he wanted to say. It took a couple moments, smile dropping slightly and hands squeezing his partner's lightly as it finally came to him. "Don't leave me, okay?" …What exactly that meant was vague, to say the least, but the way his eyes met firmly with the others meant he was looking for some sort of response. Some assurance to his question. Something to hold onto to make sure that things would be okay when all was said and done.
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Kayla, male thot enemy of state 2/16/2023 5:33 PM
When Yu gently, oh so gently, took his hands and rubbed little circles into them, Yosuke felt his eyes glitter with tears. He wanted to burst into sobs at that moment, but he pursed his lips and forced it back, his eyes starting to brim over. He wasn’t crying, really, but tears dribbled down his cheeks as he stoically watched Yu’s hands touch his own. His nose turned a little red, and he inhaled through his nose once, twice. He couldn’t look at him right now… not like this. He didn’t want to show this weakness… Yosuke let out a puff, making sure he could talk alright. “I dunno,” was all he could say to being asked if things were okay. Because he didn’t think they were. He felt abandoned, he felt unwanted, and he felt unloved, and that train of thought made more tears fall. Another deep, deep breath, a couple more sniffles. “I don’t want to yell at you more, Yu,” and when he mumbles this, he feels TIRED. He feels like he suddenly wanted to sleep for a week. Maybe he wanted to escape all of this. He never wanted any of this to happen… those few moments of bliss over Christmas and New Years had been the lightest his heart felt in months, and now they were but a bitter memory. He wanted Yu to keep being loving and doting and making him feel wanted and protected, despite everything. He didn’t want to feel like he was a nuisance, a burden… More tears fall, it was getting harder to keep his composure, but he kept sniffing. At the offer to cuddle, however, he had to really bite into his lower lip until it hurt. He was touch starved, desperate for some form of love, but somehow it felt hollow. The offer didn’t feel genuine-- it felt like Yu was trying to make up for everything. Yosuke should have allowed him, he shouldn’t have been so petty, but he was hurting… He doesn’t manage to answer when Yu made them meet eyes, Yosuke’s own wet and red from crying. He could see Yu’s regret, he could see that Yu didn’t mean to hurt him… but he still hurt. However, he shook his head. Even if he hurt right now, it was just a bump in the road. Nothing to call it off for. “I won’t leave you, Yu,” he says, finally managing not to cry anymore. “But… I am still hurt.”
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Phea: full-time twink bullier 2/16/2023 10:30 PM
As much as Yosuke tried to hide his tears, it was near impossible for Yu to ignore. How could it, when he was the cause? All of this… He was the cause of, wasn’t he? The gesture was meant to be loving, but… How had Yosuke taken it? Should he pull back? Should he apologize again? Should he just… Leave him alone? …No, that wasn’t right. That wasn’t what Yosuke wanted, was it? Then again, maybe he was the last person who should have been trying to figure out what his partner wanted… He clearly had failed thus far on that front, only making things far worse on the man. It was hard to hear a noncommittal answer in response to his question. Not that he really expected a yes, but… That didn’t make it any easier. He was part of that ‘I don’t know,’ wasn’t he? His actions were part of the reason why Yosuke couldn’t even way if he was okay or not… What a partner he was. At least he didn’t want to yell at him, but it didn’t particularly seem like he wanted to cuddle, either. So… What did he want? Did he want Yu to figure that out himself? Would he give him some sort of guidance? What should he do? What would Yosuke want him to do? Catching the other’s face finally looking up on him made his heart churn even more. Dammit… He really had screwed up now. It took everything in him not to look away in shame and guilt, doing his best to hold that eye contact he had worked to initiate. On instinct, his left hand had slipped away from Yosuke’s grasp and moved to cup his cheek, brushing his thumb to dispel any leftover tears. “...I know apologies aren’t enough.” That was putting it lightly, he knew. As much as he could say ‘I’m sorry,’ it wasn’t like it could change anything. Their relationship wasn’t going to be magically fixed by those words, as much as he wished it could. “But… I hope I can make it up to you somehow.”
10:31 PM
Once again moving his non-dominant hand away from Yosuke, he carefully stood from his chair and inched his way around the table to Yosuke’s side, keeping his other grasp firmly connected to the other. For a moment, he considered putting the other up, maybe trying to put him to bed, but instead settled for leaning down to place a light kiss on his forehead. It was bittersweet, really. Not that this was the end of their relationship—Well, he hoped it wouldn’t be, at least—but… Things were far from the idyllic situation either of them could have hoped for going into this. And, if they were under different circumstances, maybe it could have been. Maybe everything would have been perfect. After all, they hadn’t had any major issues since they’d met, despite living together for almost a decade at this point. That wasn’t the world they were living in, though. Hi-no-Kagutsuchi had come into the picture, taken Yosuke as one of his henchmen, and now… “Please tell me how I can try.” His own words broke him out of his dreary thoughts, once again bringing his freehand to meet with Yosuke’s, intertwining their fingers. Only now had he realized how cracked and dry they felt… A rarity from Yosuke, considering how well he usually took care of himself… Not that it made any difference to Yu, still feeling happy enough to just be connected to his partner in some small way right now. Even if the faux brunet didn’t want to go so far as to cuddle, at least he could use that minor gesture to show that he still wanted to be close to and connected to his partner, regardless of what his poor actions the past week had suggested. “I’ll do anything.” Desperate to please, like always… Maybe the others had a point about that, but… It wasn’t wrong to want to make someone happy, right? Even above your own well-being? That was just… Natural, wasn’t it?
10:31 PM
Would this make Yosuke happy, though? Would anything? He wished anything would, but the more and more that the situation seemed to degrade, the less he was sure that anything he could do directly could. The only way that it would be possible to brighten his spirits even just slightly was to take Hi-no-Kagutsuchi down, but that didn’t seem like it would be happening anytime soon, given the state of things… All he wanted to do was help Yosuke. But… There wasn’t anything he could do to keep him from being miserable. No amount of kisses or cuddling or nights in bed would do anything to help him—They were a temporary fix. Even the more major attempts, such as therapy, did little. It felt like nothing was working. There was no way to help him. Things were just going to get worse and worse, and Yosuke was going to spiral more, until he ended up like… …Calm down. He had to physically shake his head out of that train of thought. Thinking about that wasn’t going to do either of them any good; Yu would only start to break down again, too, and that would only exacerbate the current issue. Right now, he had to be there for Yosuke. Not the other way around. He had already made too much of the situation about himself, with his previous breakdown… This was about Yosuke. His feelings were the only ones that mattered. Yu needed to stop being so selfish, didn’t he? Who cared what he felt with everything Yosuke was going through? It didn’t matter. He didn’t matter.
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