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[16:04] <PersonaGM> [Ah… Friday afternoon. The end of the school week, the sun languid over the western sky, no clubs… Just the promise of two juicy days off.-
[16:04] <PersonaGM> [And homework.-
[16:04] <PersonaGM> [And probably life-endangering metaphysical events, for Ai.-
[16:04] <PersonaGM> [But in general… What a liberating feeling.-
[16:05] <PersonaGM> [Ai would be at the shoe lockers when Wu Shizeng caught up to her. "End of the week, Ai! Any plans for the weekend?"]
[16:08] * Ai was maybe, at first, a bit caught off-guard, thinking a bit about said life-endangering metaphysical events. So when Wu showed up, she actually jumped in place a little. "Eep!… Uh. H… hi! Well, a bit of studying up on some stuff, and … not entirely sure?"
[16:09] <PersonaGM> ["Hmmm. Fair, I don't have much planned either." Said Shizeng.-
[16:09] <PersonaGM> ["Walk you home, though?"]
[16:23] * Ai slowly nodded, even if she was a bit red in the face. "Oh… sure! …" She almost looked ashamed of something, yet it soon passed.
[16:24] <PersonaGM> ["You ok?"]
[16:25] * Ai shook her head. "…I'm sorry if the idea you got from me turned out to be dangerous to you."
[16:31] <PersonaGM> [He moved a little closer and spoke a little quieter. "Don't be."]
[16:33] * Ai nodded, to follow up that shake. "…Okay. Thank you…" But then took a breath. "Shall we?"
[16:34] <PersonaGM> ["Yes indeed." Said Shizeng with a smile.-
[16:35] <PersonaGM> [And off they went.-
[16:35] <PersonaGM> [The plum trees smelt fragrant in the heady spring afternoon breeze. Shizeng took a deep breath.-
[16:35] <PersonaGM> ["Almost reminds me of home." He said. "Speaking of, how're you settling in?"]
[16:38] * Ai waved her hand shakily, thinking about that. "…Doesn't really feel homey to me… but I'm doing better than I was? …Hard not to improve over that though."
[16:52] <PersonaGM> ["Mm, you do at that. Anything I can do to help you settle?"]
[16:57] * Ai tilted her head a bit as she walked, sounding pensive, unsure. "…Uhh… Maybe I guess… uh. I guess I might just need to make more friends, get used to the city?"
[17:02] <PersonaGM> ["Hm, makes sense. Maybe I should show you around. Hm. Or maybe I can at least give you some pointers…"-
[17:02] <PersonaGM> [Shizeng fell silent for a few seconds before he continued.-
[17:03] <PersonaGM> ["Sorry, I'm being a little awkward."]
[17:05] <Ai> "…F… for any particular reason? I can t-try to help…" Ai offered.
[17:09] <PersonaGM> [Shizeng shook his head. "Oh, nevermind. I'm getting a little caught up in trying to put you at ease… Let's start again. What do you like doing for fun?"]
[17:11] * Ai pursed her lips. "…Videogames. And writing! And uh… hm hm hm. I do like reading up on cool stuff."
[17:22] <PersonaGM> ["Is that so? Read anything cool lately?"]
[17:24] * Ai nodded firmly. "Yes! I found a few articles about uhhh… Gravity wave detectors and I think they might be able to find dark matter with them and have them all set up and then figure out more about physics… and stuff!" She …breathed. "N… not that I fully understand all of it."
[17:30] <PersonaGM> ["So you're into science, too?"]
[17:35] <Ai> "…Yes!" Ai said. "As like a hobby. I just… I dunno. It's… cool to think of all the things in the world that are going on. To… know."
[17:38] <PersonaGM> ["That's really cool." Said Shizeng. "Give me your phone real quick?"]
[17:48] * Ai suddenly bristled. "Wait, why…?"
[17:50] <PersonaGM> ["I want to add a note."]
[17:51] * Ai …slowly relented, passing it over. She at least had enough time to think if… things happened.
[17:57] <PersonaGM> [And he added a short text note, then handed it back. "There's a friend of mine who runs a store in the city. It should be around this address… If you go there and say you know me, he'll give you a game console. Not a new one, but… Better than nothing."]
[17:58] * Ai had a bright look on her face, if, a shocked one. "…Oh oh wow… j-just like that."
[18:00] <PersonaGM> ["Consider it a reward for finding it. Place's a mess."]
[18:04] * Ai slowly nodded, chuckling a bit. "…That bad, huh."
[18:04] <PersonaGM> ["Have you been into the city centre yet? It's real easy to get lost."]
[18:12] <Ai> "…YEs that does sound that bad then." Ai said, and… then remembered. "I a-actually got lost the first day I got here."
[18:14] <PersonaGM> ["You did…?"]
[18:29] <Ai> "Yeah. …I went to the computer cafe, and then like… Left…" she paused. Blushed for a moment, then continued. "And must've gotten turned around. If it weren't for the dorm cat, I'd have been lost even longer."
[18:32] <PersonaGM> ["Wait. You were rescuedby the dorm cat…?"]
[18:36] * Ai nodded firmly. "Yes! He found me when I was getting closer to Soejima… and I guess wanted food or something so he took me down a few streets to there, and back to the dorm." She smiled brightly. "He's a really smart cat~"
[18:44] <PersonaGM> ["Maybe he's some kind of guardian spirit."-
[18:45] <PersonaGM> [As they walked, the sky became progressively darker. It had been threatening to rain all day, and now a storm seemed to be bearing down on them rather out of nowhere.-
[18:46] <PersonaGM> [Shizeng hurried his pace and pre-emptively pulled his umbrella out of his bag. "Stay close."]
[18:51] * Ai noticed the clouds, and… "I d-didn't bring an umbrella I wasn't looking at the weather I…" But after blushing beet-red, she just… pulled up next to him and tried to stay in the eventual umbrella-shadow.
[18:52] <PersonaGM> [The Umbra-ella, you mean?-
[18:52] <PersonaGM> ["This…" Shizeng cleared his throat. He glanced around.-
[18:53] <PersonaGM> ["This doesn't mean anything. I just don't want you to get unnecessarily wet."]
[18:53] <Ai> "…D-don't worry, I won't get unnecessarily wet at all, Shizeng-kun!" Ai almost yelled… before putting a hand over her mouth. "N-no I get what you mean…"
[18:59] <PersonaGM> ["…"-
[18:59] <PersonaGM> ["… …"-
[19:00] <PersonaGM> [They arrived at 5 Soejima shortly after.-
[19:00] <PersonaGM> ["This is your dorm?" Said Shizeng, a little loudly over the rain as they approached the front door.]
[19:03] <Ai> "Yes!" Ai announced a bit loudly back! "It's really weird looking and dumpy in the lobby but it's okay otherwise…?" Again, shouting. "H-hang on I have a key, we just have to g-get closer, you know?"
[19:04] <PersonaGM> [Shizeng grimly covered the door with his umbrella, giving Ai time to unlock it.-
[19:04] <PersonaGM> [Once they were through, Shizeng shook off his umbrella and placed it against the inside of the doorframe.-
[19:05] <PersonaGM> ["You don't mind if I stay here for a little bit? Let the rain settle?"]
[19:09] <Ai> "…I. I don't mind, it's… It's a super empty dorm anyway. Just the four of us, the cat, and the caretaker of the place." She said, almost shyly.
[19:11] <PersonaGM> ["Thanks."-
[19:11] <PersonaGM> [He settled in on one of the couches. "It… is quiet, here. Not like my dorm. Do you like it here? Do you get lonely?"]
[19:14] <Ai> "…Yes." She said without any hesitation whatsoever, flopping into a chair… before squirming and deciding on a different one. As if that one was somehow Bad.
[19:19] <PersonaGM> ["Sorry to hear it…"-
[19:19] <PersonaGM> [Shizeng sighed.-
[19:20] <PersonaGM> ["I wanted to apologise." He said. "It already looked like you were having trouble adjusting, and now I've gone and made things worse by getting you mixed up in all this Asaka rubbish."]
[19:24] * Ai shook her head, sighing softly. "…I was fated to be involved from the beginning." But she paused, rolling around a bit on the couch she settled on. "…That sounds overdramatic. I mean uh. … …I was going to be scared of him no matter what… T… tell me, who do you think is like, other than you, Adrien, and Yi because that's obvious, the most involved in the earlier Asaka stuff?"
[19:30] <PersonaGM> ["Well… Apart from his unknown victims? Probably someone like Kurata or Schreier."]
[19:36] * Ai nodded her head. "…They're two of the four residents." She said simply. "…And Nakajima, Yi's boyfriend? The final one other than me." And she shrugged her arms openly. "…So uh… I don't think it would've… c-changed if I got involved."
[19:42] <PersonaGM> ["What. Really? All of you under the same roof?"]
[19:48] <Ai> "Really! It's extremely weird." Ai said. "The whole place is weird…" She said with animated arm-flails.
[19:50] <PersonaGM> ["Wow, Yoshino. Give up the whole game, why don't you?" Said Roy, who leapt up onto the table.-
[19:50] <PersonaGM> ["Maybe you can tell him about the time you fell into an alternate dimension and manifested a magical girl out of your head?"-
[19:50] <PersonaGM> [… Of course, all Shizeng heard was meowing.-
[19:50] <PersonaGM> ["Oh, hi cat."-
[19:51] <PersonaGM> ["Ah. The other culprit."]
[19:57] * Ai whined quite loudly. And… and when she started to open her mouth, she briefly panicked. …He might not sound right to Wu at all, would he. She… turned to him sheepishly. Then to Roy. then back at Wu. "…Y… yeah. Look he just, comes and goes as he pleases. He's so fuzzy though." But… but then! -
[19:59] <Ai> ('Listen you punk kitty-cat, I can't just say nothing either, if I don't point out how weird it all is he'll get double suspicious and stuff! So don't you sass me so hard…") At which point she then picked Roy up fast enough to start cuddling him oh so tenderly. ("Or this'll turn into The Noogie Hour.") "See? Fuzzy. <3"
[20:05] <PersonaGM> ["Hey, Yoshino? Hey? Hey, Hey? Hey, Yoshino?" Said Roy.-
[20:05] <PersonaGM> ["When this goof leaves?"-
[20:05] <PersonaGM> ["I'm gonna kick your ass."-
[20:06] <PersonaGM> ["I-I see." Said Shizeng. He slowly reached out to tickle Roy's chin.-
[20:07] <PersonaGM> ["S-Still. I feel a little responsible." He said. "I believe- very strongly- in the idea of self-improvement. I need to identify what I can do better,and I think this is one of those times…"]
[20:12] <Ai> ("You better not! You need my tight little ass to help shoot things dead!") …She actually stuck her tongue out at him, which might've looked… a bit odd to Wu. Or, for that matter, her suddenly blushing in shame at something Wu was not party to. "…Erm… W-well. …You're… probably right? But some fights need to be fought." She nodded solemnly… -
[20:13] <Ai> …while having to multi-thread with a very UN-solemn conversation telepathically. ("O-oh my I… I didn't mean to sound that lewd. …A c-cat is not fine too, I'm n-not even into you without you looking that way and… you're super older a-") Beat. ("I'M FIFTEEN, I AM REPRODUCTIVELY MATURE AND ALLOWED TO EMPHASIZE MY ASSETS YOU … YOU MEANIE!")
[20:15] <PersonaGM> ["FIFTEEN IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!"-
[20:15] <PersonaGM> ["… Yes, you're right. I just worry about you is all." Said Shizeng.]
[20:26] <Ai> ("THEN YOU DON'T NEED TO WATCH MY DATING AND I … I guess I'll not say that kinda stuff again, s-sorry.") Sheepish, nervous… fortunately that made both conversations synch up a bit better. "…I know. …I'm trying not to be so worrying…"
[20:28] <PersonaGM> ["… Look. I know it's probably not welcome, but I'm going to do my best to look out for you. Not just keeping you safe, but also making sure you do your best. I can tell that you want to do better than you already have."-
[20:28] <PersonaGM> ["Better at keeping her thirst in check, maybe." Said Roy.]
[20:31] <Ai> "DO Y-"… Oh. Oh no. This was… ("D… do you mind?! What the hell d-do you expect me to…") She shuddered."…Sorry, I spaced out. I meant to say…" Now properly to Shizeng. "…This is kinda s-surprisingly tender… I guess I really do just give off an air of 'delicate kid, must protect', don't I… W-well when I'm not sounding insane…"
[20:33] <PersonaGM> ["Well. You do… I mean, you are a little quirky. But so is Reiko. It's fine." Said Shizeng.-
[20:33] <PersonaGM> ["Bet Reiko never ran screaming from a computer cafe." Said Roy.-
[20:34] <PersonaGM> ["Just leave it to me." Said Shizeng quietly.-
[20:34] <PersonaGM> [ Thou art I; I art thou.-
[20:35] <PersonaGM> [ Thou hast glimpsed a new path of thine heart, with which to rewrite your story.-
[20:36] <PersonaGM> [ The first draft of the Chariot Arcana has been written; its refinement will bring you new power in the world to come.-
[20:36] <PersonaGM> ["Dumbass." Said Roy. "Now lemme go."]
[20:43] <Ai> ("As you wish.") …And despite the sulky tone her mind's-voice gave, Ai let Roy out in a parfectly safe, comfortable spot off to the side on the couch. She could've easily dropped him in a way that didn't outright look like cat abuse or something, and at least Ai herself wouldn't have blamed… herself… if she wasn't hers… okay look she felt she had some cause to take revenge on him. Still, she turned to Shizeng, somberly nodding.
[20:43] <Ai> "…Thank you…" -
[20:44] <Ai> ("…I'm sorry I'm completely disappointing and terrible, okay?") She said, more or less losing the fire from the previous psychic yelling. …In fact she sort of frowned just thinking about what she 'said'.
[20:45] <PersonaGM> ["Oh please, you aren't Adrien." Said Roy. "Don't get all gloomy on me now!"-
[20:46] <PersonaGM> ["… I think the rain's starting to let up." Said Shizeng. He rose to his feet. "I'll see you next week, ok?"]
[20:50] <Ai> ("…Oh. Also I get gloomy all the time, you know! …But… thank you, too, Roy.") She noted, before standing a little bit to …it seemed, escort Shizeng to the door. "…Yeah, I think I'd appreciate that. Maybe it won't be pouring that time."
[20:52] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah. Have a good one, Ai." He said, picking up his umbrella, offering her a bow and walking out into the rain.]
[21:03] <PersonaGM> [And then Roy tackled her to the ground. "YOUR RENT IS DUE!"-
[21:03] <PersonaGM> [-fin-]

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