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[16:46] <Hideki> Hideki went to school the day after he had smuggled Ji-Hu into the dorm, but it was generally pretty normal. Some of the students had been kind of dumb. A few odd looks here and there, a bit of whispering that stopped when he drifted in earshot, but nothing terribly stressful. -
[16:48] <Hideki> How was Ji-Hu doing, though? Was she more relaxed after her day alone?
[16:55] <PersonaGM> [Well the first thing that Hideki would notice, when he walked in, was that the dorm carpets had been vacuumed.]
[16:56] <Hideki> Oh! That was nice, and also kind of suspicious. She wasn't relaxing? Wait. Maybe Asahina had done it. -
[16:57] <Hideki> "Hey, how were things today?" he asked, stopping by the booth near the entrance.
[16:58] <PersonaGM> [The booth was silent. Maybe Asahina was out?-
[16:58] <PersonaGM> ["Oh hey." Said Roy, emerging from the kitchen. "Welcome home."]
[16:59] <Hideki> "Heyyy," he glanced around distractedly. "Good day today?"
[17:00] <PersonaGM> [Roy snickered. "Sure."]
[17:01] <Hideki> "Oh good. You sound ever so convincing."
[17:01] <PersonaGM> ["We can't all be you, you silver-tongued devil boy."]
[17:06] <Hideki> Hideki wandered over to one of the chairs in the lounge and set his school bag down on it. "Well! I see no flames or pitchforks left out, so I'll assume that our guest and Miss Asahina are getting along pretty well."
[17:07] <PersonaGM> ["But of course." Said Roy. He leapt into the black armchair. "She's such a sweetheart, that Yi. And so cuddly, too."]
[17:10] <Hideki> "Isn't she half your age?"
[17:11] <PersonaGM> ["Oh, come on." Said Roy. He rolled his eyes, and also rolled over. "It's not like I'm trying. But I can't help it if she picks me up out of nowhere."-
[17:11] <PersonaGM> [Roy closed one of his eyes. "She doesn't see me as human, after all."]
[17:13] <Hideki> "Yeah, but we know better, is the thing."
[17:14] <PersonaGM> ["Just like you know better than to backchat to your landlord." Said Roy. "Go on, head up."]
[17:16] <Hideki> "Gladly~" He left his bag on th chair, slipped his hands into his pockets, and hopped up the stairs, two at a time.
[17:19] <PersonaGM> [So how untidy was Hideki's room normally?]
[17:20] <Hideki> Moderately! There's usually quite a few clothes scattered on the ground and general lack of organization. His baseball equipment usually sits in a pile somewhere.
[17:21] <PersonaGM> [Well not anymore…-
[17:21] <PersonaGM> [His room was clean. His clothes? Tidied up. His baseball equipment stowed away in a wardrobe.-
[17:45] <PersonaGM> [It wasn't just his room. This floor's bathroom was clean, too…-
[17:45] <PersonaGM> [And she'd moved in upstairs, into her own room. He could hear her shuffling around.]
[17:53] <Hideki> It was a lot nicer in here! But who would clean unless they were really bored? After a moment of marveling, he decided to investigate her new room. She probably had that in strict order too!
[11:40] <PersonaGM> [And so up he went…-
[11:40] <PersonaGM> [… Yeah, her room looked really tidy. Also, it had more furniture than his did!-
[11:43] <PersonaGM> [Ji-Hu was at the end of the hall, wearing a casual bright white sundress with red flowers, dusting cobwebs off the roof with a brush. She was humming to herself.]
[11:47] <Hideki> "Hey!" He waved, keeping a slight distance, since he was not quite willing to get loose cobwebs accidentally sprinkled over him. Bleh. "You look busy."
[11:58] <PersonaGM> ["Well hello honey." Said Ji-Hu in a deliberately over-sweet voice. "How was work?"]
[12:04] <Hideki> "Well, I tell ya, that Mr. Matsudaira is one tough client." Hideki loosened his tie with his index finger. "Had me and my co-workers running endless laps around him today. Still, the customer is always right. I brought you some homework assignments, by the way. They're downstairs, in my bag."
[12:05] <PersonaGM> ["You do them for me~"]
[12:06] <Hideki> "Ehhh? It'll get done faster if you do them."
[12:07] <PersonaGM> ["Fine, fine." Said Ji-Hu. She stretched out and tucked the webby brush into a bin of cleaning supplies.-
[12:07] <PersonaGM> ["I thought I'd try to clean the place a little."]
[12:09] <Hideki> "I noticed. You did a really good job! My room probably looks nicer than it did when I moved in."
[12:19] <PersonaGM> ["Well of course. You didn't have time to unpack, you had to rush over to help me~"]
[12:23] <Hideki> "And I'd gladly do it again! Although something tells me you don't need my help setting up this time. Which room did you pick?"
[12:28] <PersonaGM> ["3-C." Said Ji-Hu. "It was kind of weird, actually…"]
[12:28] <Hideki> "Hm? Weird how?"
[12:32] <PersonaGM> ["I wanted to move in next to you, but apparently that's a boy's floor? Buut you're also the only boy here…"]
[12:34] <Hideki> "Oh, yeah. I guess I've gotten used to it now, but it was weird when I first got here. Apparently there were only four people boarding here!"
[12:45] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah… Also, your caretaker really does… Kinda live in a box?"]
[12:51] <Hideki> "Well, she doesn't live there all the time. Just whenever we need to talk to her."
[12:52] <PersonaGM> ["I wonder if she's scared of being attacked by tenants. Maybe the guys before you were really violent."]
[12:53] <Hideki> "Wish I knew. Have you talked to her much yet?"
[12:55] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah!"]
[12:57] <Hideki> "Really? She's usually pretty short with me." He couldn't hide the curiosity in his voice. "What do you think of her?"
[13:00] <PersonaGM> ["She's great. She was so nice to me…"]
[13:03] <Hideki> "Oh, good. I was a little worried you wouldn't get along, but hey! Things are looking up!"
[13:16] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah. Today has actually been… Way better." She said. "I didn't stress waking up, this burner phone is so quiet, there's no one here, the cat is so cute and cuddly… Your caretaker even made me breakfast."]
[13:17] * Hideki beamed, as if it was all his doing. "Think you'll take another day off tomorrow, then?"
[13:21] <PersonaGM> ["Is that ok…?"]
[13:22] <Hideki> "I think it'd be okay. I'm just worried about you getting bored here by yourself."
[13:32] <PersonaGM> ["Bored? Hmm… You know, I'm enjoying the quiet, but I bet it does get lonely here. I'm not used to such empty buildings." Said Ji-Hu. "C'mon, let's go to the kitchen."]
[13:34] <Hideki> "Fine with me~"
[13:53] <PersonaGM> [Back down to the 5 Soejima's squishy little kitchen, where Ji-Hu had something in the oven.-
[13:54] <PersonaGM> ["I… Haven't really told my family about any of this." She said.]
[13:55] <Hideki> "What do you think would happen if you did?"
[14:06] <PersonaGM> ["I… Dunno." Said Ji-Hu. "I know dad'd be really worried. He might try and pull me out of school."-
[14:07] <PersonaGM> ["A bunch of my family don't like that I come here at all." Said Ji-Hu. "And I haven't… Really told any of them except mum about you."]
[14:16] <Hideki> "Eh? Unfair! My whole damned family's crazy about you. Maybe you should let me meet your folks one of these days. Return the favor." He winked. "But, no, I get it. One wrong move and they have an excuse to pull you out and bring you home."
[14:18] <PersonaGM> ["Ha ha." She nudged him. "Especially your kid brother, right?"-
[14:19] <PersonaGM> ["But yeah. I mean, you're great, really. And I wish I could. But I have a big family, and they talk, and there's a lot of them who'd see bringing a Japanese boy home as betraying grandma, so…"]
[14:27] <Hideki> "I get it, I get it," he sighed. "It's… complicated."
[14:33] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah. Complicated."-
[14:34] <PersonaGM> [Ji-Hu attended to a pot on the stove. The smell of rich beef mapo tofu assailed Hideki's senses as she lifted off the lid and stirred it.-
[14:34] <PersonaGM> ["Hey, Hideki… Do you think I'm in over my head?"]
[14:39] <Hideki> "With the video? And the… fallout?"
[14:40] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah. The video, the… The investigating, being the one everyone else goes to…"]
[14:44] <Hideki> "You might be right now, at this minute," said Hideki thoughtfully. "But I also think you'll bounce back. Or your resources will come and back you up, the way we're doing here at the dorm. It's hard for one person, but it's different if there's a collective to go to."
[14:47] <PersonaGM> ["A collective… Like you?"]
[14:53] <Hideki> "Damn straight. I'm in it for the long haul!"
[14:56] <PersonaGM> ["…" Ji-Hu stared at him. Then she walked around the bench and kissed him gently.-
[14:56] <PersonaGM> ["Thank you." She mumbled. "I know I can rely on you. You'd never let me down…"]
[15:06] * Hideki kissed back, gladly. "I do try. If you're working this hard, I need to work too. Here, I'll even help with dinner."
[15:13] <PersonaGM> [ Thou art I; I art thou.-
[15:13] <PersonaGM> [ Thou hast glimpsed a new path of thine heart, with which to rewrite your story.-
[15:14] <PersonaGM> [ The first draft of the Star Arcana has been written; its refinement will bring you new power in the world to come.-
[15:14] <PersonaGM> ["Heehee~! Sweet of you." Said Ji-Hu. "Come on, let's see if I made it spicy enough…"]
[15:18] <Hideki> "Spicy's good!" Hideki eyed the pot. "And you're giving poor, hardworking Asahina a break for this evening too. You two really did get to be friends."
[15:26] <PersonaGM> ["You say it like it's hard."]
[15:26] <Hideki> "It is! Teach me your ways. I want to coax her out of that box one of these days."
[15:27] <PersonaGM> ["Well the first thing you have to understand is that Miss Asahina is a hard working person who likes seeing young people be responsible for their commons."]
[15:30] <Hideki> "Huh. So in other words, 'Don't leave your stuff in the lobby' and pick up after yourself."
[15:31] <PersonaGM> ["Yup. Also, leave cake for her in her slot."]
[15:33] <Hideki> "Makes sense to me. Now… if you'll excuse me for a minute, I left my stuff all over the lobby earlier. So I'd better go grab that before she comes back."
[15:34] <PersonaGM> ["See that you do~"-
[15:34] <PersonaGM> [She gave him another kiss and sent him on his way with a wink.]

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