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[13:20] <PersonaGM> [Adrien sauntered down the road, airpods peeking out of his ears. "I'm Slim Shady, yes I'm the real Shady…"]
[13:27] <Ai> <Ai> "…Really?" -
[13:27] <Ai> <Ai> Said the small schoolgirl sneaking up to Adrien's side and looking up high enough to say that. A vaguely incredulous look on her face - but only just.
[13:28] <Minaplo> [If someone had tried to warn Adrien that he was about to be ambushed by a smol, they would find to their detriment that he would not be able to hear them, because he had airpods in.-
[13:28] <Minaplo> ["Huh?" Adrien was thusly taken by surprise.-
[13:28] <Minaplo> [He frowned slightly and took one of his airpods out. "What?"]
[13:30] * Ai didn't skip a beat, instead just moving right on to her purpose. "Welcome to your post-mission after-action care report. …I'd call it aftercare but even I know that's a dubious word." Beat. "How's it shaking, 'Slim Shady'?" …With the right tone to suggest she knew it was a song and was sorta amused he even listened to it.
[13:32] <Minaplo> [Adrien eyed her, then… Slowly reached out and ruffled her hair. "Awww, are you worried about your big brother Adrien~?"]
[13:49] <Ai> "… …If you want to phrase it that way, yes." She was rather miffed at heavy ruffling though! "Also because like half the rest of the team looks like they'd lowkey not mind if you died in action. That… that sucks."
[13:54] <Minaplo> ["Aw, I'm used to it, sweetie-bun."]
[13:59] <Ai> "S-still! It's bad comp! Poor coordination! If-if-if this was raid content in an MMO we'd constantly wipe and get infractions for bad conduct!" She said, flailing. "And that's… You know?! …If I'm gonna train you I need to worry about them too." Flail flail. ".. …But uh. We can also hang out or something, assuming I'm not terrified of whatever it is you… do on the town."
[14:03] <Minaplo> ["Oh my. What would terrify you? Not wild sex parties, of course, you little pervotaku…"]
[14:09] <Ai> "Don't make me start issuing demerits payable with arrows in unmentionable places from proper high-velocity firing, bucko." Ai said flatly. "…Mostly more like. Lots of rowdy boys, or a fight club, or e-even just innocent (even nerdy?) things I'm not into so I sit there for hours looking interested but internally screaming and wishing I could escape or hide or something but remembering that it's inappropriate to hide under a table to try to get
[14:09] <Ai> people to worry about me."
[14:09] * Ai breathed. "…And stuff like that. Normal worries."
[14:10] <Minaplo> ["Oh geez. It sounds like you're talking from experience."]
[14:11] <Ai> "I mean, yes? But only the one time, and I was like, 5?" Ai said with a shifty gaze. "…But I do kinda start thinking of weirder and weirder scenarios like that if I uh, start freaking out."
[14:12] <Minaplo> ["Oh yeah, I get it."-
[14:12] <Minaplo> ["… A fight club, tho?"]
[14:12] * Ai gesticulated vaguely. "I don't understand boys at all! It's… it's plausible to me!"
[14:15] <Minaplo> ["Oh, my dear imouto. Just because I ooze raw masculine sex appeal doesn't mean I do macho things. Fight clubs don't interest me. Neither being around packs of noisy boys. I prefer a more refined atmosphere."]
[14:18] * Ai made a face at that. The kind you make when you 'make a face', honestly, you know the one. "…It's not like I'd care about that…" she gestured in disgust. "'Ooze'. …I really just don't get it and… …mrph."
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Yoshino. I'm messing with you."]
[14:21] <Ai> "…Oh." She looked rather embarrassed. "Y… your irony versus sincerity's r-really hard to suss out."
[14:21] <PersonaGM> ["Want to know a secret?"]
[14:42] <Ai> "Is it 'I'm always ironic'? Like that Hulk line from Avengers 1?" Ai paused, looking down in more shame. "…Sorry, go ahead."
[14:43] <PersonaGM> ["Lol."-
[14:44] <PersonaGM> ["No. The secret is you can ask me if I'm being sincere or ironic and I'll tell you. And if you really -need- to know, hold your hand up into an 'ok' sign, and I'll be absolutely honest."]
[14:46] <Ai> "…A code gesture. I don't know whether to be confused or try to find a way to noogie you." Ai quipped with a small smirk. "But, okay then! …So what DO you do? I mean I just…" She tried to think over her past week or two.
[14:49] <PersonaGM> ["I'm just going into the city, walk around, look at shops. Maybe think about things to do… I'm really just killing time."]
[14:57] <Ai> "Hmm. I. …I do play videogames a lot but I think I've been actually running around trying to study up and de-stress? I'm gonna be a regular at the Wild Duck if this keeps up." Beat. "Spoilers, it will."
[14:59] <PersonaGM> ["Oho, I see. So you want my help to de-stress, huh?"]
[15:00] <Ai> "Social maintenance, actually. Another thing I'm doing." Ai explained, stepping a bit to the side so she could gesture with her arms out. "Like, making sure people are okay, not mad at me, not upset, not mad at each other…"
[15:03] <PersonaGM> ["D'awww. You're so cute and pure. Relatively. I just want to pinch your cheekies."]
[15:05] <Ai> "…Cheekies. Oh my god I may have awoken an ancient evil." Ai… again, quipped. It was very much that tone. "B-b-but yeah like while doing that I also. And… I uhm. And… …" She suddenly flushed intensely red. No, she couldn't possibly.
[15:06] <PersonaGM> ["Uh oh. You're thinking weird things."]
[15:06] <Ai> "Not weird!" Ai flailed her arms even more! "…I-it's not that pervy."
[15:08] <PersonaGM> ["Alright, Luna Lovelewd, spill the goods."]
[15:10] <Ai> …The look on Ai's face was that of panic. She… She honestly looked not just embarrassed but a bit terrified. Even if a part of her had a slight note of… of… Something. As if she were aware she was overreacting, but unable to stop herself. "…I m-m-might be going on dates too."
[15:13] <PersonaGM> ["Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo~"]
[15:16] * Ai was nearly vibrating in stress and embarrassment. Vibrating! "S-ss-s-s-stop I know I get it I…"
[15:23] <PersonaGM> ["Okay, okay. Sorry."]
[15:25] * Ai breathed. "…It's fine, I expected that but. … …It's. Complicated to admit."
[15:25] <PersonaGM> ["Sure, I getcha. Take your time."]
[15:27] * Ai thought about it… then looked up at him, actually walking ahead to make sure she stared. Right up. Into his eyes. "…Adrien, who do you /think/ I'm dating? …I mean, you don't need to be specific, you're not even in my year. …But I'm kinda shy and … wanna know what people think?"
[15:30] <PersonaGM> ["I mean it's definitely, definitely a girl."]
[15:30] <Ai> "
," For an uncomfortable amount of seconds, Ai just stood there. -
[15:30] <Ai> k
[15:31] <Ai> "Oh my god I really am that obvious, aren't I."
[15:33] <PersonaGM> ["Well maybe not in the real world. But your Persona is uh… Yurilicious."]
[15:37] <Ai> "CURSE YOU, MIND ANGELS." Ai suddenly yelped uncomfortably loudly. "H-how did I… and… a-and the lily motifs and…" The girl might be freaking out now. "Agh… aaagh. F-f-fortunately Dinah is so tomboy that she probably doesn't even notice a-a-and Sachiko seems to not care because she can't hear my lewdness over her tragic past - wait they both can't - and and I think Hideki is too derp and busy macking on his girl to care and… …" Breathe. "…So
[15:37] <Ai> I'm probably not annoying anyone on-team but Roy, who seems to think I'm way too lewd for my age and has more trouble with it than you do. Right."
[15:38] <Ai> "Then again, Roy's like, 80 or something stupid like that."
[15:42] <PersonaGM> ["There's… A lot to unpack there."]
[15:51] <Ai> "…I c-can wait."
[15:53] <PersonaGM> ["Okay, so." Said Adrien. "Let's go from the top. I think, personally, that no one in the team is annoyed by you liking girls."]
[15:56] <Ai> "…Yeah, I mean, probably not. Roy's annoyed… at my apparent 'thirst', and that might be a joke." Just, confirming with a calm tone.
[15:59] <PersonaGM> ["Roy is almost certainly meaning it as a joke." Said Adrien.-
[16:00] <PersonaGM> ["Second: Dinah is an asshole, but she's more perceptive than people give her credit for."]
[16:10] <Ai> "…Yeah but like. The 'tragic past' thing is pretty spot-on." Ai pointed out, finger-wagging. "Have you ever noticed how she'll never sit on her Checkpoint chair?"
[16:14] <PersonaGM> ["I sure have." Said Adrien.-
[16:15] <PersonaGM> ["Although if we're talking about not being able to hear things over tragic pasts, then don't you kind of take the cake there?"]
[16:21] <Ai> "… … …" Ai pouted visibly, but wasn't seeming to protest.
[16:30] <PersonaGM> ["No one likes to have their traumas affect how they express themselves, but the truth is that everyone's behaviour -is- affected by it." Said Adrien. "Dinah acts aggressive and standoffish because she's been hurt before. Sachiko acts tough and composed in public because she's afraid she'll fall apart if she doesn't. Roy got turned into a cat thousands of kilometres from home. And you have panic attacks and strong reactions towards abuses of power."-
[16:31] <PersonaGM> ["Don't you think that describing people's complicated trauma as 'tragic pasts' might be a way for you to rationalise your past as something like a story? Because you understand stories better than what happened to you?"]
[16:33] <Ai> "Mm… mmnnf." Ai continued to stand still. "I. I mean I. I know. Knew. Knew…? I. I thought if I said that in a … memey way I wouldn't have to explain a… all of it because it'd just be 'well their particular trauma means they're not really even like, worried about my bullshit'. A-and that's long to say and I dunno how well it'd play? …" She honestly looked pretty sad at that point. "I'm sorry… I-I'm sorry."
[16:34] <PersonaGM> ["Would you like a hug?"]
[16:35] * Ai actually twitched once or twice. "…A little one."
[16:41] <PersonaGM> [So he gave her a little hug and smoothed her hair out a little.-
[16:41] <PersonaGM> ["Come on, let's talk about something else. Who's this girl?"]
[16:45] * Ai … nearly clinged to him during the actual hug before relenting. "…Reiko, in my homeroom. Like, she was giving out chocolates to everyone in the classroom and at first I sorta went a bit overboard with interpretations, before I stopped myself?" She explained, slowly. "…But then I uh." …An obvious look of shame. "Well, had a panic attack when people were calling Asaka out during the orientation speech and he detentioned people? Reiko was
[16:45] * Ai there, as well as Shizeng, and they tried to help." -
[16:47] <Ai> But soon Ai was kneading her hands together at her waist. "But I eventually thought, 'why not', and invited her to Okumura's and even when I got overly romantic-sounding apparently… we like, bonded over stupid geeky near-chuuni interests so it was kinda nice?" …Beat. "I haven't told her I'm into girls or that it's actually dates but maybe it won't be a huge shock when I do." She sharply stage-whispered.
[16:53] <PersonaGM> ["Maybe not." Said Adrien wryly. "Good for you, though. Reiko's a great girl."]
[16:59] <Ai> "…A-ah! I actually chose well!" She did sound excited.
[17:01] <PersonaGM> ["Well, I dunno about her orientation, but yeah, she has a good rep and Shizeng likes her well enough."]
[17:01] <Ai> "I'd at least live with 'well we can be friends, I'll not be a creepo' if it came to that."
[17:04] <PersonaGM> ["Good idea."-
[17:04] <PersonaGM> ["So where are you taking her next?"]
[17:07] <Ai> "I'm still sorta thinking! We did Black Panther movietime last time since she's into heroics? But … I don't know enough about going out on the town…"
[17:08] <PersonaGM> ["… Oho. So you want your onii-chan to show you how to have a night on the town!"]
[17:09] <Ai> "…P-putting it that way makes it sound weird!" Ai said, wiggling her arms. "…But it'd help."
[18:07] <Minaplo> ["Well not a problem, not at all…"-
[18:07] <Minaplo> […-
[18:08] <Minaplo> ["This is a museum." Said Adrien, gesturing up at the Oda Family Katashiba Cultural Museum.]
[18:08] <Ai> "So it is." Ai said, somehow… a bit unsure about that flat announcement. "I'll admit I didn't see it there. You don't get them listed super easily."
[18:19] <Minaplo> ["Indeed." Said Adrien proudly. "You know how in homes, people leave fascinating conversation starters out on coffee tables? Well museums are nothing but that. Perfect for a date!"]
[18:20] <Ai> "…Okay, you got a point there." She paused. "…Even if I find that coffee table thing cheesy as hell, it's not my decor so I can deal with it here?"
[18:25] <Minaplo> ["Exactly. Also museums offer much better starter pieces. This one has artefacts from the battle of Okehazama."]
[18:33] <Ai> "Is that so…" Ai said, scratching her chin. "That almost sounds like something to work with in general."
[18:35] <Minaplo> ["Exactly."-
[18:35] <Minaplo> […-
[18:35] <Minaplo> ["This is an urban petting zoo." Said Adrien grandly, gesturing at a shop. A lone lamb stared out of them from a window.]
[18:37] * Ai started almost to stare and consider approaching it… but mostly restrained herself to just staring longingly at the lamb. …She actually muttered under her breath. "Sheeeeep…"
[18:39] <Minaplo> ["Indeed." Said Adrien proudly. "Petting zoos are great because everyone likes animals, and cute things make cute girls happy, I believe."]
[12:33] <Ai> "…I-I mean, yes." Ai said, slowly nodding her head (and stopping her 'sheeeeep' reverie. "It's something to consider…!" she seemed in high spirits!
[12:33] * Hideki is now known as CakeyCake
[12:39] <@PersonaGM> ["Maybe you could convince Roy to be your wingman…?"]
[12:42] * Ai then halted. Hard. "OH HELL NO." …beat. "…He and I would get into so much telepathy-to-secret-cat-words banter about me being too young and too horny and it'd be a super distraction."
[12:50] <@PersonaGM> ["Pfft. I bet he was just as horny at your age."]
[13:02] * CakeyCake is now known as Hideki
[13:04] <Ai> "Yes, sure." Ai said. "But he has this whole thing because he's that old, that he like…" She wiggled her hands. "Gets creeped out at being treated like a cat in handsy ways by people my age. …And he just thinks it's funny to rib me about it."
[13:06] <@PersonaGM> ["Oh, did you grope him…?"]
[13:30] <Ai> "What, no." Ai said with a huff. "…I did /talk/ about checking if he was a boy or girl a while back, but didn't do it? But that's before I even knew he was… yanno, his cat-shaped-human status."
[13:30] <@PersonaGM> ["Riiiight, right."-
[13:30] <@PersonaGM> ["Boy, lucky you didn't, though."-
[13:30] <@PersonaGM> […-
[13:31] <@PersonaGM> ["This is an arcade." Said Adrien grandly, gesturing at a glitzy, flashy arcade.-
[13:31] <@PersonaGM> ["But you already knew that, didn'tcha, you big nerd?"]
[13:34] <Ai> "I can read the sign, I guess that makes me a big nerd, huh." Ai said right back. "That might be too uh. Bright for her. … I kinda feel overstimulated just looking at it…"
[13:36] <@PersonaGM> ["So you're more for a dingy, hole-in-the-wall kind of arcade, huh?"]
[13:40] <Ai> "H-honestly I'm just not for an arcade. I might visit one with her on a tour but…" Ai said, shaking her head with a pout. "The dingy one would just be overstim with …darkness around the flashy lights."
[13:41] <@PersonaGM> ["Fair enough. What about board games?"]
[13:42] * Ai clapped her hands. "Oooh! Those would be great. Even if some might need a lotta players. …I w-wonder how good the translation of Catan is…"
[13:47] <@PersonaGM> ["Is that the game about sheep trading or whatever?"]
[13:53] <Ai> "Yeah? It's just an easy one to remember." She said. "I know there's like hundreds of others but I don't know tons about 'em."
[13:54] <@PersonaGM> ["Well that can be a shared experience. The joy of exploring board games together."]
[14:00] * Ai nodded again, smiling. "Even weird ones that end up playing badly, but you laugh about it…" Beat. "But we shouldn't play monopoly."
[14:05] <@PersonaGM> ["No. The only real estate you want to monopolise is… Well, I'll let you finish that one."]
[14:08] * Ai pouted, then let out a little whine! …She almost nudged Adrien in the side, but decided against it. "I j-j-j-just mean there's memes online about how it makes you hate everyone you play it with! …A-and I dunno about monopolizing or real estate or… aaaaaa." She blushed and fidgeted even more. "And it feels weird having to lead so much!"
[14:11] <@PersonaGM> ["… Yeah, see, this is why Roy teases you about being horny." Said Adrien, prodding Ai in the sides. "It's because you're so fun when you're teased."]
[14:13] * Ai nearly wobbled to the side at that prod, before just. Silently continuing to pout. "I g-guess then. … …It's just he's so… so… I dunno it felt more mean. Maybe I'm not used to it and was less used to it then.>"
[14:18] <@PersonaGM> ["Aww. Maybe you should have a serious heart to heart with him."]
[14:20] <Ai> "M… maybe." Ai admitted, looking down briefly.
[14:24] <@PersonaGM> ["Maybe take him out fishing."]
[14:27] <Ai> "…Really." Ai said with incredulity. "That sounds like one of those 'good idea until someone stares at you funny and thinks you're messing with them' things you come up with, Adie."
[14:39] <@PersonaGM> ["Well fine, you take him out somewhere then." Said Adrien, tossing his hair back.]
[14:40] <Ai> "I m-mean, yeah. Somewhere cool, I dunno. … I don't know what 40 year old, 60 year old, cathumans want to do anymore…"
[14:47] <@PersonaGM> ["He's in his forties. Anyway, you should just ask him."]
[14:48] <Ai> "Yeah. I guess I should, shouldn't I." She scratched the back of her head. "Cross-generational… so hard to do."
[14:51] <@PersonaGM> ["Maybe we could turn you into a cat, see if that helps."]
[15:32] <Ai> "…Please no." Ai said. "It's really bad and I'd have a short lifespan and I couldn't use the internet or kiss girls properly or talk (I guess he can talk so) or grow up to have… uh whatever life I was going to or…"
[15:36] <@PersonaGM> ["Fine, fine." Said Adrien, laughing.-
[15:37] <@PersonaGM> ["Tell you what, though. I want your little romance thing to succeed." He said. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a fistful of notes. "Consider this my contribution to your love-is-war chest. Take Reiko out somewhere nice, you know, that kind of thing."]
[15:44] <Ai> "H… how can you just… just give it out like…" Ai shook her head, wide-eyed."I… I feel like I shouldn't take it. You'll… insist. So I should. B-but. Do… you even use it? I…" She was sort of wavering in the lips, blushing confusedly.
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["Oh, you Japanese. Always so weird around gifts. It's free money! I won't even miss it. Imagine all the part time hours you'll get back in your life."]
[15:48] * Ai nodded. "…I… just don't like letting someone hurt themself for my sake. …But if you won't miss it, then I'm… not." She did think to that music store - hearing about it indirectly from Sachiko. She was so sick of stacking tubas, or trying desperately to push a piano, or hoping she found any reeds that got loose, or… "…Yeah."
[15:48] <Minaplo> ["Yeah." He handed the money over. "Remember, money doesn't buy you happiness, but it removes stressors."]
[15:52] <Ai> "I can sure believe it. Happiness is about like. Accomplishments! And actualization! And full-contact cuddling!" She said with a triumphant fistpump (with the hand that /didn't/ take the money).
[16:03] <Minaplo> ["I see you're gearing up for a different kind of heart to heart…"]
[16:06] <Ai> "I am ALLOWED to joke ironically-unironically about my lewd ambitions thankyouverymuch." Ai said with a determined - yet smug - grin.
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["Mmhmmm."-
[16:10] <Minaplo> ["Well, I'm heading in to have a feed. You coming with, or?"]
[16:11] <Ai> "Sure can!" Ai said. "Could use some grub, some chum, some morning rice."
[16:15] <Minaplo> ["Then off we go…"]

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