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[13:17] <Hideki> The setting sun poured tangerine rays of light through the windows of the dorm at 5 Soejima Road. It was Friday, a peaceful end to a busy week. Hideki had come home, changed out of his uniform, and for once had decided to bum around the place instead of heading to the gym, going for a jog, or shamelessly doing shirtless push-ups in the backyard to keep in shape. -
[13:28] <Hideki> For now he was in the lobby, very innocently and inconspiciously reading a large newspaper from a seat that had a partial view of the entryway to the dorm. Next to Ms. Asahina's tollbooth, just out of her reach, was small square of chocolate cake that had been wrapped in cellophane and left on a paper plate. Not that it was any concern to Hideki. Who was reading the news, of course.
[13:33] <@PersonaGM> ["You're an asshole." Said Roy, leaping up onto the armchair next to Hideki.]
[13:35] <Hideki> "Wha-?" He squinted at Roy. "Uncalled for."
[13:36] <@PersonaGM> ["Ji-Hu gave you the tip, and now you're using it to satisfy your own callous curiosity!"]
[13:40] <Hideki> "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. I'm just sitting here reading about the Prime Minister's latest sex scandal."
[13:41] <@PersonaGM> ["Really? And what does it say?"]
[13:42] <Hideki> "Uh… he paid off a lady of the evening… Something about hush money and a lawyer, uh… you know how these things go."
[13:44] <@PersonaGM> ["Well you'd better keep an eye on it. A scandal of that size could influence the Sea." Said Roy seriously.]
[13:46] <Hideki> "R-right. That's actually a good point." He paused. "It doesn't take much, does it?"
[13:48] <@PersonaGM> ["Sea's a volatile place." Said Roy. "Honestly I was kind of expecting it might start playing up around now… The world's been pretty upset recently."]
[13:52] <Hideki> "That can't be anything new, though. There have always been shakeups and scandals and stuff."
[13:54] <@PersonaGM> ["Sure, but it's not always flat."]
[13:56] <Hideki> "Eh? What do you mean?"
[13:58] <@PersonaGM> ["Some years are less incidental, others are more incidental. It's not evenly distributed."]
[14:06] <Hideki> "Oh. True enough." Hideki lowered the newspaper and set it aside. "It's gotta be stressful keeping an eye on that stuff. What do you do to take your mind off it?"
[14:11] <@PersonaGM> ["Good question. Hang out with Ms. Asahina, go for a run in the park, sneak around…"]
[14:17] <Hideki> "Hm. You get out of town much?"
[14:18] <@PersonaGM> ["Yeah, I take the train all the time." Said Roy drily.]
[14:22] <Hideki> "Yeah, didn't think so. Want to come with me the next time I get to go somewhere?"
[14:23] <@PersonaGM> ["Yeah, why not. What kind of places do you frequent?"]
[14:28] <Hideki> "Usually when I'm heading out of town, it's because of a baseball game. But I can go other places too. A beach or a concert or hiking in the mountains."
[14:40] <@PersonaGM> ["The beach, eh? Haven't been to a beach in awhile…"]
[14:42] <Hideki> "Let's plan on it, then. We'll keep it a secret from Ji-Hu too…"
[14:46] <@PersonaGM> ["Good thinking. Glad to know you're enough of a bro to pass on seeing your girl in a swimsuit for my benefit."]
[14:53] <Hideki> "There will be other chances." Hideki sighed. "Besides, it's for my sake too. Sometimes she gets into this jealous mode. If we're at a beach there are gonna be a lot of other people in swimsuits too, if you get what I'm saying."
[14:58] <@PersonaGM> ["Oho. So you wanna go perv without hassle."]
[15:03] <Hideki> "Hey, don't go around spreading unfounded rumors. Do I look like the sort of guy who goes around perving on other girls?"
[15:30] <@PersonaGM> ["Uh, yes."]
[15:44] <Hideki> "Well I don't," he huffed. "It's like… the reason we don't visit each others' clubs after school. It's distracting for both of us, and it leads to arguing and stuff."
[15:45] <Minaplo> ["Seriously…?"]
[15:49] <Hideki> "What? Is that weird?"
[15:51] <Minaplo> ["I mean, if you guys can't even go to each other's clubs without arguing, that sounds like a relationship issue."]
[16:02] <Hideki> "Heh. It's not that serious…"
[16:04] <Minaplo> ["Oh yeah?"]
[21:58] <Hideki> "Every relationship has its complications. Doesn't mean it's a serious issue."
[22:03] <PersonaGM> ["Okay. So if it's a trivial issue, then you can tell me what's going on… Right?"]
[22:05] <Hideki> "I mean… I did just tell you. It's a jealousy thing. A trust thing?"
[22:06] <PersonaGM> ["Has that always been there?"]
[22:09] <Hideki> "Nah. When we got together it was really laid back. All fun and games, y'know? But that was a year ago. Maybe things're getting more intense these days."
[22:10] <PersonaGM> ["Hmm… More serious? Long term?"]
[22:12] <Hideki> "Serious. Yeah. I dunno about long term. Are we gonna stick together after high school…?"
[22:16] <PersonaGM> ["Do you want to?"]
[22:18] <Hideki> "Wouldn't mind it."
[22:26] <PersonaGM> [Roy settled down next to Hideki and was silent for a minute.-
[22:26] <PersonaGM> ["I sound like a guidance counsellor. Sorry."]
[22:30] <Hideki> "Nah. You're nowhere near as annoying as they are." Hideki found himself resisting the very strange urge to pat him. -
[22:31] <Hideki> "Just the other day, one was pestering me about being - get this - unambitious."
[22:31] <PersonaGM> ["Why'd they say that?"]
[22:37] <Hideki> "Because I didn't have time to listen to him go on about a lot of post-high-school junk. Universities this, employment that. Why can't they just, like, let us -be-. Like wild flowers, growing free in the moment."
[22:38] <PersonaGM> ["Sounds nice. Just doing your own thing in the present." Said Roy.]
[22:40] <Hideki> "You say that like you can't do the same thing."
[22:41] <PersonaGM> ["It's different."]
[22:45] <Hideki> "Yeah?"
[22:58] <PersonaGM> ["The counsellors are trying to get you to think about your future, and you're choosing to focus on the present. That's fine, but the thing is that it's a choice." Said Roy. "I don't have any such choice."]
[23:02] <Hideki> "…"-
[23:02] * Hideki rubbed his face. "Sorry."
[23:08] <PersonaGM> ["Why're you apologising?"]
[23:13] <Hideki> "Cause it feels like I said something thoughtless. Your life is pretty complicated."
[23:13] <PersonaGM> ["That it is." Said Roy. "But then again, I'm not the one who can't go to my girlfriend's club."]
[23:21] <Hideki> "'s just a bunch of girls talking about politics and history and dressing up for events," Hideki mumbled. "I'm not missing out."
[23:23] <PersonaGM> ["I figured you at least would be able to appreciate girls dressing up and talking about things they know a lot about."-
[23:23] <PersonaGM> ["Ooh, that might be part of the problem, huh, you pervert?"]
[23:27] <Hideki> "You sure like to slander people's characters." Hideki reached over and tried to flick Roy on the forehead.
[23:33] <PersonaGM> [Roy batted the hand away. "Are you saying you don't have a kimono fetish?"]
[23:37] <Hideki> "Like you don't! Or any other healthy dude."
[23:43] <PersonaGM> ["Weirdo."]
[23:51] <Hideki> "I'm just honest with myself. You should be too."
[00:02] <PersonaGM> ["Well if I'm being honest with myself… I have a cat's body."]
[00:17] <Hideki> "That you do," Hideki admitted. He glanced over to where he had left the cake earlier. Was it still there?
[00:33] <PersonaGM> [Nope.]
[21:26] * Hideki turned sharply toward the toll booth, hoping to catch it least a shadow, some movement, or some clue about its occupant.
[21:26] <PersonaGM> [Not a thing.]
[21:27] <Hideki> Damn… -
[21:28] <Hideki> "You and Asahina really do make a good team," he said, eying Roy sullenly.
[21:30] <PersonaGM> [Roy smiled (which was weird on a cat and made him bare his teeth). "When you work closely with another for a long time, you can pull off some pretty cool shit."]
[21:41] <Hideki> "Oh yeah?" He tilted his head. "Think our little group will get like that eventually?"
[21:47] <PersonaGM> ["…"]
[21:55] * Hideki broke down into laughter. "Never mind. Even just a fraction of your teamwork would be pretty cool!"
[21:57] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, it would at that. But part of being a Persona user means knowing that teamwork has to extend outside of the team."]
[21:59] <Hideki> "Eh? You mean like coaches and managers and stuff?"
[22:02] <PersonaGM> ["No. What I'm saying is… The better you are at building relationships and teamwork with people out there, the better you'll be in here."]
[22:05] <Hideki> "So we should party it up as much as possible, then. Sounds good to me!"
[22:06] <PersonaGM> ["Especially with Ji-Hu."]
[22:11] <Hideki> "No worries about that." He winked. "Thanks for rooting for us."
[22:17] <PersonaGM> ["S'all good, man." Said Roy. He rolled onto his back. "I honestly kinda wish she'd been Persona'd up too, even if it is dangerous."]
[22:18] <Hideki> "She's got the willpower for it. Probably."
[22:19] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah. And everyone seems to like her. It'd probably make the team easier to build." Said Roy.-
[22:20] <PersonaGM> [He sighed. "Honestly, Adrien being the wild card is kind of bullshit. I mean I'm sure he'll grow into it, but unlike Ji-Hu he has a real trait of bringing out the worst in everyone."]
[22:21] * Hideki snickered. "Yeah." -
[22:25] <Hideki> "He's trying hard. He just doesn't know what he's doing, 'cause he's not good with people. Following your logic, I should introduce him to more people. It might mellow him out."
[22:25] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah…"-
[22:26] <PersonaGM> ["I try not to worry about these things as it's more Ai's thing, but I do wonder why Adrien, and not someone else…"]
[22:28] <Hideki> "Does there have to be a reason? I thought it was just luck."
[22:29] <PersonaGM> ["It's not luck, but I don't know how it actually works."]
[22:35] <Hideki> "Maybe we can learn that from watching him."
[22:35] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, maybe."]
[22:37] <Hideki> "Can we keep notes in our little glowy book things?"
[22:38] <PersonaGM> ["Yeah, of course. You can keep notes just by thinking about it, too."]
[22:39] <PersonaGM> ["Actually your book automatically logs your every move and thought… Did Ai and Sachiko tell you that?"]
[22:40] <Hideki> "E-every thought?" But Hideki relaxed after a split second. "It's not like anyone else can read it, though."
[22:41] <PersonaGM> ["Uh-huh. Probably a good thing. Sicko."]
[22:41] <Hideki> "You always think the worst of me," he complained.
[22:43] <PersonaGM> ["Well, you shouldn't be thinking of soaking Ji-Hu's kimono in ice water."]
[22:54] <Hideki> "You think I'm that easily influenced? I'm totally not imagining something like that in perfect, intimate detail."
[23:03] <PersonaGM> ["Prove it, you lech."]
[23:04] <Hideki> "I'm not psychic, so there's no way I can."
[23:04] <PersonaGM> ["Show me your book!"]
[23:06] <Hideki> "Nope! Wait. We can make them appear here? In this world?"
[23:07] <PersonaGM> ["Goddamnit, Hideki." Roy shook his head. "Where's your Smarttome? Your persona phone?"]
[23:07] * Hideki fished it out of his pocket and peered down at it.
[23:08] <PersonaGM> [Roy took Hideki through a quick tutorial showing him how he could access all of the tome's usual bookish features, right there on his smartphone, albeit with a smartphone interface… Including a database of action and thought logs dating back to when he awakened.]
[23:12] <Hideki> A log he took great care not to open up right in front of Roy for too long. He cleared his throat. -
[23:12] <Hideki> "Well that clears some things up. Thanks."
[23:13] <PersonaGM> [Roy smirked.-
[23:13] <PersonaGM> ["Use this power for good, not ill. Now, I'm gonna go and have some cake."]
[23:14] <Hideki> "There's more in the fridge if she didn't save any for you." Hideki distractedly fiddled with his phone.
[23:14] <PersonaGM> ["Oh, yeah, guess I'll just open that with my little cat paws."]
[23:15] <Hideki> "Or you could let me do it. There's enough for everyone!"
[23:16] <PersonaGM> ["Now you're speaking my language."]
[23:21] <PersonaGM> [ Thou art I; I art thou.-
[23:21] <PersonaGM> [ Thou hast glimpsed a new path of thine heart, with which to rewrite your story.-
[23:21] <PersonaGM> [ With the first meeting of the Lovers Arcana and the Hanged Man Arcana, the beginning of your transformation and that of the world begins.]

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