Naoto-kun's disappeared. Perfect. Soji's having trouble carrying Rise back to the hotel since she's still biting his ear. Yosuke hopes she won't remember that tomorrow. He and Chie have Yukiko bobbing back and forth between them, their arms linked to hold the girl upright. They'll get in so much trouble if they're caught. Kashiwagi may not be as much of a hard ass as King Moron was, and it was her fault that she'd booked them all at some love hotel, former love hotel whatever. But she was still their teacher and chaperone for this stupid trip, and they could all get expelled.
"Yosuke-kun, you smell like candy!" Yukiko whispers loudly, and he rolls his eyes. Either the girls' and Teddie's drinks had been spiked or something was seriously weird here.
"Yukiko, be quiet," Chie tells her, and Yosuke feels Yukiko getting tugged closer to the other girl. Chie can really be a grouchy old lady when she needs to.
Teddie is dancing in the streets. "I love candy, can we get some candy, I want some candy!"
"Shut up, bear!" Kanji shouts, trying to yank Teddie back onto the sidewalk. "Would you walk normal already? You're not drunk!"
"Did I ever tell you all that I turned down a commercial for underwear? I would have had to wear a thong on TV. In front of everyone," Rise is announcing to anyone in the streets who'd care to listen, and Yosuke's nerves are almost shot. "Wait, where's my shoe?"
Yukiko is almost limp, and he and Chie are almost dragging the poor girl through the streets of Port Island. "Yosuke, stop," Chie says, letting the others continue on ahead. "We have to carry her."
"Because that's working out so well for Soji," he retorts, gesturing ahead to where Rise is trying to scramble out of his arms. Kanji leaves Teddie in the street and hurries over to help Soji, and nothing but cursing comes out of the tough boy's mouth for the next several moments as he tries to put Rise's shoe back on while Soji's still walking.
Chie fixes him with a glare. Her cheeks are pink – whether from half-carrying Yukiko several blocks or from whatever they'd been drinking at the club, he can't tell. "What if I take the top and you take her feet? Or um, hmm..."
"On top? Chie, you're dirty," Yukiko says, almost collapsing in one of her patented fits of giggles.
"Would you stop so I can get the fucking shoe on her foot?" Kanji is screaming from down the street, and Yosuke knows that they've pretty much been left behind. Teddie's nowhere to be found – he's probably collapsed in a gutter, or hopefully, he's ahead with Soji and the others.
Chie's still staring at him angrily while Yukiko sags between them. "Chie, you don't want Yosuke-kun to carry me," the dark haired girl says with a laugh, and Chie looks furious.
Yosuke's confused. This night's been strange enough. "Come on, Yukiko. You're going to walk," Chie tells her, making her stand up straighter. Without looking at him, Chie pulls away, dragging Yukiko along even though just seconds earlier she'd wanted to carry her. Yosuke's brought along for the ride, and Yukiko's skin is so warm.
Kanji's yelling has died down, so the others have gotten ahead of them. "We're almost there. We'll just...go in through the back, alright?" he tells Chie.
Chie nods, and Yukiko's grown quiet again, thankfully. They reach Shirakawa Boulevard, and he keeps his head down, trying not to make eye contact with any of the people visiting the place for their...needs. He feels one woman run her fingers through his hair and call him pretty, but otherwise, most shouts come from salarymen yelling at Yukiko and Chie. He thinks he hears one of them shout "Threesome!" and another "Show us your tits, schoolgirls!" but he pretends not to hear.
Couples are going to and fro, entering and exiting the hotels along the boulevard, and it smells. Like perfume and cologne and something else in the air, and he wishes the salty sea breeze would flood his nose instead of this stuff. They reach the entrance to the hotel, and by then, he and Chie have communicated wordlessly and picked Yukiko up. Chie walks backwards through the hotel alley, holding Yukiko under her arms while he follows holding the girl's feet.
Don't look up the skirt, he tells himself. Don't even dare. Chie's got eyes like a hawk where her best friend is concerned. They reach the back door of the hotel. "Do you have the swipe card?" he asks, and Chie nods.
"In my pocket." They stare at each other a few seconds, trying to figure out the best way to extract the card from Chie's jacket where it's tied at her waist. She finally lets Yukiko down as he lowers the girl's feet. Chie then passes the now sleeping girl to him, leaning all of her weight against him. He staggers a bit, not thinking that Yukiko would be such dead weight. She probably doesn't weigh much at all, but still, Chie could have given him a second's warning.
The swipe card beeps as Chie puts it through, and the rear door of the hotel opens. Chie holds the door as he hoists Yukiko up and carries her inside, depositing her back on the floor at the bottom of the staircase. He hears a bit of noise in front. Teddie's distinctive voice and Kanji's swearing – the others got back okay. Yosuke hopes that they're not going to make much more noise to wake up Kashiwagi or one of their kiss-up classmates.
"Yukiko and I are sharing, top floor."
"Top floor?" Yosuke moans, knowing that heading to the lobby and the elevator there would be easily noticed by the hotel staff. The last thing they needed to see was Yukiko passed out drunk. Although she wasn't, was she? He sighs, hoping the others are having better luck. "Look, I got her."
Chie makes a disapproving noise as he picks up Yukiko in his arms. The girl walks up the stairs behind him, probably to make sure he doesn't drop her best friend. They've spent all this time in the TV together, and Chie can't trust him with something like this? Then again, Chie's been acting weird since they left Club Escapade.
He reaches the first landing, Chie at his heels. "So, what did you think of that King game?" he asks innocently, although he knows she's probably furious behind him. Soji had picked Chie to sit on his lap and he'd never seen the girl so embarrassed before.
"Why? Jealous?" Chie spits back, and he almost drops Yukiko.
"Need a break? I can carry her for the next floor. I've probably got better upper body strength than..."
"Wait. Why would I be jealous?" he asks, turning around on the next landing to face Chie. She has to take a step back to avoid Yukiko's leg as he swings her around.
"Jealous that Soji got to be the King," she says quietly. "Maybe you wanted the opportunity to have someone sit on you, or lay their head on your lap."
She joins him on the landing, holding out her arms. "My turn, okay?" He awkwardly hands Yukiko over, his hand brushing against the bare skin of Chie's arms. Where Yukiko was warm, Chie's skin is chilly, a little sweat slick from hurrying all the way back from the club. He suspects that he feels equally sweaty to her, probably even more gross after carrying Yukiko up two flights of stairs.
When Chie continues up, he follows this time. "Look, we're all stressed. It was a weird night. I'm sorry I said anything."
They continue up two more flights quietly, and Yukiko is mumbling in her sleep against Chie's shoulder. Was he jealous of Soji? Not like he'd turn down a chance for Risette in his lap, but Chie was being really weird. You don't want Yosuke-kun to carry me, Yukiko had said. What the hell? Did Chie like him?
Chie set Yukiko down outside their door, leaning her friend against him again. Yukiko wrapped her arms around him and sighed happily. The girls' floor was quiet, and he didn't miss Chie's attempt to hide a frown as she dug the swipe card back out of her jacket. The card beeped in the door, and there was a green blinking light. He lifted Yukiko and followed Chie inside, laying the girl down on the first bed in the room.
"Well, my room's downstairs, so..."
"Right. See you tomorrow then."
The door clicks behind him, and he moves quietly down the hallway, trying not to make any noise. This floor was definitely off limits to him. He wonders how Soji and Kanji will even get Rise up here, supposing they could get her onto the elevator without waking the whole hotel up. He exits, getting back to the rear stairwell. The door at the top opens again when he's at the landing for his floor.
He waits, and Chie's standing a step above him seconds later so that they're the same height. "I'm sorry if I was mean to you. I just didn't want anything to happen to Yukiko. And you were really gentlemanly this whole night, all things considered so..."
Does she like him? He can't wipe that from his mind. Sure, they've had their issues, mostly stemming from her shitty cooking and his cracking of her dvd all those months ago, but...Chie Satonaka? He'd seen her almost every day now, and he'd never even thought...well, had he?
"Yosuke, you okay?"
"Oh, sure." He hesitates, wondering if he's supposed to say something or ask what Yukiko meant earlier. He doesn't even know what he's feeling, other than lightheaded from carrying the other girl. Chie's lips are kind of pink, and he can't help but think about what it would be like to kiss her. Why? Why can't he just go down to his room and sleep this off?
"Well, I just wanted to say thanks. Good night then." Her eyes are dark, and her cheeks are still flushed. She turns around and hurries up the stairs, and he doesn't move until the door to her floor shuts completely. He heads down to his floor, confused as hell, and remembers that Soji's got their room swipe card. He sits down and waits.
Finally, the other boy appears, looking as exhausted as he feels. "Sorry," Soji mumbles, pulling the card from his pocket with a sigh. "Rise was...a bit difficult."
"Looked like it." He follows Soji into the room and flops down on his bed. "So..."
"Hmm?" The other boy's got his bag, and he's probably heading down the hall to the bathroom.
What's it like having Chie-chan on your lap? He doesn't ask, shaking his head. "Never mind, dude. Good night." He rolls onto his side, pulling the pillow over his head.