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In-Between Palaces

Chapter Text

"I think I've figured you two out." Futaba said one warm October afternoon.

It had been a lazy day, and a short trip to Mementos to take down a single target led the Thieves to take a break in Ren's room. Ryuji had been playing a game on a hand-held console, Ann had been dozing off on the couch, Yusuke was snacking from a box of pocky, Haru and Makoto had been doing homework, and Futaba had been fussing with the leader's laptop on his workbench when she spoke. Ren sat up from his bed, squinting over at her, along with Morgana, who had been resting at his side. He grunted.

"Yeah? What's that?"

"It's so simple I can't believe I never figured it out." she said proudly. "Morgana's a human on the inside..."

"But of course." Morgana agreed with a nod, sitting at attention.

"... and Ren is a cat on the inside."

The leader paused, staring at Futaba blankly for a moment while Ryuji began to snicker. "Um... beg pardon?"

"It's like this," Futaba said with a shrug, beginning to list off her fingers, "you hate water. You attack anyone who touches your stomach, even when you're lying on your back. You're flexible and always land on your feet. You can stretch in really weird angles and positions like it's nothing. You face your back to people you don't trust. Ren-kun..." She grinned. "You're a kitty, CONFIRMED."

"I am not!" he protested on impulse, and Ryuji's snickering erupted into full-blown laughter. The girls at the table began snickering, Yusuke was rubbing his chin approvingly as he looked over Ren, and Morgana looked down for a moment, pondering, before nodding at Futaba.

"I see. That makes a great deal of sense." He turned his attention to Ren. "Listen, there's no shame in being a cat. Let's find a way to switch bodies to return our souls to their proper vessels."

"No!" Ren cried. "I'm not a cat!"

"That's exactly something a cat would say!" Futaba protested. "We have proof! Embrace your inner animal!"

"Ren-kun, you would make an adorable cat. The cutest." Haru gushed, and Ann giggled, sitting up on the couch.

"It all makes sense now..."

Ren stared at her, utterly scandalized and wide-eyed, and he pouted. "Not you, too!"

"Shh. Ren." Morgana soothed, putting his paw on his hand. "It's okay to be who you are, Leader. Accept it. Embrace the cat..."