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Guiding Hands

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“Seriously?” Akira set his drink back down on the table with a thunk, staring around at his team in disbelief.

It had been Ann’s idea to play Never-Have-I-Ever, as they all got drunk off of alcohol that Ryuji had convinced Iwai to buy them. The proper celebration for getting through Okumura’s palace was going to be Destinyland the coming weekend, but that didn’t stop them from having a little fun beforehand. Never have I ever had sex seemed like the easiest one in the world, but when the chips fell, metaphorically of course, Akira had been the only one to drink.

“My whole team is nothing but virgins?” he said blankly.

Ann shrugged, midway through her third drink. “It’s not like I wanna be,” she said. “I just...haven’t done it yet.”

The rest of the group was nodding along in agreement. Akira sighed. “Well, that’s...not quite what I was expecting to learn tonight.”

“It’s Yusuke’s turn,” Haru chirped. Yusuke looked like he was about to nod off, despite having only had a single glass of vodka and mixer, but he thought hard for a moment.

“Never have I ever taken my easel to the planetarium and attempted to paint the splendor of the night sky. I should do that.”

“I don’t think Inari knows how this game works,” Futaba said, as no one drank, and the others giggled in agreement. But they were having fun, so in the end, it didn’t really matter.

***

Unfortunately for Akira’s mildly drunken thoughts, that wasn’t the end of it. At the end of the night, the people still functioning were cleaning up the empty bottles and discarded plastic cups. Akira was halfway through trying to wrestle the ruined plastic tablecloth into the trash bag, when Yusuke, who most of them had thought passed out half an hour ago, said hazily, “If none of us want to be virgins, why can’t we just ask Akira for help?”

Akira almost dropped the trash bag, and Haru said wonderingly, “That would make sense. He is really attractive. And we trust him.”

“Dude, yeah. Yo, Akira, would you be into that?” Ryuji called.

Akira turned very slowly to look at them all. “Uh…” He wasn’t going to lie and say that his team wasn’t attractive, and it wasn’t like he didn’t have the experience to help them out, but this was the last thing he’d expected. And none of them were the person he had a crush on, unfortunately. But his slightly fuzzy brain seemed to approve of the idea, and he shrugged. “Sure. Just, uh, not all at once.”

“This is completely inappropriate,” Makoto said, a note of panic in her voice, and Ryuji scoffed.

“You don’t have to play along if you don’t want to, Student Council President,” he mocked.

“I...I didn’t say I didn’t want to…” she stammered, and Akira winked at her.

“It could be fun,” he said, and Makoto turned red.

“Y-Yeah…”

They finished cleaning up the attic without bringing it up again, and as Akira found enough pillows and blankets for everyone, he was positive that no one was even sober enough to remember this conversation in the morning.

He was mistaken.