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Closing The Distance

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The thing about dating Naoto, other than the fact that she looked like a boy most of the time and sometimes made him feel super gay as a result, was that Yosuke had to lean down to kiss her. It wasn't a big deal or anything, but sometimes he wished he could just lean forward instead. All those surprise kisses that he'd seen in movies and practiced in his mind with Saki-senpai (and with the mirror, though he'd never admit it) were a lot harder to pull off when your girlfriend came fun-sized and wore a cap everywhere.

He'd brought it up once, half-jokingly, saying that he should get a massage from her because leaning down all the time was giving him back problems, but she ended up stomping on his foot and then giving him the Heimlich as he choked on his gum, so the issue was never discussed again. Rarely was Naoto self-conscious about herself, but her height seemed to be a sore spot.

Yosuke shifted uncomfortably, tugging at his collar as he and Naoto leaned back against a wall, watching a bunch of silver-spoon drunks dance around a grandiose ballroom, complete with red velvet curtains and a chandelier that looked more expensive than Yosuke's entire house put together. Naoto had been running an investigation on some rich politician and had been invited to the man's birthday party. She had been allowed one guest and, despite everyone’s insistence that he’d be nothing but a nuisance, had brought Yosuke along. However, since she was still presenting herself to the media as a boy, she and Yosuke had chosen matching tuxedos.

"Senpai," Naoto muttered out of the corner of her mouth, a glass of apple cider in her hand, "please stop your fidgeting. You're bringing attention to us."

"Sorry," Yosuke whispered back. "It's just that us coming together with matching suits and leaning together, it just looks kinda..."

She rolled her eyes. "I thought that you had gotten better at dealing with your issues towards-"

"I have!" Yosuke interrupted. It was true, too! He had given his earnest approval when Yukiko and Chie had come out and started dating (and it was not just because the mental images were ridiculously hot or anything) and he had helped Kanji out when his intimidating junior had struggled to ask out a guy from Okina city. Admittedly, that stemmed mostly from guilt over dating Naoto, but he had kept the teasing to a minimum. "But you're not gonna find anything out here. The party's winding down and the guy's refused to spill anything so far despite how many drinks he’d downed, so I doubt he'll do it at all. Besides, I feel too awkward to enjoy the party."

She hummed thoughtfully. "The fact that we’re not here to enjoy the party notwithstanding, I suppose you're correct. I don’t have the impression I’ll get anything useful from the remaining guests or the host.” She frowned, rubbing the bridge of her nose, and Yosuke knew in that moment that tonight’s failure would weigh on her for the rest of the night. “Let us take our leave, then."

Yosuke let out an internal sigh of relief and followed his girlfriend towards the host. He shook the man's hand and waited as he and Naoto exchanged pleasantries, fighting the impulse to tap his foot and ruin Naoto’s last attempt at salvaging the evening. When she broke away with a hollow laugh and stepped to Yosuke’s side, he knew the attempt had been a bust, and the two exited the building and signaled for the valet to fetch Yosuke's car.

As they were waiting, Yosuke saw Naoto glance back at the bright mansion where the party was being held, and beyond the frustration of not having gotten her mark, there was something like longing in her eyes. To distract her, he snatched her signature cap and ruffled her hair.

"Yosuke-senpai!" Naoto exclaimed, shrugging off his hand and reaching for her cap. Yosuke raised his arm as high as he could and smirked as Naoto tried and failed to reach her hat. "This is entirely too immature for you, senpai. Please return my hat."

"Nah," Yosuke grinned. "It's not my fault you're a midget, Naoto-kun."

"I am not a midget," Naoto snapped, giving up her endeavor and crossing her arms, looking as childish as she claimed he was acting. Damn, she really was cute when she was angry.

"My back says otherwise," Yosuke said, spinning the hat around.

"Are we having this conversation again, senpai?"

"I'm just saying."

"…does it really bother you that much?" Her voice was quiet, and Yosuke knew he’d crossed a line. He stepped closer to her, and took it as a good sign that she didn’t pull away. “In that case, I’ll-”

"I'll bring you to one of these one day," Yosuke interrupted, nodding towards the mansion, "and we'll enjoy ourselves this time. You can even wear a tux, if you want, though I'd love to show off and have you hanging off of my arm wearing a really awesome dress."

"I am not a trophy for you to display," Naoto said, "and bringing me to a luxurious party is completely unnecessary, especially if you will be uncomfortable all night due to my attire."

"Come on, I saw you glancing at the party. You don't have to lie to me," Yosuke said with a laugh. "And to answer your question, it doesn't bother me and neither would the tux. Leaning down and dealing with the stares, it doesn't matter. Not when it's for you."

Yosuke knew that he wasn't the smoothest talker and that someone could probably find something offensive in what he had just said, but he noticed the way Naoto's eyes softened and knew he'd scored some points. Then her tongue darted out to wet her lips and Yosuke realized that this was one of those movie moments, the one where he kissed her and fireworks exploded from the mansion behind them as Naoto realized how awesome of a boyfriend he was and the valet appeared to hand him the keys to an expensive sports car Yosuke knew he didn't own. He closed his eyes and leaned down, feeling the mood, the music from the party vibrating through his body, but stopped when he felt her hand press against his chest and push back.

He straightened up immediately, apologizing. "S-sorry, Naoto-kun! I just thought it was the right moment, I didn't mean to offend you or anything, it's just-" he rambled on, hoping the fireworks would explode anyway and stop him from talking and digging a bigger hole for himself.

The fireworks never came, but Yosuke did stop talking when Naoto leaned up on her toes and kissed him instead.