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A Meeting of Minds

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Ren disliked taking chances. He could try to befriend Suzuki, strike up a conversation ... hope Suzuki wouldn't hop on his desk again to demonstrate a particularly impressive fighting move and break the ceiling, Ren's chair and his own head in the process.

Instead, he just walked up to Suzuki and said: "Hey you. 10,000 yen if you want to come to my house after classes to play-test my new RPG."

Most people were interested in money, Ren reasoned; a true gamer could always use an extra few thousand yen to buy this or that new release - unless, of course, they were him.

Suzuki stared at him. "10,000 yen?"

Ren didn't feel like haggling - it was a good offer, so he just looked back saying nothing.

"Do I look like someone who's got 10,000 yen just lying around?" Suzuki asked, eyes going big and wobbly (annoyance or anger, Ren thought he could have dealt with more easily). "I thought you were a cool guy. Do you think this is funny?"

The lines were almost clichéd, except that they were usually spoken by the villain, when the hero had dealt him some perceived slight or offense, not when the hero (such as it was) seemed to be on the verge of tears.

"It's not - " Ren started, because clearly Suzuki had misunderstood.

"Sure, your last ten games were awesome and fabulous and amazing, but I bet this one sucks. Nobody gets it right all the time. Ha! I wouldn't even want to play-test your new game if you paid me for it!"

Ren rarely got angry. It was bad for business. He did have a certain gift for quiet menace, but that didn't seem quite appropriate here. "In fact, that was what I was offering."

Suzuki'd got a gamer's quick reflexes. One moment, he was standing on his desk, yelling, the next, he was in front of Ren, on his knees, eyes back to being big and wobbly with an added dose of the kind of pure, sheer adoration that usually made Ren felt a little uncomfortable. "You're totally as cool as people keep saying you are, Serizawa. I am unworthy."

Ren shrugged. It didn't quite sound as fake when Suzuki said it as it seemed to do when other people did, people who didn't know him at all (like Suzuki, really).

"I can totally skip Maths for this, right? Who needs that kind of stuff, anyway?"

Ren shrugged again. "It's come in pretty handy sometimes."

Suzuki struck a pose. "If you say so, that's good enough for me! To Maths!"