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The Headphones

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Yosuke had a lot of good memories from Inaba.

This fact caught him off-guard a lot of the time, considering how much he’d hated the little town when he’d first moved there, but the fact was that he did have a lot of good memories. Enough, in fact, to overshadow all of the bad ones. Memories of hanging out with the Investigation Team, memories of fighting Shadows in the TV world - and, yes, even good memories of Saki, from before she died. But by far his favorite memories were those of the time he spent with Souji.

It made sense, really. He’d spent almost all of his time with Souji, when his Partner had still been in Inaba at least, so of course he’d have more good memories with him than anyone else. But it wasn’t just that, of course. It was only natural to have a lot of good memories with the person he fell in love with...although he’d been deeply in denial about that fact for almost all of that short year.

Out of all of the memories he had of Souji, though, his favorite was of a day in March, from just before Souji had left to go back to live with his parents in the city. It was a warm Sunday, and it was a rare day when neither of them actually had any plans at all. For once, no homework, no part-time jobs, no requests from one of Souji’s many friends to hang out...nothing. The case had been over for months, so there was no danger there either. It had been a long time since they’d just had a day to relax and hang out with each other, and since it was nice and warm, they’d decided to go to what was becoming their default hangout location during good weather: the Samegawa riverbank.

They were out there for hours on that nice spring day, enjoying the gentle breeze and the quiet sounds of the river, and just talking. Just talking, and sitting beside each-other on the river bank, thighs pressed together and just enjoying the moment. At one point their conversation had turned to music, as it tended to with Yosuke. At first, early on in their friendship, Yosuke had apologized for always wanting to talk about music, but Souji had responded adamantly that he liked hearing Yosuke talk about it. That was one of the many (many, many) things that Yosuke loved about him.

This memory was particularly good, though, because it had ended up with Souji sitting on the bank of the river, Yosuke’s headphones over his ears and a serene expression on his face, as he listened to a new album that Yosuke had just gotten. The sunlight washed over him just perfectly, and Yosuke hadn’t been able to resist taking his phone out to get a picture. Souji had noticed him and given him a small, soft smile. The picture was the background of his phone now. He’d been embarrassed the first time that Chie had called him out on it, but now he didn’t feel any shame at all. That picture of his boyfriend giving him a small, soft smile, wearing his headphones, sunlight highlighting his hair and making it look like polished silver… it had gotten him through some difficult times, to say the least. Sometimes he unlocked his phone and found himself marvelling over the fact that Souji liked him , of all people he’d chosen him

It made all the long weeks of only being able to talk to him through the phone a little bit more bearable. It made hard shifts at Junes a little less terrible. It helped with the wait until Yosuke graduated and could move to the city to live with Souji and go to college with him. It was a good picture, and Chie could tease him all she wanted. (He just retaliated by pointing out that her phone background was a selfie of her with Yukiko, and she usually shut up after that.)

Yosuke had a lot of good memories of Inaba...but he couldn’t quite wait to be able to leave the small town and head back to the city. That much hadn’t changed, but the reasons were different now. It caught him off-guard, to think that so much had changed in so little time. When people asked if he liked Inaba, he could honestly say that he did...but he could also say with complete honesty that he couldn’t wait to leave. After all, Souji was waiting in Tokyo.