Yu sighed as he heard Nanako’s soft voice, announcing the visitor who had just knocked on their front door.
“H-hey, Nanako-chan… Um…Can I talk to your big brother for a moment?” The boy’s animated voice could be heard coming from outside the door, with somewhat of an embarrassed tone mixed in. ‘Well, he’d better be embarrassed.’ The silver-haired boy thought. ‘He’s deliberately going against Justice-For-Nanako Plan.’
This “Justice-For-Nanako Plan” was something that Narukami had warned and emphasized quite a lot to his friends though text messages, prior to his arrival in Inaba. Basically, he wanted to spend his whole first day in town with Nanako and only Nanako; that was to compensate for his last visit in town during Golden Week being spent almost exclusively with the Investigation Team… or with the Shadow Operatives, for that matter. Of course, it wasn’t his fault that a crisis such as the P1-Grand Prix and Sho Minazuki had happened at the first place, but still… Seeing Nanako’s sad face as he left felt like a punch to the gut… Of course, that got numbed as soon as he realized she got stuck inside the train leaving with him.
After giving a reasonable and moving speech to the train driver, the teen managed to get Nanako back to her father before leaving Inaba, but he promised her and himself that he’d play a lot with her next time he came back. He intended to keep that promise, and he WAS doing that, up until now, but here was Yosuke, potentially countering his efforts. Not that he didn’t want to be with his best friend, but the whole point of the Justice-For-Nanako Plan was for him to be able to focus solely on Nanako for the day. It was the beginning of the evening, and they were still in the middle of their drawing session!
Yu Narukami stood up, and boldly walked to the doorstep until he stopped besides Nanako. He saw his friend, who had an embarrassed look on his face, struggling to open up a smile. “Hey, partner. Could we…”
The other boy cut his words short. “Good evening, Yosuke Hanamura. It is quite a surprise to see you here.” He said, with a slight frown and intense eyes. He seriously wanted Yosuke to just back off and wait for tomorrow, since they were all going to meet up anyway, and let him give Nanako his full attention now. These thoughts, however, were brought to a halt when he saw his partner gaze down on his feet, with a visibly sad look. It occurred to him that Yosuke must have been in quite the distress, and was acting cheerful just now to hide it from Nanako.
“I… I know technically I shouldn’t be here, but…” He put his hands inside his pockets, and after a few seconds looked back at Narukami’s eyes. “It’s important. A lot. It’s something that has been eating away at me, and I feel like just waiting for tomorrow with everyone there… It’ll just make things worse. I want you to listen, and tell me what your thoughts about it are, afterwards.” The brown-haired boy finished, resolute.
Yu seemed to ponder seriously what he was being told, putting a finger under his chin. The truth is, he wasn’t wondering if he should comply to or dismiss Yosuke – this particular decision was already made in an instant; he was definitely going to help his friend. What the boy was really pondering is how he could do that… without completely neglecting his cousin, who had been paying close attention to them, still by Yu’s side. He felt like he should make a fast decision, for he didn’t want Nanako to say anything like “You can go with him, I’ll be fine by myself”. That would hurt too much to watch.
‘Honestly, the best course of action is the simplest.’ Yu thought, and suddenly raised his hand with his index finger pointing up. “We will have our talk, Yosuke. On one condition.”
Yosuke’s face livened up, and he opened a small, but warm smile. “Sure, partner! What do you need me to do?”
“…Get in. We’ll be having our conversation right here, with Nanako. You’ll be joining us in our activities. That’s the condition.”
The Junes boy opened his mouth after hearing that, visibly taken aback. Nanako gasped, looking frantically at her big bro, also very surprised. He did his best to maintain his composure, to show he was being serious. “I guarantee you that she will be helpful. Nanako is very smart and kind, so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. She has all my trust.” He finished, putting his hand on her shoulder.
The little girl gasped again, this time with sparkling eyes. “R-Really?!” The silver-haired boy nodded, with a smile. “Yaaaay!!” Was all she could say, with a big smile of her own and a blush on her cheeks.
Yosuke was quiet during all this, his mouth slowly closing as he heard them. He scratched the back of his hair, seeming thoughtful for a moment. “Well… I guess it wouldn’t be bad…” He finally said, with a half-grin, looking at Nanako. “But I do need to ask you both to keep it a secret, okay? Do you think you can keep it only between the three of us, Nanako-chan?” He gave a playful grin, together with a blink. She happily complied with a nod, and as soon as he took off his shoes to enter she grabbed his hand, excitedly bringing him to the living room.
Yu watched all this with a smile. He was glad that Nanako was so happy, and he knew that Yosuke too had a soft spot for her, so everything would work out. Even if it had taken some improvisation, Justice-For-Nanako Plan was still going smoothly... 'Huh?' Suddenly, something scary crossed the boy’s head, as he closed the front door. ‘Wait… This problem… It’s not something child unfriendly, is it? I don’t want Nanako to ask me later about nurses or even about secret hiding spots for p…’ He cut his thoughts short, and immediately asked Yosuke from across the living room.
“Um, partner… What is this problem about, exactly?” His voice sounded somewhat concerned, and the brown-haired boy didn’t really understand why.
“Oh, um… It’s about…”
He averted his eyes from Yu, moments before sitting on the floor besides Nanako, close to the sofa. He then finished his sentence with a serious voice, his gaze still away.
“It’s about a girl.”