"Well, that's all for today, pack up and head out. Oh! And make sure you all do that homework for Friday!"
Yu gently stretched as the teacher dismissed the class for the day and walked out the door. As he begun to pack his textbooks into his bag, he heard Yosuke groan and sigh in relief behind him.
"Tired?" He asked the headphone wearing boy as he turned to look at him with a sweet smile on his face.
"Yeah, kinda... Sofue Sensei's lectures always seem to drag on way too long..." Yosuke chuckled as he massaged his neck and smirked back at Yu.
"It's not you actually listened to her, though..." Chie snarkily commented over her shoulder as she stood up from her seat.
"Like you have any room to talk... You were asleep for that entire lesson"
"N-No, I wasn't!"
Yu sighed awkwardly as the two began having one of their usual arguments. It was basically a daily situation at this point. However, before the argument could escalate, they were interrupted by Yukiko quietly giggling.
"Yes, you were, Chie! I could hear you snoring!" She announced while trying to hold back her giggles. Chie pouted while Yosuke smirked triumphantly.
"Well, it looks like Yosuke wins this round"
"Narukami, please shut up"
Yu couldn't help but chuckle at his friends' antics. He loved every single second he spent with them, but he knew it wouldn't last, he knew that he would have to leave them behind when the time came to go home. Yu quickly pushed the thought out of his mind before it could ruin his mood. "Are any of you free to hang out now?"
"Sorry Partner, I've gotta head to work... Dad'll probably be pissed if I ditch, plus someone's gotta keep an eye on Teddie..." Yosuke sighed while frowning slightly and raising his hand in an apologetic gesture.
"I'm sorry, Narukami, but I need to help out at the inn again today" Yukiko apologised as she bowed gracefully.
"Yeah, and I've gotta take my dog to the vet for a quick check-up... Sorry 'bout that, Narukami. Why don't you ask Kanji, Rise or Naoto?" Chie suggested as she shrugged nonchalantly. The silver haired boy shook his head with a soft smile.
"No, Kanji told me that he's gonna be giving Rise and Naoto sewing lessons today, so I figured it would be better to leave them be" He explained quietly.
"Really? Sewing? The girls don't really seem like they'd be interested in that..." Yosuke commented in surprise, tilting his head slightly and crossing his arms.
"Yeah, apparently Rise wanted to learn how to sew so she fix her clothes by herself. And, I think she told Naoto that it would be a good opportunity for her to bond with them" Yu shared all the information he had. Yukiko nodded thoughtfully.
"That sure sounds like Rise, alright..." Chie sighed, shaking her head softly. She grinned slightly as she turned her attention to the clock hanging above the blackboard. "Well, I'd better head out now, see you guys tomorrow!" She called out as she dashed out the room, waving goodbye. Yukiko smiled fondly as she began walking out the classroom.
"Don't forget to check the Midnight Channel!" Yosuke called out after them. "Same goes to you, Partner"
"Like I needed reminding" Yu retorted cheekily with a wry smirk.
"Good to hear! See ya, Partner. I'll text you if I'm able to hang out later, but if not, see ya tomorrow!" He called out to the silver haired boy in his usual cheerful voice as he jogged out of the classroom.
"Yeah, see you" Yu replied, waving slightly with his usual gentle smile on his face. After Yosuke had gone from his sight, that smile slowly faded as he looked down and sighed. "Looks like it's gonna be a quiet day by myself..." He mumbled quietly to himself as he picked up his bag and left school for the day.
As Yu carefully shut the front door behind him, he quietly sighed to himself. The Dojima household was much quieter than usual, as Dojima himself was staying at the police station for the night yet again and Nanako was having a sleepover at her friend's house. It was funny how much of a difference hearing 'Welcome home, Big bro!' made, but it was incredibly comforting. Yu didn't like silence. It was lonely and unnerving and just made him feel extremely isolated.
"I should probably get that homework out of the way, I guess" He muttered as he slowly wandered upstairs to his room. The silence amplified each step he took, echoing around the entire house. Yu slowly opened his bedroom door, which creaked loudly. Yu gently placed his school bag down next to the door and walked over to the drawers. 'Might as well get changed into some more comfortable clothes' he thought as he rummaged around for a shirt and some pants. "These should do" He mumbled to no one in particular as he picked some out of the drawer. As Yu began to get changed, his mind wandered back to the thoughts about him leaving Inaba and other things he didn't want to think about. That was another thing Yu hated about the silence: He was left alone with his thoughts. He always tried to act positive and cheerful, but he still had his own problems, he just didn't like to admit that. Yu carefully folded his school uniform and placed it into the drawer, ready for tomorrow. He slowly stretched his back before retrieving his homework sheet from his bag, sauntering over to his desk and sitting down to make a start on his assignment.
"Aaaaand finished" Yu sighed out as he finally placed his pen back down onto his desk as clicked his knuckles. As he was about to pick his phone up to check the time, it rang. Yu flinched at the sudden noise before composing himself and answering.
"Hey, is that you, Narukami? It's Kou." Yu masked his surprise at Kou's sudden call and responded with his usual calm voice.
"Hey Kou, yeah, it's me. Is there something wrong?"
"No, no, there's nothing wrong, I'm sorry if I'm bothering you..."
"It's fine, I'm actually not doing anything at the moment. Did you need something?"
"Well, uh, y'know how those exams are coming up soon? Daisuke and me are having a study session at my house and we were wondering if you could join us? I mean, neither of us are really all that good at studying... Heheheh..." Yu couldn't help but chuckle at Kou's awkwardness.
"Sure, lemme just get ready, I'll probably be about there in about 30 minutes, is that okay?"
"Great! Thanks, man! See ya then!"
"Yeah, bye" Yu giggled quietly to himself as a relieved smile spread across his face. He hated having nothing to, so Kou calling him out of nowhere was blessing. Yu checked the time on his phone: 6:30PM. It was already starting to get dark outside. 'I should probably get there quick, then' he thought. Dojima's cautious nature seemed to have rubbed off on him. The silver haired teen quickly gathered his stationery and homework and placed them back into his bag. He quickly checked to make sure that he had all of his textbooks, since Kou and Daisuke would probably ask for help with most subjects. After confirming that he had everything he needed, he grabbed his jacket and made his way downstairs, slipped his shoes on and strolled out of the front door, shutting it behind himself.
Yosuke was exhausted. He shuffled into his room, dragging his feet with every step. That bath he just had helped a little bit, but he just really wanted to collapse onto his bed and go to sleep. To take his mind off of his tiredness, Yosuke began furiously drying his hair. He could hear Teddie snoring contently from inside the closet. 'How come he's so tired? It's not like he actually did anything today...' Yosuke thought bitterly to himself. After throwing the now wet towel into the corner of his room and making a mental note to put it in the washing machine the next morning, Yosuke checked the time. 11:55PM, great, he didn't have to stay up much longer. Just five more minutes, then he could finally sleep. He stretched sleepily and grabbed the nearest volume of manga so he could keep himself entertained until midnight. Although, he couldn't really focus on what he was reading; partially because he kept glancing up at his clock and partially because he was too exhausted to actually process any of the words. Finally, he glanced up at clock which displayed 12:00AM and quickly sprang forward and sat right in front of his TV. Static covered the screen before it slowly began to clear to reveal a silhouette. Yosuke eagerly leaned forward. There was a silhouette, so he needed to focus. He needed to figure out who it was. While the silhouette slowly became clearer, it was still indistinguishable. Yosuke continued to lean towards the screen, squinting his eyes in the hopes that it would make the image clearer. It was weird. Yosuke couldn't identify the silhouette, but it felt strangely familiar to him... The picture was clear, but the silhouette was still indiscernible and facing away from the screen. It was then that a feeling of dread settled in Yosuke's stomach. He wasn't sure what, but something just felt wrong. The silhouette turned it's head slightly to face the screen over it's shoulder. That's when it hit Yosuke. He froze for a second before springing into action. He grabbed his phone from the table and frantically scrolled for the number he headed. He quickly pressed the 'call' button and lifted the phone to his ear, tapping his finger against it impatiently.
"C'mon, pick up the phone... Please..." He muttered anxiously, the dialling tone continued to sound out from his phone. With each passing second without an answer, Yosuke's anxiety grew. He felt his heart pounding against his chest as he started to panic. After a couple of minutes, Yosuke threw his phone to the side and rushed out his room, downstairs and out the front door.
"Yosuke?! Where are you going?! It's gone midnight!" He heard his mother call after him as he sprinted down the street. He didn't even bother to listen to her, though. He had something a lot more important to focus on. His head was swarming with thoughts of the worst possible outcomes as he ran through the town as fast as his legs could carry him. When he finally reached his destination, he stopped for moment, leaning on his knees and gasping for air. After finally recovering, he composed himself and rang the doorbell. No answer. Yosuke began tapping his foot as his anxiety skyrocketed once again. He rang the doorbell again. No answer. Rang once again. No answer. After a while, Yosuke gave up and decided to just enter the house.
"Sorry for barging in..." He whispered, feeling guilty as he carefully slid the door open and hesitantly stepped inside. He looked around the kitchen and living room. No one. Yosuke's stomach felt as if it was twisting itself into knots as he continued his search. He quietly tip-toed upstairs, flinching at each creak of the steps underneath his feet. Once he reached the top, he took a deep breath to calm himself and swung the bedroom door open. Empty. The entire house was empty. Yosuke's worst fears were realised.
"Dammit... Dammit!" He muttered, raising his voice's volume as he began to hyperventilate. "Yu! Where the hell are you?! Answer me! C'mon!" He yelled out desperately as he rushed out the house to search the streets again. He could feel the stares of people watching the crazy teenage boy running around town shouting, but he didn't care. He cared more about his best friend's safety than what people thought of him, they gossiped about him enough already, what's one more thing for them to gossip about? As he scoured the streets he stumbled across Naoto standing in the middle of road of the shopping district. He slowed down as he approached the blue haired detective.
"I see you figured it out as well..." She commented half-heartedly, looking down at her feet. Yosuke noticed the bag she was staring at. It was a Yasogami school bag with textbooks spilling out of it.
"What is that you're holding?" Yosuke nervously enquired when he noticed a small object in Naoto's hand. Naoto didn't say anything, she just silently extended her arm to display her discovery: Yu's phone. Yosuke felt his heart sink as he was forced to face the reality of the situation. "You've gotta be fucking kidding me..." He whimpered, burying his face into his hands.
"I'm afraid so, but we know what to do, correct? I know this may sound heartless, but we should stay calm, investigate and prepare for a trip into the TV... Is that okay?" Naoto spoke up, gently placing her hand onto Yosuke's arm in an attempt to comfort him. Yosuke took a breath and composed himself before speaking.
"Yeah... Yeah, you're right... We should let everyone else know what's happened and meet up at the Junes foodcourt tomorrow. Could you help me let everyone know? I'll tell Chie, Yukiko and Teddie; You tell Kanji and Rise" He announced, hiding his fear and acting as if he was in control of the situation.
"Of course. Well then, we should probably head home and prepare for tomorrow, then. Are you sure you'll be okay, Yosuke-Senpai?" Naoto replied, leaning towards Yosuke, waiting for his response.
"Yeah, well, I mean, of course I'm not fine, but I'll just have to deal with it..." He answered with a shaky breath as he ran his hand through his hair. Naoto gave an understanding nod and slowly walked away, periodically looking over her shoulder to check on Yosuke, who was stood in place, staring at the ground and clenching his fists.
"Don't worry, Yu... We're coming to save you, I promise..."