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Now Comes the Night

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what I see is what's to be; cartwheels to eternity
'round and 'round my head she goes (in the good dreams, though, she wears no clothes)

The details that stand out in starkest clarity are sensory; the heat of her body and the softness of her skin, and it doesn't particularly bother him that he can't remember the events leading up to having her arms around his shoulders, her body pressed close against his. He loops one arm around her waist, lets the other drift, and when she moves against him, warm breath feathering against his collar, he can't fathom a thought that isn't wanting her closer still. He lets his hands find subtle curves and pulls her against himself, and the soft, breathy sound she makes in response sends pleasure thrumming through his senses.

He wants her like he's never wanted anything before, and means to tell her that, but her long, slender fingers tangle in his hair and pull him into a desperate, passionate kiss that steals the words away before they come. When she moves away, she's still close enough for him to feel warm whispers of her breath against his lips, and the thought has only just occurred to him that he should open his eyes when she presses a hand over them and moves her body against his a second time.

"No," she whispers against his skin, almost inaudible, and kisses a trail along his jaw while her free hand finds the hem of his shirt, fingertips flirting with the waist of his jeans, "Not yet."

He wants to ask why, struck with the sudden compulsion that he needs to see her because, because, because--

His hands find the sides of her face, and hers find the back pockets of his jeans to pull him against her, and he kisses her soft and slow and wanting before opening his eyes to darkness.

The room is cold, something that neither his futon nor the uncomfortable restriction of his bedclothes do anything to distract him from, and Yosuke grumbles irritably before turning on his side and stubbornly trying to return to his pleasant dream. Sleep doesn't come easily, and when it does, it is vast and dreamless.

She's waiting for him at the riverbank, back turned, facing the water, and with the way the sun is setting over the horizon it's almost picturesque. He's not surprised to see her, somehow; was expecting her, which is strange, because he doesn't remember agreeing to meet her here, but somehow he's sure that's what's happened.

He reaches out to her, fingers brushing against her shoulder, and she leans into the touch, settling back against his legs so that he can't move. He wants to; wants to sit beside her, shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee, to take her hand in his, to kiss her openly and honestly, to feel her body against his, to tell her--

Her hand reaches around his knees, gripping his jeans as she pulls herself from the ground, fingers tracing up his leg as she stands, until she's against his chest and her arms are wrapped loosely around his waist and this is precisely where he wants to be, except--

She lets her fingers travel, sliding under his shirt, one trailing feather-light up his spine while the other teasingly fiddles with the button of his jeans, and he lets his own hand dip to the curve at the small of her back, drifting lower to hold her against himself while his other hand finds her chin and tilts her head to kiss her firmly on the mouth. She opens it willingly, eagerly, to draw his tongue inside, and kisses him in earnest while her fingers deftly undo his belt buckle and his jeans, fingertips trailing teasingly just under the waistband of his boxers. He feels a tremor through her body in response to a low groan in his own throat, and he's never wanted anything the way he wants her, to feel her, to see her--

Again she moves a hand over his eyes, speaking hot and breathless against his lips. "Don't," she says, voice small and impossibly far away, "I don't want you to leave."

He wants to tell her that he's not going anywhere, means to, because the very thought is ludicrous, but Yosuke opens his eyes to darkness yet again and swears angrily at his bedroom ceiling.

He's determined now; invites her to Aiya (or he thinks he did--he doesn't remember doing it, but that's where he's headed now), and when the sky splits open into summer rain he can't find it in himself to mind, because she's there waiting for him when he arrives. He shakes out the rainwater in his hair, sits next to her, and puts an arm around her when she leans into his shoulder.

One of her hands finds the inside of his thigh--resting there comfortably, casually, until he's gotten used to its presence and barely notices it anymore--and that's when she drags her fingertips coyly up his leg; he wants to laugh her off and tell her to wait, but he's never felt so consumed with want and need as he is when he's with her. He presses a chaste kiss against her lips instead, meaning to tell her that maybe they should go somewhere else, but she's against him before he can speak, worrying his bottom lip between her teeth and stealing his tongue when he opens his mouth to protest. They really should go somewhere a little less public, he thinks, and wonders belatedly just how she's managed to seat herself almost entirely in his lap without his noticing.

He tries to stand, only to find that he's laying on his back. They're not in Aiya anymore, he realizes, and finds that he doesn't care that he can't remember how or why. She's pressed flush against him, and when she rolls her hips he can feel the motion with his entire body. He reaches out, finding purchase in the scarf of her school uniform, and pulls it loose, blindly undoing the buttons of his own uniform in the space between them as she kisses him distractingly. Her breath is hot and quick against his skin by the time it hangs open, and she presses a hand over his eyes as she sits back.

"Promise me," she says, and she sounds too far away considering the pleasant warmth of her body and the weight in his lap that she's providing. He tries, but his tongue's caught somewhere in his throat, so he nods instead--he wants to see her, needs to, but more than anything he wants her here and he's struck with an irrational fear that if he opens his eyes she'll disappear, and he's not sure why that grips him as deep and as real as it does. He only nods, reaching for her hand, trailing his fingers up her arm, and when he pulls her hand away, his eyes are closed. He can feel her smile when she leans over to press a quick kiss against his lips, and then she's gone again--and even without having to see he knows that she's pulling off her uniform in a languid, fluid movement, arms raised above her head as she shakes her hair free from the garment and lets it fall to the side, discarded. He tries to sit up, tries to pull off his uniform as well, but she's back against him before he can make much progress and suddenly it doesn't really matter anymore. His hands find her skirt, fingers pulling at the fabric until he finds the hem, and he only hesitates long enough for her to press herself into him and give a breathy moan against his collar before he lets his hands settle against the rounded curve of her ass, holding her firm against himself as he tilts his hips experimentally, and the way her breath catches in her throat in the midst of another pleasurable sound more than encourages him.

He'd be a liar if he said that he had any experience in this area, and he worries for a fleeting moment that maybe she's expecting something he has no way of knowing to do, that maybe she'll think better of this, of him, and leave-- as though she can hear his thoughts, she draws him away from them and into a languid kiss, one hand reaching between them to push his t-shirt out of the way, slender fingers tracing their way up his stomach, while her other hand hurriedly undoes his belt buckle. She starts to pull away in order to focus on this task, to which he only pulls her closer in response, rolling his hips against her in such a way as to make his obvious arousal only too difficult to miss, and utilizing her momentary weakness to switch their positions so that he is seated between her legs, one hand trailing up the inside of her skirt, along her thigh, while he presses a heated kiss to her throat. Her hands find his shoulders, her legs making a valiant effort to pull him closer to herself, and she forces him to face her so that she can kiss him deeply once more before whispering hot against his lips, "I want you."

He opens his eyes more out of surprise than any conscious intent, waking to find himself pressed into the covers of his futon, boxers warm and sticky where they're caught between himself and the bedding. Yosuke allows himself a long, low groan of frustration before he makes any move at all, trying to remember the girl's face because he must have seen it at some point. The longer he tries, though, the more the dream fades from his memory.


I tried to read between the lines, I tried to look in your eyes
I want a simple explanation for what I'm feeling inside

He finds her waiting for him at the riverbank again, and she turns when she hears him coming, the sun setting behind her silhouette so that her long silver hair, pulled into two braids that hang loose over her shoulders, glows almost gold in the evening light. She smiles at him and he can't help but smile back, falling into the grass next to her and leaning back to enjoy the scenery.

He talks to her about nothing in particular, about school and work and whatever comes to mind because the words come easily, and she just sits and smiles quietly, and whenever he's just begun to think that maybe she'll grow tired of his endless blathering, she turns to ask him a question about something else and starts the whole thing over again. It's nice, he thinks, this kind of companionship. It feels like he hasn't seen her in forever, even though he knows that's impossible.

As the light slowly fades, she moves to lay beside him, and there's a long stretch of comfortable silence before he turns on his side to look at her, to watch her stare up at the sky with thoughtful eyes. He asks if she likes anyone, because it's a stupid question and those are the only kind he seems capable of asking. When she doesn't answer, gently biting her bottom lip as though giving the question considerable thought, he sits up and grins over at her, assuring her that she can tell him. Her gaze flits over to him for an instant, and she props herself up with one arm to push his shoulder with her free hand.

"Maybe," she answers with a laugh, and when he loses his balance and falls back against the grass again, she's over him before he has time to recover. Grey eyes meet brown and she's smiling down at him, leans in to press a kiss so soft to his lips that it may as well not have happened at all. "Maybe you already know the answer to that," she continues, and he pulls her into a long, slow kiss instead--he does, he knows now that she's said it, but that doesn't stop him from wanting to hear it from her. He tells her that and she smiles against him, a warm breath of laughter against his skin.

It takes him a moment to realize that the stars have faded into shadows, and he reaches out to feel the bedding under him where there should be grass, confirming what he already knows. Yosuke lies awake that night, tracing over her features in his sleep-slowed mind in hope that the details won't have faded away by morning. They do.

He's trying to think of something, remember something, when she walks past him in the hall, turning and offering him a shy smile as her fingers brush against his. He doesn't have to think in order to move, taking her hand in his own and deciding that whatever else can wait. He walks with her to the school gate, and she's watching him unlock his bike chain when she finally speaks.

"Let's go to Okina," she says, and he looks up to meet her gaze for a long moment. It's far for an afternoon, but there's no school tomorrow and he can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than wherever it is that she wants to go.

He puts an arm around her on the bus when she rests her head against his shoulder, one hand fiddling absently with the wire that hangs loose from the headphones around his neck. After a long period of comfortable silence, she follows the wire with her fingertips until she finds his MP3 player, turning up the volume before tucking it back into his pocket. He glances over at her, a slow smile pulling at his lips, and turns the speaker on her side so that it is facing outward. She doesn't open her eyes, apparently too comfortable against him to bother, but she matches his smile with one of her own and he laces their fingers together while he wonders how in the hell he ever ended up here.

He spends the rest of the trip watching her sleep, trying to commit every contour of her face to memory, the precise way that her hair falls, and when they reach their stop and he kisses her awake, he spends perhaps a few moments longer than he should trying to memorize the color of her eyes, her kind and gentle expression. A look of concern so well hidden that he might not have noticed if he weren't paying such close attention briefly flashes across her features when he makes no attempt to move after an endless stretch of seconds, and she reaches up to brush her hands along either side of his face, voice quiet and impossibly far away again considering that she's right there--

"What's wrong?"

He feels like he's forgetting something. Or like he'll take a single step, glance away for just a moment, and everything he knows will be gone. The feeling wells up in his chest until it's nearly overpowering, and he can't answer her because he can't begin to explain and if he could it would take far too long, and so he does his best to convey what he can in the form of a kiss. She seems to understand (she always does, always), fixing him with a look of solemn sadness and holding him close, her voice a whisper against his skin but still so small, so distant, and he'd give anything to break that illusion; "You have to promise me something," she says and he tries to tell her he'd do anything, but she silences him with a featherlight brush of lips against his own, "When you do open your eyes, you can't close them again. Alright?"

The words make no sense to him, context slipping through his fingers like grains of sand and he knows that this is important, can feel it in the way he feels her presence with his entire being, body and soul, but when he tries to ask what she means the words don't come. Her hands fall away, and when he reaches for her (desperately, because he can't let her go, he has to tell her--) she's already gone.

He's not really sure if he's awake or asleep anymore, but it doesn't matter much either way. Yosuke spends the rest of the night sorting through memories in his head, trying to piece them into two clean-cut categories, but there are details that are--grey--so woven between the two that he can't pick them apart. He dwells on that until his thoughts gradually slow and drift back into unconsciousness, and by morning all he remembers is a lingering sense of unease.

He's not expecting to see her, though he can't begin to place why when she shows up in the Junes food court. When he asks, she gives him a smile; "This is when your shift ends, isn't it?"

He can't remember telling her that (only he can--or she'd have already known, he's not sure which) but he's too pleased that she would come to see him to dwell on the subject for long. He grins and offers her a hand, taking her to the break room with him to clock out and take off his work apron, and when he turns to ask her if there's somewhere she'd like to go, she's standing closer than he'd expected. She presses a kiss to his lips, hooking her fingers in his belt loops in order to pull him close, and she smiles against his skin when he puts his arms around her waist without a second thought.

"Somewhere quiet," she suggests, "where we can be alone."

It only takes a moment or two before he chuckles to himself and tells her that he has an idea; he takes her by the hand again and leads her to the maintenance stairwell, not stopping until he's reached the rooftop. He unlocks the door (throws a comment over his shoulder about how sometimes it's good to be the manager's son, just to hear her laugh) and pushes it open, stepping out onto the rooftop and pocketing his hands as he takes a look around. There's not much to see, unless you count the less than thrilling view of this side of town, but so long as she's happy he doesn't particularly care.

She sits him down against the side of the stairwell entrance before lowering herself to sit between his legs with her back against his chest; he loops his arms around her waist and settles his chin on her shoulder and takes in the moment for what it is, peaceful and comfortable and again he finds himself wondering just when his luck had turned around enough to allow for even the briefest glimpse of something like this. She settles back against him, hands resting over his, and looks out over the town in silence for a number of minutes. The sun is setting before she speaks.

"Do you love me?" she asks, jolting him into acute awareness all at once. She doesn't give him a chance to respond before she turns, straddling his lap and pressing a finger against his lips, voice hardly more than a soft whisper as she adds, "Don't answer that."

He finds that he can't read her expression no matter how hard he tries (she's always been damnably good at hiding things, though--hasn't she?) and minutes pass before she moves her hand, brushing her fingers along the side of his face and leaning in close to kiss him soft and slow, and tinged with sadness. "Would you, though? If I were someone else? If things were different... if you were to see the other side of me?"

You're still you, he hears himself think, and can't place why that sounds familiar. It feels right somehow, though, and so he says it anyway. It makes her laugh, a quiet, melancholy sound, but he thinks that's better than nothing and reaches up to brush the tears from her eyes, feathering light kisses against her lips, her cheek, the bridge of her nose. She tangles her fingers in his hair and pulls him into a more insistent kiss, pleading wordlessly for deeper contact, which he grants her without question.

When she moves against him, when fingers find bare skin, the blind heat of unfiltered want is gone, replaced instead with the slow burn of inexperience and genuine sincerity. She takes the reigns, gentle but firm, strength in the way she moves with purpose, weakness in the full-body tremors that thrum white hot through him when he touches her just so, and he knows what he's wanted to tell her all along; with her flushed and wanting in his lap, where one ends and the other begins entirely unimportant in the scope of things because, because, he has to tell her--

"Yosuke," she breathes against him, and that's what does it. His name on her lips snaps too many things into focus all at once, and he wakes with a start, thoughts too scrambled to care much about the state of his boxers for now. His mind reels for a moment (she looks like--), spinning without traction (just like--), like he's on ice and can't find his footing (holy crap).

In perfect clarity, he remembers everything. From the curve of her body to the softness of her skin, her warmth, her voice, her braided hair, her piercing grey eyes--everything. It's not that weird, he rationalizes. Not really. Who wouldn't want a girl who was essentially their best friend? Especially when said best friend was easy to talk to, dependable, and objectively attractive.

Okay, it was a little weird. But the point remained, Yosuke told himself stubbornly in the shower, face burning red hot when his mind drifted to the heat of her body against his, his name on her lips, her tongue in his mouth.



and if I stand here silent
I almost start to feel you fading in

He meets her on the school roof during lunch, and sits awkwardly because he knows--he thinks?--he knows for sure now that it's all an elaborate illusion. But it had been so real for so long.

He sits with his elbows on his knees, hands pressed against his face, because he doesn't know what to do. She sits next to him in stoic silence, but he thinks--he knows--she's more affected than she's letting on.

So he sits and thinks and wonders why he's still here, now that he knows--

She sniffles next to him, and he blinks up in surprise. When she leans into his shoulder, he tenses in response, and that brings her silent tears to the surface; "I told you to promise," she says quietly.

He's torn between putting an arm around her and-- and doing something stupid, he supposes, something that will wake him up, because those are his only two options. She sighs, quiet and resigned, and when she pulls away a thousand screaming instincts make his decision for him; all the times he's lost her, all the times she's disappeared just beyond his reach, he's never had a chance to tell her--

Idiot, he thinks, staring at his own hand, fingers curled around her wrist. There are so many things wrong with this. She's almost-- he doesn't even have to think about it, now that he sees it. She may as well be Souji, dreams be damned. So why then? Why couldn't he just let it go?

Because, because--

She tugs her wrist away from him, stepping away, and he's on his feet before he can think, one hand on her shoulder, turning her around, because he doesn't care, damn it, he has to tell her-- he kisses her with a mixture of fear and irritation, but the lingering current of longing still remains. When they break apart, she watches him warily, like she doesn't know if she can trust him, and he wants to kick himself for about ten thousand reasons, but that's only one of them.

"I won't run away," he says, and the words feel shifted, out of place. They reverb inside his head until the echoes run together, loud and oppressive. He doesn't care. He reaches out, waiting, and when she slowly, cautiously takes his hand, he doesn't care about the grin that splits his face, either. None of it matters.

None of it save the awkward feeling of he can't quite place what when he wakes up to the sound of his cellphone, reaching for it to discover that the caller is none other than the person who's thrown a wrench into everything to begin with. It'll be something important, Yosuke knows--Souji only ever calls in the middle of the night when it's important, but he can't deal with the other right now. He lets the call go to voicemail and wonders just what the hell he's supposed to do.

It's not like he has any control over his dreams. At least, he doesn't think he does. When he tries asking her, she just looks at him.

"What would you change?" she asks, and he bites his tongue because they both know what he's thinking.

"I... nothing."

"Liar," she says, and looks away. The way she's sitting, leaning back against the fence with her legs crossed at the ankles, she looks almost identical to Souji. Then again, he thinks maybe she always has. That's the weird part; not that she does, but that she always has. He's not sure why that makes a difference.

"A lot of things," he admits after a moment. "I can't decide if I wish I'd known, or that I'd never figured it out. But mostly I wish I'd had a chance to tell you--"

She looks over at him, and he feels his face flush. It's too difficult, now. It's different, now.

"You're still you," she recites back to him, and he flinches in response. He remembers, now, why it had sounded familiar. It's almost haunting, hearing it from her. "...was that a lie, too?"

He snaps his attention back to her, realizing suddenly that she sounds too much like Souji. There's a degree of hurt in her eyes that he knows is in response to his reaction, but what is he supposed to do about it? When she looks like him, sounds like him--

She pushes herself off of the fence, and her hands are on either side of him, pinning him against it. She leans in close, a silent challenge, but he doesn't recoil away. Her hands shift to find purchase in the back of his shirt instead, pulling herself against him. "Then tell me the truth this time. Would it be different, if I were someone else?"

Her voice--his voice, Yosuke realizes belatedly, the body pressed against his is decidedly male--sends a tension down his spine that sits stubborn as a rock. It's just Souji now, Souji in the girls' uniform, Souji with his arms around him, Souji who he still hasn't been able to tell--

"Probably," he answers at last, voice small, "It would be easier."

He wakes up wondering what the hell that's supposed to mean.

He's watching her--him, this is getting confusing--throw pebbles at the river, looking on silently and trying to piece everything together in his mind. She (he, he reminds himself) just acts and talks like Souji, now. It's weird, but at the same time he's beginning to realize that it's not actually much different, most of the time. If anything, it makes him wonder about the things he never would have associated with Souji. He wonders how much of it goes both ways.

"Why are you still wearing that?" he hears himself ask, tired of searching for his own answers when the return thus far has been on the lower end of zero.

"I don't know. Have you learned anything yet?" she (fuck it, he decides, what does it matter) replies, flicking another stone into the water. It doesn't skip. None of them have. "Dreams are all about perception, after all."

Leave it to Souji, even in his dreams, to be the calm, collected, introspective guy with all the answers. Even when he was a girl. Or was dressed like one, whatever.

"That I subconsciously hate myself and want to make it as awkward as possible the next time I talk to you for real?" he guesses, leaning back against the riverbank with a sigh. Souji throws another pebble into the water.

"What makes you say that?"

"Because! I mean, as if it weren't already bad enough that I'm dreaming about you, it's not even you. It's--"

"A matter of perception," Souji interrupts, reiterating his earlier observation. He flings another stone into the river, and then another, pitching it like a rock. That one action seems to drain his energy, and he sits himself on the grass. "Think about it. Maybe that's the only thing that's changed."

Yosuke frowns to himself, going over conversations in his head that had felt like he was missing some key factor in. Maybe that was it. When he turns on his side to comment on that, though, he finds the other on his back, staring up at the sky with thoughtful eyes.

"Hey," he starts instead, the words an echo of two distinct memories, tumbling from his lips before he has time to think better of asking such a stupid question, "Do you like anybody?"

Souji doesn't look at him for a long time, biting the corner of his bottom lip, and it hits him that the two memories are exactly the same. Action for action, gesture for gesture, word for word. He sits upright, propping himself up on one hand, because this is the part where he says, "Come on, you can tell me."

When the other glances over at him, this is where the two memories splinter in different directions: Souji laughs him off with a nonchalance that reads maybe, maybe not, and before long they're joking about something else and the answer doesn't matter. She laughs him off with a maybe and a smile that says why do you have to ask.

He waits, but this Souji only smiles sadly at him and says, "Maybe. Maybe you already know the answer to that."

Yosuke wakes with the memory of her words, but Souji's voice; Would you, though? If I were someone else?

He feels sick.


now comes the night, feel it fading away
and the soul underneath, is it all that remains

The Souji in his dreams is just dressed like Souji, now. He finds him leaning against the stairwell entrance on the rooftop at Junes, looking out over the town, arms loose around his knees, and sits next to him without really thinking too hard on how he knew he'd find him here or why he was looking in the first place.

They sit in silence for a long time before Yosuke finally speaks.

"I think I finally get it," he says, leaning back on his hands. "You really are you. You always were, even when you weren't."

Souji just looks at him.

"Just because I pretended not to notice doesn't mean I didn't, you know?" he continues, thinking back over all the time he's spent with Souji over the last two years. "I didn't acknowledge it because I didn't want to ruin the way I saw you. But I got it all wrong. I was acting like the two sides had to be mutually exclusive. Like they weren't the same."

"What now?" Souji asks, and he laughs nervously in response, thin and strained.

"I don't know, man. I'm really confused."

Souji looks like he wants to say something, but the sound of thunder startles Yosuke awake an instant later. He sits up, listening to the rain against the windowpane, and realizes that he'd never checked his voicemail from a few nights previous. When he does, he is greeted by the sound of Souji's voice, small and far away; "Sorry, it's late, isn't it? I was just calling because-- well, it's not important." Liar, Yosuke thinks, closing his eyes. Souji only calls when it's important. "Don't worry about it, okay? I'll talk to you later."

He closes the phone and listens to the sheets of rain outside his window, wondering how bad the rain in Tokyo had been that night. He wonders if Souji tried calling anyone else, realizing for the first time that he's not sure whether any of them would know to expect to hear from him so late. Maybe he's the only one.

Maybe you already know the answer to that.

Maybe he does.

He's at the riverbank again, sitting in the grass and watching the steady flow of water as the sun slowly disappears over the horizon. It lights up his silhouette in hues of gold and copper, and Yosuke's the one flinging stones at the river this time. The first one skips three times.

"What are you going to do?" Souji asks.

"I don't know," Yosuke replies, snapping his wrist and sending a pebble skipping all the way from one side of the river to the other.

Souji watches him with mild interest for a moment before continuing. "Haven't thought about it?"

"No, I've thought about it a lot," he says, throwing a stone up in the air and catching it before tossing it so that it lands uselessly in the middle of the river, sinking to the bottom. He falls into a sitting position, glancing over toward the other. "But I think this might be one of those things where thinking about it doesn't do much good anymore, you know? I think... well, I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens."

To his surprise, Souji just smiles at him, drawing his legs up into his arms so that he looks much smaller, much younger than he is. "I always liked that about you," he says, sounding distant. "Sometimes thinking just sends you in circles and you never go anywhere. You've just got to wait for someone to come along and notice, and hopefully do something to knock you out of it."

Yosuke blinks, looking over at him, trying to catch his gaze; "Is that what you've been doing?"

"Don't ask me," Souji says quietly, resting his chin on one knee. "Perception, remember?"

It would make sense, he thinks, lying awake and staring at the ceiling. It's raining again. He wonders about the weather in Tokyo, if maybe Souji would think he was tired of the late night calls and just stop without asking, even if he still needed them. Souji could be weird like that, he realized. He could spend too much time thinking about what other people needed, and not enough thinking about what he needed.

Yosuke thinks on that for a few moments before rolling over in search of his cellphone, typing up a text message that says: cant sleep. still up?

In less than a minute, he receives a reply that reads only: Rain.

"Dumbass," Yosuke thinks out loud, and hits the call button on his phone, "I knew it."

Souji's visiting for a holiday weekend when he comes to the Junes food court toward the end of Yosuke's shift, and he tosses his friend a drink from one of the vending machines before inviting him into the break room while he finishes up for the day. Afterward, he doesn't wait for Souji to ask or suggest somewhere to go or something to do; he takes him by the sleeve and leads him to the service stairwell, up to the rooftop, and stands back while Souji looks around before deciding that the side of the stairwell entrance is a good place to sit.

He looks out over the less than spectacular view of town and crosses his arms over his knees before he finally makes a decision on the apparently impulsive arrangement: "It's nice up here," he says with a smile, and Yosuke sits next to him, slinging an arm around his shoulders.

Souji goes still and quiet when he does this, glancing over at him questioningly.

"I keep wanting to tell you," Yosuke finally says, "I'm really glad that you're you. And that you're my friend." He laughs nervously, but it's too late to back out now. "I'm... I really like you. I guess that's what I'm trying to say."

Silence stretches on for an indeterminate amount of time before Souji starts to laugh, soft and quiet. "Was this your idea of a romantic getaway?"

"Oh, shut up."

When Souji leans into his shoulder a little more comfortably, he just pulls his arm around the other a bit tighter, saying nothing. Sometimes actions spoke a whole hell of a lot louder than words.