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An Unfortunate Conclusion

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Getting his parents to let Teddie stay in the house turned out to be easier than Yosuke'd imagined. It involved a lot of quick talking and half-answers but things started to go in his favor after he played up the fact that Teddie had nowhere else to go and mentioned his idea of him working at Junes as a mascot.

"The extra promotion couldn't hurt," his dad said, looking over the bear outfit Teddie had brought with him.

"It's a good idea," Yosuke urged. Helping Junes attract more business wasn't his main goal but he was positive it'd work and that was what mattered; his dad was the one he had to convince and he took his position as manager seriously. Anything that improved Junes was okay with him.

"What's your name again?" his mom asked Teddie.

"I, madam, am Teddie, and am at your service!"

"He's foreign," Yosuke added quickly, discreetly gesturing for Teddie shut up and tone it down already.

"And how did you two meet?"

"Through a friend." After all, if Souji hadn't fallen through that TV they'd have never have met Teddie. "So what do you think? It's okay, right?"

His parents shared a look and after a moment his dad said, "The spare room's small, but I suppose we could clean it up and it'd work for a while. But not for too long."

"Great," Yosuke said, deliberately ignoring that last part. He had no idea how long Teddie would need to stay and he'd figure out how to deal with that later. "You'll hardly notice him."

It fell on Yosuke to make the spare room liveable and in the end it wasn't worth the hours of straightening and cleaning. Ted didn't want to stay in it, not when Yosuke's room was only a couple of feet away. He got lonely, he said, and bored, and soon realized that if he made a nuisance of himself waiting outside of Yosuke's bedroom at night Yosuke would always give in and let him stay.

"You sleep over there," Yosuke said, pointing to the other side of the room. "Don't let me catch you any closer. And don't touch my stuff."

Teddie dropped his MP3 player. "This is just like a slumber party!"

Yosuke rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure, whatever. Just don't go mentioning it to anyone."

Generally, he woke up early enough to bundle Teddie out of his room and into the spare before either of his parents were up. The more questions he could avoid - and there'd been more than he liked recently about Ted, and what he was doing with his time off, and why he'd been spotted hanging around Daidara's shop - the better. He couldn't do it all the time, though, and after a particularly hard day in the TV he woke up to find his mom standing over them, a tight, confused frown on her face.

"Teddie wasn't in his room," she said when she noticed he was awake. "So I thought..."

It was too early for this but Yosuke had been expecting it to happen eventually and had an excuse ready. "He has nightmares," he said, rubbing his eyes.

"Oh? That's too bad. Do they happen often?"

"Maybe? No. But when they do it's just easier for him to come in here than to..." He waved a hand, too tired to continue. She'd get the point.

"Alright. Just don't..." She checked the distance between them. Yosuke didn't see why. Teddie was more or less still on his side, though he'd turned sideways at one point during the night. "Alright."

She didn't mention it again and Yosuke stopped bothering trying to be sneaky about it when Teddie wanted to crash in his room. It was less stressful that way, but he was going to have to have a talk with Teddie one day. This was developing in a bad habit.

Aside from the occasional bumps, however, Teddie got on pretty well with his parents. He thought they were fascinating, in a kind of completely boring way, but Teddie also thought that working at Junes was fascinating, and eating ice cream on the streets, and wearing yukata. Basically, anything he'd never experienced became worth noticing and this included watching daytime dramas with Yosuke's mother.

"Sounds like you're all getting along well," Souji said after he'd asked how Teddie was adjusting.

"It's weird." Yosuke tossed a rock into the river and held out his hand for Souji to give him another. "What's so interesting about grocery shopping?"

"Coupons," Souji said without hesitation. Yosuke didn't waste breath responding.

Teddie's misplaced enthusiasm aside, Yosuke didn't mind having him in the house too much. It was close to what he imagined having a younger sibling must have been like, and there were definite upsides, like Teddie keeping his parents busy when he wanted to go spend some time with Souji. Before too long, they stopped asking when Teddie was going back to his own house and started warming up to him. Ted had that effect on people; he was annoying, sure, but he was also honest and naive in a way that made it hard not to like him, and if Yosuke's parents treated him more gently than necessary - he wasn't an idiot or a little kid - it was better than the alternative.

Still, his mom didn't have to knock on the door each time she wanted something and the way she poked her head in before entering was starting to get annoying. She's never done either of those before Teddie showed up, nice as it would have been. It could have helped them avoid some unfortunate awkwardness in the past.

His dad was also trying too hard to make him feel at home, and after sitting through a particularly painful conversation about Teddie's plans for the future where Yosuke found himself having to intervene and do a lot of damage control, he was glad they had Souji's house to go and hang out in for a while.

"Does it really matter if Ted wants to be a TV mascot?" he asked, grabbing his jacket. "There's plenty of time to figure stuff like that out, he's only, uh, my age. Anyway, we'll be back later, we're going to swing by Souji's for a minute."

His mom caught his attention as Teddie waited outside. "I'm glad you're happy now."


"You used to hate being here, but it's good that you've found someone who can cheer you up so much."

Yosuke froze, jacket halfway on. That sounded too close to her figuring how he was dating Souji and he racked his brain for anything he might have done that had clued her in. Was going to Souji's so late what gave him away? "What?"

She looked embarrassed to have brought it up. "It's fine if you don't want to talk about it but if you do..."

"I... Fine, okay. Right." He hurried out. "I've got to go."

He showed up at Souji's house anxious and told him about the conversation after dropping Teddie off to watch Nanako so they could grab some time alone, adding, "Dude, I think she's figured us out."

"Sounds like it," Souji agreed. He didn't look disturbed by the news but he touched the back of Yosuke's hand and Yosuke let it linger. He could use it, and the streets were about deserted anyway. "But it's good, isn't it? She sounds okay about it."

"I guess so." That didn't make it any less shocking, though, and Yosuke spent most of their time together thinking while they wandered town aimlessly. Thankfully, Souji understood and didn't seem bothered by the silence.

It wasn't like Yosuke hadn't thought of telling his parents about the two of them, but it'd always been in some distant point in the future - after all the mess with the TV was over and done with, after high school, probably after he and Souji had gotten an apartment together and it was unavoidable. Worry about their reaction had always kept him from seriously considering it, though, but this was a lot better than anything he could have imagined. In the end, he came home feeling guilty that he'd ever expected anything different from them.

"You in for the night?" his father asked, glancing up from a pile of invoices spread out on the kitchen table.

"I think so." He glanced at his mom washing dishes. "Hey, Mom, did you tell Dad about... You know?"

His dad cleared his throat. "She mentioned it, yes."

"Okay." Yosuke nodded, shoving his hands in his pockets nervously. Teddie waited beside him, looking back and forth between them all as he tried to figure out what they were talking about. "Thanks. You know, for being so cool about it."

"I can't say it's not surprising. It's not as though I'd ever imagined you'd be interested in..." He faltered. "But Teddie's a nice boy and he means well, even if he's not who I would have--"

Yosuke jerked his head up. "What?"

"He's not bad," he continued quickly, stressing the word, "he's just a little scatterbrained, no offense--"

"None taken," Teddie said cheerfully.

"--and I've always thought you needed someone more level--"

"Teddie?" Yosuke asked, and repeated more forcefully, hoping he was misunderstanding again, "Teddie?"

His parents exchanged worried looks. "Yes," his mom said, drying her hands.

"You think I'm going out with Teddie? That's what this has all been about?"

"We're going out?" Teddie asked, gasping. "Oh, I'm so sorry, Yosuke, I didn't know! I've been a terrible boyfriend."

"No, we're not going out, don't you start too," Yosuke snapped. "Why the hell would you guys think that?"

"Watch your language," his mom warned. "And what are we supposed to think? You wanted so badly for him to stay over and you're so nice to him--"

"Because he's my friend! And he was homeless!" Offended that they could misread the situation so badly, he said, "I'm not dating Teddie, I'm dating Souji! I've been dating him for weeks!"

"Souji," his dad repeated, no sign of recognition on his face. "Wait, you don't mean that odd boy you're always going on about, do you? I always wondered why Teddie wasn't jealous of that."

"Isn't he Dojima-san's illegitimate son?" his mom asked.


She turned back to the dishes, flustered. "It's a rumor the housewives have been passing around."

Yosuke was rapidly developing a headache. He reached for his shoes. "I'm going back out."

"For what? It's late."

"I need to get some air. I'm going to see Souji."

"Oh, can I come?" Teddie asked.


"Hold on, I don't know how I feel about this Souji person," his dad said while Yosuke pulled his shoes back on. "At least I know Teddie. You've never even introduced us to this other boy."

"Ted can fill you in," Yosuke said, and left.

He hadn't expected an outpouring of sympathy from Souji but it would have been nice if he wasn't so obviously amused about the whole thing. "It's cute," he said as Yosuke sprawled against him on his couch, miserable.

"It is not." Yosuke knew he was whining and didn't care. "Man, if my own parents thought there was something going on between us, who else does?"

"I don't know. Although," Souji said, and Yosuke jabbed him in the ribs, knowing he was smiling without looking at him, "if they were so convinced, I wonder if I should be worried. Is there anything you want to tell me?"

"Yeah. Apparently, my mom thinks you're Dojima-san's illegitimate son."


Yosuke shifted until he could see his face properly. "Not so funny now, is it?"

"No," Souji said, after a moment of consideration, "it's still funny. What do you suppose Teddie's telling them?"

Yosuke groaned, hiding his face again. "I don't want to think about it."

Souji patted him on the back. "That's understandable. But let me know tomorrow, okay? I'm sure it'll be interesting."

Interesting. Sure. Tomorrow was going to suck.