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Establishing Boundaries

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"What are you doing in here?" Satoru yelps, pressing himself back against the door as soon as he sees her.

"Hey, Satoru," greets Chisato, who's sitting on his bed as if it's completely normal, "I was thinking that your room must be something special for you to stay in here so long without leaving."

Satoru slouches, tension dropping as his eyes scan the room, taking stock of everything, seeing what's been moved. "I don't think you really understand hikikomori... or privacy!" He rolls his eyes, making a contemptuous noise in the back of his throat. "You shouldn't enter someone else's room without their permission!"

"Hey, that's no way to talk to your mother!" Chisato snaps back, jutting out her chin as if challenging him. "And it's not like I was going through your stuff or anything."

"Then how come stuff's been moved?" He moves into the room, slowly, looking more cautious than anything close to afraid. Satoru knows she could kick his ass if she wanted, he's seen her prove it, but she doesn't seem angry so it doesn't seem likely to happen. Still, better safe than sorry. "And don't say stuff like that, it's gross."

"Defensive much?" Chisato hitches her skirt up to scratch at her knee and shrugs. "Inoue and I hauled out some of the trash, that's all, old instant ramen containers and stuff. That was gross." She leans in, chin propped on her hands, and grins. "Why, hiding something? You seem kinda nervous."

"Or maybe I'm just not used to having people in my room," he reminds her, "never mind a girl on my bed." The last part slips out before his brain can catch up with his mouth, and he bites his lip and scowls to cover his embarrassment.

Chisato smiles back, almost kindly, obviously not fooled. She says nothing but nods to the bed beside her, and he drops down into the indicated spot while wondering when he last saw his bed made. Despite the dialogue that has passed, the mood is calm and comfortable. He leans his head onto her shoulder with a tired sort of sigh, and when his hand accidentally lands on hers, doesn't bother to move it. She's warm, and smells kind of nice, and he wonders if it's weird for him to notice.

When she puts her hand on his shoulder and pushes him down onto the bed, saying, "Now would be the time to say 'no', so you know," he's surprised at how easy it is to smile.

* * *

"Guess that was a bit of a dumb move," Chisato muses, grunting as she pulls her top down over her head, and Satoru makes an inarticulate noise of disappointment as it slips down to conceal the smooth, gentle curve of her spine. "If I'm trying to get you to see me as your mother, I mean."

"I'll call you whatever you want, as long as you don't tell the others," Satoru replies with a yawn, stretching his bare arms across the sheets. "They'd never let me hear the end of it."

Chisato raises an eyebrow and smirks over her shoulder at him. "Hmm, I'll have to keep that in mind," she teases, "but let's make that mutual. I just got the loan sharks to leave me alone, let's not replace them with cops."

"I'm older than I look, you know," Satoru shoots back, too content to muster any real indignation, "but Akira's not, so try to keep it in your pants around him at least."

"Ewww! Don't make me come back over there," Chisato warns, already halfway to the door. "By the way, try to keep your room clean. Next time it gets that bad, everything goes."

"Yes, Mom," Satoru intones dutifully, rolling over to the edge of the bed to search for his shirt once the door has swung shut again, wondering vaguely what the hell just happened. Flopping back down on his back, he reasons it probably doesn't really matter. Whatever happens from here on in, it'll be because Chisato decides it will; it seems like that's how things are starting to work in general anyway.

Well, that's fine by him.