You Wanna Know the Truth?
Inaba - Junes Dept. Store
Every day is great at your Junes! o/~ This jingle is one reason why Junes is so prominent within Inaba. Just one store in a major department store chain, Junes offers many different products at unbeatable prices, from simple groceries to comfortable furniture and even an expansive electronics department, the latter of which has been proven very popular by some of the teenage crowd lately.
The department store is so massive that the elevator is the preferred method in which to go anywhere around the place, with different floors for different departments within it. Although the goods are varied enough that each may as well be their own store, at least several things are constant: the bright and cheery colors, the frequent announcement of some special deal or another going on, and most importantly, the endless looping elevator music of the theme song that can even rival Satomi Tadashi's for sheer catchiness.
Customer Appreciation Day is said to be every day at Junes, but this sure doesn't seem to show with the majority of its employees... especially the part-timers. Lazy, rude, and prone to complaining about their salary, they are not pleasant people. Even so, that hasn't been enough to drive the customers away.
Junes bustles as always this evening, as students pick up supplies and food for the final big weekend before school resumes. A certain pink-clad teenager is there this evening as well, though he is not contributing any of his yen to the store, and is just hanging around.
For the past week Fumiya Watanabe has kept a pretty low profile arond Inaba, spending most of his time in the final days of summer vacation at Okina or Port Island. His most recent encounter with Thora gave him a clear enough message that even he could understand: stay out of the Midnight Channel business. While he had no intention of doing that permanently, he decided keep his distance from her while she dealed with saving Shirou like she said she would. That's what drew him back to the more public areas of Inaba again in the past few days, he hasn't heard anything one way or another regarding Sekigawa.
"Maaaaan... if something really did happen to him in there Thora-babe's going to kill me." He laments to himself, ignoring any strange looks passersby might give him. He's really starting to regret telling her about that encounter with Hanamura at Okina.
"Oh, no, trust me... she'll probably kill you anyway."
Has Shirou really been able to take a level in ninja that fast? Maybe... or maybe Fumiya's just been too busy in his own head, and he was standing right next to him as he walks on by. Shirou's looking fair enough, a little worse for the wear, but he's smirking a bit.
Fumiya nearly jumps out of his pink shirt when he hears Shirou's voice. He's the one that's supposed to be sneaky and agile, this isn't right! But he'll concern himself with how Shirou managed to pull that off later. Maybe it was just the implication that Thora still wants to kill him that made him extra jumpy. For now, after his initial surprised reaction, the 80s Kid to see Shirou standing in front of him in one piece.
"O-oh... Shirou! You're... um...." Fumiya stumbles over his words, not entirely sure how to ask how someone is after being thrown into a television. "...alright?" Relaxing a bit, fumiya straightens the collar of his shirt and tries to act more like 'himself'.
"So you were thrown on an awesome adventure or something, was it? With that Nakano guy? You need to fill me in, bro, what's all this stuff about?"
Shirou puts a hand up, tsking a bit. "Dude... it was /not/ awesome. Just... just trust me on this one. At /no point in time/, was it gnarly, radical, or bodacious."
Shirou rubs his temples a bit, nodding towards the food court and moving in its general direction. "It was... weird. And in the end, I ended up... err, let's say showing a lot of people the worse parts of me."
Fumiya followsing along, and nods in that vacant sort of way that suggests he's glazing over the most important parts of what Shirou was saying. "Yeah, yeah, harrowing I bet. Sure. Still man, after everything that's happened you gotta fill me in. I dunno where else to go for this information. Hanamura's too unreliable, and Thora... well, you know." Fumiya continues to plead his case to Shirou, careless though it might be.
"The way I see it, I'm already this deep into things. I already saw one guy get pushed in right in front of me, those goons ain't gonna let that slide. I don't get what Thora-babe's problem is, but I gotta understand what's goin' on here." He explains, trying his best to make it genuinely sound he wants to know for the sake of saving his skin. "But why don't we start from the top, how much more do you know about this Midnight Channel? Y'know, ignoring what we squeezed out of Hanamura a few weeks ago."
He sighs a bit, the taller teen just rubbing the bridge of his nose a bit. "Honestly... I don't know too much about it myself. I was /in/ there... and I don't know much more then you..." He walks further into the store, letting the mob pass around them.
"It's /dangerous/ Fumiya. I know it's trite and you've heard it before, but really... knowing much more then this is gonna get you into a situation where we're gonna have to... Gods, look who 'm talking too."
He smirks a bit. "You're /way/ more reckless then I am, and even I tried to step in to help Koichi. Fine, you wanna know the truth?"
Fumiya just keeps nodding along with everything Shirou is saying. Dangerous? Sure, he got that. What's life without a little danger, right? Dangers have their own rewards, and Fumiya has already seen the people who get thrown into the Midnight Channel appear /on TV/. He HAS to know more about that.
'You wanna know the truth?'
Yes, yes, YES. "Yeah man, spill it." Fumiya replies, keeping the tone of his voice in check to hide his excitement. Once again the over-anxious teen is setting himself up for a major fall, but it's obvious at this point that he's not going to just back away from this. If he doesn't get his answer from Shirou or something reliable then it's only a matter of time before someone /unreliable/ decides to 'fill him in'.
Though, what are the odds that there is someone currently living in Inaba who would do such a thing?
Sekigawa grunts a little, still walking towards the food court. "From what I can tell? Those that are tossed into the TV, and they /don't/ have certain powers end up trapped by their repressed emotions, which will /kill them/ if it gets foggy. Those /with/ the powers gotta stop 'em."
Thankfully he leaves the point out that those that get tossed in /get/ those powers. He's stupid but not /that/ stupid. "Now, Fumiya... trust me. You don't want a part of this." He turns to his friend, his face a bit fallen. "I don't doubt your bravery... but this goes way beyond just our little sleepy town."
Fumiya raises his eyebrows. "Repressed emotions." He states, flatly. "That sounds... awfully cheesey, man." Of course, he's not calling him a liar, either. How can he refute anything Shirou tells him when he already saw someone get thrown inside a television. It's pretty odd, though.
Shirou is probably smart to leave that bit about gaining a Persona through it all out of it. Fumiya probably wouldn't be able to resist at that point, though there really isn't much stopping him NOW either. He's even brushing off the knowledge of what might happen in there, losing to your emotions is for /wimps/ after all!
Fumiya can't help but grin when Shirou acknowledges his bravery, probably missing what might just be manipulative flattery. "Well listen man, all the more reason to have extra people helping out, right? How did you even get targetted by them, anyway? Was it because you hang with Thora-babe? I mean, if that's the case then it's just a matter of time before they get to me." Fumiya slams his fist into an open palm. "Shouldn't I be as ready for it as possible?"
"Ah, see.. 'm not telling you /how/ targets are picked. And err... it wasn't likely because of Thora." He mutters to himself as he shakes his head, stopping near the entrance of the Food Court.
"There's more danger to it... I mean, from what I've heard, if you're... well, shit can go bad and you're overtaken by your own emotions. More like... possessed."
He sighs a little more, thumbing upwards. "Steak on me? Only if you /promise/... to give this a rest for a while, alright? I still need to talk to a couple of people about this myself... so just take everything with a grain of salt, or several, kay?"
Fumiya frowns when Shirou tells him outright that he's /not/ going to tell him how people are targeted. "But...!" He begins to say, but immediately closes his mouth. Getting upset at Shirou right now won't help him. Taking a deep breath through his nose, he keeps heading towards the food court.
"Possessed?" Fumiya repeats the word, he's heard it before. It was one of the last things Thora said to him back at Daidara, how there were people who wanted to help like Fumiya, but things went wrong and they wound up possessed. She seemed adamant that she was not going to let that happen again. "...huh."
He remains silent until they reach the food court. Fumiya studies Shirou for a moment, taking in his offer. "..sure." He says, sounding as committed as he's able. If Shirou won't tell him the info he really wants to know, then he's at a dead end again anyway. Maybe for now he /should/ just relax and wait and see what happens next. School is starting up again anyway... argh. "Just keep me up to date on what you figure you're 'allowed' to tell me." He doesn't do a very good job of hiding the bitterness in those words, but there's no point in holding it against Shirou. Part of Fumiya, deep down anyway, can't help but admit he's right.
"So, being thrown inside so close to the end of summer break must've sucked. What do you have planned before school starts, Preppy?"
"Oh gods, school." Shirou gets them the steak, as he promised, sitting down with Watanabe at a table, rubbing his forehead a little. "Planned, nothing really of the sort. You forget, skater-punk, 'm the boring one." He teases lightly, flicking his wrist and cutting up his steak.
"Though, suppose I got a few more lessons with Kaede-sensei..."
Arriving at the Food Court, Fumiya takes a seat and waits for his freebie steak. "Skate/board/ punk." Fumiya corrects, returning a smirk. "I don't wear skates." Accepting the food, he chews on a piece for a few moments in silence. He doesn't really know who 'Kaede-sensei' is, so he lets that comment pass.
"Well, I'm probably going back to Port Island this weekend. I spent most of this week on that summer homework nonsense. It was too damn rainy for awhile anyway." And he had to hide from a certain large classmate. "I just want to unwind at the beach or something in a real city before going back, y'know? Join a party, maybe meet some babes."
At the word 'babes' he pauses. Before nervously speaking up again. "So, uh..." He coughs. "How mad do ya think Thora-babe is?" He can't hide from her at school, what with being in the same grade.
"...she seemed rather happy to have me safe." He says softly, and gives a rather slim smile, similar to a pleased cat. He'll just let Fumiya's overactive imagination take ahold of that one.
Fumiya nervously swallows the chewed meat, and takes another bite. That wasn't quite the answer he was looking for, but he tries to spin it in his own head to convince himself that Thora /really/ isn't that mad and will have cooled down by the time school starts. The girl can't be mad forever, right?
Yet he can't get the image of Thora working in that metalworks place surrounded by an endless number of ways to painfully hurt him out of his head.
Thinking quickly, he tries to turn the tables a little bit. "So what was the deal with that whole appearance on TV anyway? Is playing doctor your big secret or something?"
"Guh... don't talk so loud about that."
Shirou slips a further into his own hands, holding his head up with his hands, fingers in his growing longer hair. "Just... yeah. That thing wasn't me. /That/ was the nastiness in here, alright?"
He grunts, straightening up, eyeing Fumiya. "Being a Doctor's a goal... not a secret."
Fumiya half-heartedly shrugs. "Ok so it seemed like an exaggerated animated villain. Big deal. Sock it one and move on." Fumiya punches the air to emphasize both his point and the fact that he actually doesn't get it.
"Of course... I guess an evil me would be harder to take down, because I'm so radical." Fumiya relaxes back in his chair, feeling more like himself. Yup, he really is great. "Still, it bites that there's a bunch of people trying to just kill people with this world. I mean, if you can use it to appear on TV without going through the networks or being traced... hell, I'm no genius when it comes to this stuff but I'm sure /someone/ could get some awesome use out of that."
Fumiya though? He'd just use it to become a star.
Shirou stays silent for a moment before sighing. "Okay... now Thora's gonna kill me. I can see the ideas already turning in your head. This isn't a /toy/ Fumiya. And trust me... if you go in, you will have no protection. No strength, no power. You're fighting yourself, and if you're anything like a normal kid... you're not gonna win without friends."
Fumiya just tilts his head at Shirou. One eyebrow is raised so much Shirou can nearly see Fumiya's otherwise hidden eye from behind his sunglasses. "..friends?"
He slumps back into his chair and sighs deeply. "Are you sure this isn't one big prank? I mean... come on. I dig 'The Power of Love', but you can't count on that kind of phony baloney stuff." Fumiya's voice takes on a strain that suggests he's trying a bit too hard to sound convincing. "You count on yourself first, the rest will follow."
It WILL follow.
"Ahhuh. Hey, you asked for the truth from a guy that lived it. 's all 'm saying. If it wasn't for Thora and Aigis-san and Seta-san, I'd be a dead man." He flumps back a bit, pushing his steak away.
"...and now 'm not hungry."
Fumiya just nods at the list of names. "Yeah, I bet Thora ran to your rescue, that's cool. Aigis-babe too, I remember her saving my butt once..." Wait... Seta? Who was... Fumiya blinks. He knows that guy. Barely, but he knows him all the same. He was in on this too?
Fumiya nods quickly, to hide the fact that he didn't previously know that Seta was someone he could've been shaking down for info, and that Shirou did at least give him a new lead. "Well whatever man. I guess at this point what happens, happens."
Standing from his seat, Fumiya dusts his shirt off. "Thanks for the feed, Shibrou. I told ya this the last time we talked, and I guess you didn't get time to listen, but try and unwind before school starts again eh?"