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Inspiration derived from Rejection

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“Hello??? Are you in there??? INARI, open the door!” Yusuke heard Futaba’s high-pitched voice shouting from the other side.

He was standing before the canvas, watching it attentively, trying to ignore Futaba’s yelling. It was a special day - it was Valentine’s day! And Yusuke had to use the inspiration that the love in his surroundings provided him. He had been watching couples to make the perfect portrait to reflect the beauty of love, another way to interpret desire.

But Futaba was completely jinxing it. Unable to concentrate because of Futaba’s insistent knocking on his door, he went to open the door, seeing Futaba slip into his room without any kind of problem.

“How did you know where I live?” He asked in amusement, as Futaba walked a little around the room until she sat on her butt, hugging her legs to her chest.

“It wasn’t that hard to find out, Inari.” She huffed, looking very sad. “Kosei High should improve the security of the data of their students.”

“I do not know whether I should be impressed or annoyed. Why would you come looking for me with such low spirits?”

Usually, Yusuke wasn’t one for consoling sad people or act as a psychologist, but he was a person, after all, he was kind of touched by how down Futaba seemed to be. Futaba and he had things in common (losing their mothers was one of them) but still, they continuously bickered and if she said something as she usually did Yusuke would just make it worse.

“You get along well with Ren, don’t you?” Futaba’s voice was soft as if it was about to break. “Do you know if he has a girlfriend?”

“Umm... perhaps I am misreading this, but are you insinuating you are sad because you think that Ren has a girlfriend? I don’t think it is in my place to answer that question and I’m sure you could find out that if you wanted.”

“I did! I hacked his phone but he has messages with... lots of girls! A shogi player, some nosy journalist, a doctor, even his homeroom teacher! Why would he accept to date all of them but not me!? What is wrong with me!?” Futaba was on the verge of crying.

“Well, it appears that Ren is quite popular with the ladies. You are both under Sojiro’s care, so perhaps he just sees you as a sister?” Yusuke suggested, unsure.

“B-but I... I told him what I felt for him and he just disregarded it! I was so pissed I accidentally used a fatal attack on him!” Futaba hid her face.

“Futaba... maybe I’m not the right person to discuss that with... have you tried talking to Ann, or one of the girls in our group?”

“I can’t talk to them, Ren is dating ALL OF THEM! Even Haru!” Futaba snorted.

“Alright. I see your problem.” Yusuke admitted. Ryuji wasn’t really one to talk to. That only left Morgana, but Morgana wasn’t really good for that kind of talk, he would be heartbroken if he knew Lady Ann was taken and he couldn’t relate to Futaba’s feelings in any way.

“What should I do?” Futaba cried out. “Should I make a new party to get revenge? You will join me, right, Inari?”

“What are you exactly referring to with Revenge?”

“I don’t know! I-I’m just scared and s-sad, I-I just...” Futaba sniffed. “C-can you hug me...? I might feel better. Hugs usually release endorphins and I think that’s what I need now.”

She stood up and walked to Yusuke, awkwardly standing in front of him. Feeling bad for her, Yusuke reached her and pulled her into an even more awkward hug, Futaba’s arms pressed against his chest while he wrapped his arms around her.

“Thank you, Inari. I feel a bit better now.” She removed her glasses and wiped the tears off her eyes. “I think our relationship has improved a rank. Want to join my party?”

“I do not comprehend what you’re meaning, but if it pleases you, then I might.”

“Yeah! Now I can kick Ren out of my party! Thanks, Yusuke!” She Said excitedly, jumping around. “Oh-Oh, I meant, THANK YOU INARI!”

Futaba left as suddenly as she came.

Even if she had been a distraction, Yusuke realized his mind was filled with fresh ideas and great things to ponder thanks to Futaba’s visit.