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Complete Nightlife

Makoto Niijima

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556
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Ark City
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18
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Female
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Police Officer
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Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
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June 2nd, Year 109---Ark City
@Ryuji Sakamoto

It took Makoto a while to find a long stretch of freetime over the last couple of weeks to, but she eventually made one night for herself. Well, mostly herself. What drove her to invite Ryuji out on one of her stress relieving motorcycle rides was difficult to put into words, but he had a helmet already and he accepted her sudden, near midnight offer.

Maybe she still felt guilty for accidentally cornering him with the date question, or maybe she just felt like everyone deserved to experience the city this way at least once. Either way, it was supposed to be fun. A way to show that things were still okay between them.

After getting Ryuji settled on the back of her bike, she took them on a "scenic" tour of all the interesting spots in Ark City. The drive in movie theater, the malls, the good places to eat, the weird novelty stores that lined certain streets, the local parks, the towering skyscrapers. All while blasting rock music on the built in radio and going as fast as legally possible. That was a very important part of her routine.

"You still alright back there?" she called out over the noise of the engine. The roads were emptying out as they left Saenghu behind, returning to Radical Pointe. "I can slow it down if you want!"
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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Ryuji was more bothered by the whole thing that happened a few days ago than he wanted to admit. Ren suggesting that him and Makoto watching movies together at home was a date made him very flustered. Makoto's weird wording also led to him shooting himself in the foot and made him so red in the face that he couldn't even say anything. Just thinking back on it made him cringe from how pathetic he was throughout the whole thing.

Makoto didn't seem to be all that bothered by it though. Just like they had planned, they went out on a ride through the city on her motorcycle. It felt a bit awkward being the one sitting behind, not only because he felt awkward having to hold on to her, but also because he couldn't help but feel like the whole thing was kinda backwards. Like, it was usually the guy who was supposed to be riding with the girl holding on to him, right? It was a bit weird to be the passenger, but he went with it anyway. Wasn't like he could chicken out after the movie night disaster, 'else things would get even more awkward.

That aside, riding a bike was a lot of fun! The speed wasn't a problem with him, it wasn't like Makoto had never done some crazy driving before. Hell, escaping from Futaba's and Dr. Maruki's palace was waaay crazier than this. It felt like they were going all over the city in seconds, everything going by so quickly that it was hard for Ryuji to pay much attention to his surroundings, but that was really cool in its own right.

"All good here!" Ryuji answered, his excitement all over his voice. "Kinda feelin' like takin' off my helmet to feel the wind on my face though," he half-joked, fully expecting Makoto to not approve.
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
Profile
link
Organizer
link
"You know, we could try that in the Metaverse," Makoto said. She never used a helmet with her Persona, and the feel of riding was completely different. She didn't feel like she had to be as cautious there, because Agnes would keep her safe. She couldn't exactly trust a regular motorcycle to not lose traction or malfunction at the wrong moment. Makoto made a sharp turn, the entire bike drifting to the side before she straightened it up and slowed down.

She shut the radio off as they passed through a quiet neighborhood near the house, and then Makoto took them up a hill overlooking the town. She let go of the throttle and allowed the motorcycle to roll to a stop, steadying it with her foot. She lowered the kickstand and went to take her helmet off.

"That was...a little longer than I usually drive," she admitted. "I tend to just cut through the city and come back, but I thought you'd want to see more of it."
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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"Hell yeah! I'm down for that!" Ryuji agreed without missing a beat. This kind of thing was just too much fun to do only once and leave it at that. It really made him want to get his own bike and a license, just so he could be the one driving one day.

Eventually they stopped at a hill overlooking the city. Ryuji was quick to take off his helmet and leave his face exposed to the wind again before getting off the bike and then trying to take in the view from up there.

"Maan, the city looks crazy from all the way here!" he said, sounding more like an excited kid than anything else. "This place is awesome!"
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
Profile
link
Organizer
link
"We'll have to arrange that for another time, then. Mementos has much less traffic on the roads." She'd gone all out a few times in the Metaverse and hit some impressive speeds. And it turned out that most Shadows just couldn't withstand the impact either, so she didn't have to worry too much about fighting either. She set her helmet on the motorcycle and ran a hand through her hair to flatten out the loose strands.

"I thought you'd like it more from a different vantage point," she said with a smile. "I never really had the freedom to just go wherever I wanted, and Pandora technically gave that to me. As different as everything is, I do appreciate it for that." Makoto stood up to stretch her back before tucking her hands into her jacket. "Found this spot...almost a year ago, just driving around by myself one night."
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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It felt nice to look at everything from above. Everything looked a lot smaller when you were so high up and some things about how the city looked that you could only notice when you could see it from a distance like this. It was pretty neat, though not something that would keep Ryuji entertained for much longer.

"Freedom, eh?" Ryuji looked at Makoto with a smile, happy for her. "I guess it's easy to be free here. You can live however you want and you don't gotta worry about what happened in the past."

Speaking of, the amosphere in this place made Ryuji think about the movie night again. This time it was just the two of them, at the top of a hill at night... It sounded pretty romantic, right? He wasn't the best with this stuff, but it really sounded like something you'd see in one of those romantic dates in movies. Was he reading too much into it? When she asked him about what he wanted back then... did she mean that it was up to him whether they started datin' or not?

Did she really like him?

Ryuji's smile faded away, hands going into his pockets while his helmet was tucked away under his arm. "Say, uh... can I ask you somethin'?" he spoke, his tone sounding hesitant, even a little scared.
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
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She had spent so much time thinking about the people she lost, or at least felt like she lost, to the point of it nearly tearing her apart. Denying her feelings to not disrupt everyone. Berating herself to avoid hurting others. Once the weight was removed from her shoulders, it was like she was finally seeing Pandora for the first time for what it was instead of a well designed prison.

"Yeah, it just...took a while for that to sink in. It shifts your perspective on things." Makoto didn't know what to expect from Ryuji's sudden mood shift, but she nodded anyway. "You humored me with this trip idea, so sure." Was it about that time in winter? No, he would have brought it up directly then.
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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Alright, no chickening out this time. He had to man up and actually ask her. 'Else this whole thing would keep bothering him forever and that'd just make things really awkward moving forward. Though... he couldn't help but notice that Makoto didn't look like she had any idea of where he was going with this. Was this a bad sign?

"Well... Uh... It's just..." one of his legs started bouncing as he tried to get the words out. "I was just wonderin' if you... y'know... back that night when we were gonna movies together..."

God why was this being so hard to say? The more he tripped over himself the more pathetic he felt. It was just Makoto, wasn't like she was gonna mock him for thinkin' there was something going on or anything like that. He knew that, but why was it still so hard to say anything?

"Are you... interested in me?" he finally asked, his voice uncharacteristically timid, with his hands now gripping at the fabric inside his pockets. "I-I mean, romantically?"
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
Profile
link
Organizer
link
Oh, this was about...the movie night. Well then. Makoto had left it to Ryuji on whether it was a date or not, but in the moment she just wanted to watch something with him. She never really had the chance to do much of anything one on one with Ryuji, beyond their combined finishing attack in the Metaverse. And to her surprise, they did have far more in common that looks would suggest. She wished she noticed it earlier. It was fun, doing stuff with him without worrying about Phantom Thief business or getting strange looks from teachers for interacting with a "delinquent".

Did she want to date him? She really had no idea how to apporach this, and now he was asking directly. It felt more obvious around 2B, but she remembered that it was different with Ren too. Of course romance had to be a doubly complex emotion with her. She couldn't just call someone attractive and end it there, that'd be too easy. Makoto took a few second to recover from the suprise, and then tried to respond. There went all her earlier confidence.

"I...I like it went you and I are together," she said. "You always say what you mean, and I really missed that sort of honesty. It makes me feel like I can do whatever I want as well." She took a deeper breath and let it out. "I'm not...good at this stuff. Reading myself is hard even after dating before, but...I want to try again. With you, if you're alright with that. It doesn't have to be serious either." It seemed even warmer tonight than usual, but it was probably just her overheating from thinking too hard about this. "I just mean we can take it slowly. I'm not in a rush."
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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Ryuji was bracing himself for a response and what he got... at first, he wondered if she was just trying to reject him in a nice way, even mentioning that she had apparently dated someone before (!), but then he got an actual answer. She actually said that she wanted to give dating a try again, with him.

Holy shit.

"F-For real?! You want to date me?!" he spoke in complete disbelief, his expression completely dumbfounded.

For a minute, Ryuji just stared blankly at Makoto, his brain still trying to process that this was real. He never really thought he'd be her type. He thought someone that's as smart as her would've wanted someone that was smart too, like Ren, or maybe even Yusuke, but him? He was at the complete opposite side of the scale when it came to grades and all that intellectual stuff. Maybe he just misjudged what she was looking for in a guy.

This was so wild, he couldn't help but start snickering. "W-Wow, I never thought this would actually happen," he said, his body beginning to relax, followed by him breathing out in relief. "You're the coolest girl I ever met, y'know? You're super smart, nice and cute too; you can kick some serious ass when you get serious, and your Persona is a motorcycle! Can't get much better than that!" he grinned.

Slowly, he felt his face starting heating up a little. "I always thought you'd be going for someone more... y'know... at your level," he said, taking one hand out of his pocket and beginning to rub the back of his neck.
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
Profile
link
Organizer
link
"You should have more confidence in yourself, Ryuji," she said, turning redder by the second. Yet she couldn't stop smiling either. "You never stop trying to do what's right, even if everything else seems against you. How is that not cool? I personally think we're at the exact same level." She wasn't somehow better than him.

"So, um...you're okay with this? Like I said, I'm not exactly an expert on what to do. Especially..." she looked off to the side and cleared her throat. "With guys. That's still sort of new." The fake dating aside, anyway. She didn't want to do it that way. Dating should feel more natural.
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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82
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17
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Male
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Dating Makoto Niijima
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More confidence, huh? Funny, he normally thought of himself as a pretty confident guy. Well, when it came to anything except studyin', at least. Maybe it was just because Makoto was a lot smarter than him that he thought she was out of his league.

"Hell yeah I'm ok with this!" Ryuji answered with no hesitation, wearing an eager grin on his face. Although, the reveal that Makoto's previous date was a girl did caught him offguard. "Whoa, really? You too? Is Pandora makin' everyone gay or somethin'?" he asked, half-joking. Ren, Akechi, and now Makoto; maybe this was part of the freedom she mentioned earlier.

So this was going to be new for both of them, in a way. Ryuji had never date before, period, and Makoto never dated a guy before now. Though... was it really that different? Sure, boys and girls acted in very different ways but... dating was the same either way, right?

"Well, uh... it's not like I'm any better than you at this stuff, y'know? Isn't that what makes it fun?" Ryuji grinned again. "I mean, it'd be boring if dating was like a checklist of things to do. We just gotta do what feels right for us."
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
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"Ah, I don't think I considered dating anyone until that last year ar Shujin, so you could say that I didn't have the time to process what I was looking for," she explained. She had crushes, but didn't have the nerve to bring them up with anyone. She was just happy to have people that wanted to be friends. "It sort of just happened with a coworker here. This is...pretty different." He didn't look offended by her lack of experience though, which was enough to let go of the tension that was keeping her so rigid by her bike. Makoto hesitated, and then moved to stand beside Ryuji.

"You're right, even if I like the idea of checklists. Just...not for this. So what feels right for you right now?" she asked, nudging him a little. "You want to go back, or stay here for a while?" Why was her heart pounding when she was the one coming up with the questions?
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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Never really thought about dating before, huh? Well, Makoto had been focusing completely on her studies until the Phantom Thieves started making waves. Made sense that she was starting to open herself up to stuff like dating now that she was free from that stuff.

What felt right right now... sounded like she was leaving that up to him. On one hand, there wasn't much else for them to do here and they'd have to go home at some point anyway, but on the other... it was kind of nice here.

"Well..." he trailed off, now starting to get shy with Makoto so close, "why don't we stay here a bit longer? Just... relax a lil' bit, yeah? This confession stuff is stressful as shit," he laughed, though he also sounded a bit nervous.

He took the opportunity to sit down, facing the city in the distance, and then patted the ground near him so Makoto would join him. It felt like a nice way to wind down after all this. Plus, it wasn't like they were in any rush to go back home.
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
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Female
Species
Human
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Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
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Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
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link
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Stressful as shit. She had to laugh at that. It wasn't the way she would word the situation, but still accurate. There was always some anxiety attached to connecting with another person, especially like this, and yet she wanted to try again. Not to forget what happened before, but because she didn't want to be stuck in the past either. Never again.

"I like that idea." She took the spot beside him, wondering where exactly to go from here. "...Does this mean that you thought the ride was a date? Was it really good enough to get a confession out of you?" Makoto knew he was nervous, but it was still hard to resist teasing him back after all the jokes he made.
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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So they were there, sitting next to each other. Ryuji felt like he should do something. Like... wrap his arm around her, probably? Was that fine to do already? Sure didn't take long before he started thinking about this stuff again.

Makoto's question didn't help either, almost immediately making him blush. "Uh, it was just really sudden, y'know? All of sudden you were askin' me to go buy a helmet with you so we could go on a bike ride. We never did anythin' like this back home so... it made me wonder," he answered, rubbing the black of his neck.

He even asked Ren about it via text and, well, maybe he knew there was somethin' there considering how this turned out. Ren even said pretty much the same thing as Makoto earlier, so maybe he should listen to him more often when it came to this stuff.

"Plus..." he said, then deciding to go for it and wrapping an arm around Makoto, pulling her closer. "I've liked you for months now, so maybe I was just keepin' my hopes up. Good thing I did, huh?" he grinned.
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
Profile
link
Organizer
link
She couldn't stop a short yelp from escaping her after his sudden move, but she didn't pull away either. Once again, he knocked her off guard, but that just meant she had to try harder to even it out later. It was important to make sure that Ryuji didn't feel like he needed to take the lead all the time.

"Um, well...I didn't have the money for a bike before, so I couldn't give anyone rides," she pointed out, lowering her voice. It was still an intimate offer to a degree, but Makoto also just liked driving people around. "You liked me for months? I'm much denser than I thought." Makoto rested her head on his shoulder, leaning against him. "You're beginning to smell like the cafe. Maybe it's sinking into your clothes," she mumbled, closing her eyes as she thought. Curry and roasted beans combined with something she couldn't recognize at the moment.
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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Hearing Makoto yelp when he pulled her close briefly made Ryuji panic, thinking that he had messed up, but then it turned out fine. Just gotta keep in mind to be a bit slower when doing that next time. Makoto even started leaning against him, something that made him feel all giddy inside. He still couldn't believe this was actually happening.

"I guess it started around the time you awakened to your Persona," Ryuji elaborated, although he himself sounded uncertain. "Maybe it's because that was when I got to see how you were really like, instead of the teacher's pet you made yourself into." He leaned his head against her own. It felt... nice, to be like this. "Ooh, really? That's cool! Smellin' like coffe kinda gives off that mature vibe, ya know?" he said, sounding pretty excited.

He didn't like coffee all that much. Bitter stuff in general was just a big no for him. The only way he could drink coffee was with a lot of sugar or cream to make it sweeter. Even then, most of the time he went for a soda at Leblanc, while everyone else went for the coffee. It sucked.
 
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Makoto Niijima

Persona
Posts
556
Location
Ark City
Age
18
Gender
Female
Species
Human
Occupation
Police Officer
Alignment
Lawful Neutral
Relationship Status
Dating Ryuji Sakamoto
Profile
link
Organizer
link
"Oh..." It was strange, but kind of flattering to hear that he liked her when she wasn't trying to be perfect. That entire moment was like a release valve for the years that she felt trapped on a single path of life. She just...said and did what she felt without thinking about it, and that drew him in. "That wasn't the reaction I thought I got that day, but thank you." She almost rolled her eyes at his attempt to be mature.

"Just use the beans as soap and you'll never have to drink a cup to get the scent." She was being nonsensical, but that didn't matter to her right now. "You're mature without coffee when you want to be though."
 
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Ryuji Sakamoto

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82
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17
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Male
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Human
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Dating Makoto Niijima
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What reaction did she think she got? Fear? Well, that wouldn't be wrong. He, Ann and even Yusuke were pretty intimidated by just how scary Makoto got when she awakened to her Persona. She was one of the people that Ryuji definitely didn't want to make mad, with the other being Haru. Figures it would be their senpai that would be the scariest people in the team.

"Don't think you can use beans as soap," Ryuji said, followed by a laugh. "Though now I wonder if coffee-scented soap exists. Can you imagine that?" he grinned.

This was a really dumb conversation, but it was still kind of nice. Having some small talk about random things all the while keeping close contact with each other, watching the bright city in front of them. Not bad for what was basically their first date.

"You really think I'm mature though?" Ryuji asked, lifting his head off Makoto's so he could turn and look at her directly.
 
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Current Season

Status Updates

O-o; I swear I posted something but it ain't showing. Anywhoo.... I'm finally back in the saddle and would love to get some plots going with Jack again. I'm unfortunately dropping down to 1 character because current events have spiked work too much for me to be confident beyond that... But if y'all want to plot with my grumpy old soldier, lemme know!
shout out to all the kids running for Gen Sec. don't ruin my democracy please and thank you.
I am apologizing for this past month with posting guys. Bunch of stuff happened and the month went away from me.
Grand opening at Cave of Wonders today. Come by, play some games, have some coffee. It's fun. :3

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