All Guys Love Games - a Persona 4 fanfic
Disclaimer: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 does not belong to me. This is a work of fanfiction.
Yosuke was beginning to wonder why exactly he ever attempted to study with Chie, because it always ended up like this. When they studied at Junes, they'd end up taking a prolonged break in the snack section, followed by a couple servings of steak skewers (all on Yosuke's tab); in the library, Chie would get anxious in the quiet atmosphere and whisper random things at Yosuke incessantly until the two of them got kicked out. He wasn't really sure why he thought studying at his place would be any different. Textbooks and notes left sprawled and forgotten on Yosuke's bed, Chie was now sitting crosslegged on his floor with a video game controller in her hand, bouncing up and down and staring up at the TV like a hyperactive elementary school kid. "C'mon, Yosuke, hurry up and pick!"
It had taken Chie no time at all to choose the character she wanted to play as, which surprised Yosuke about as much as anything else his boisterous classmate did. Naturally she gravitated straight for the kung-fu style fighter. Being that it was his game and he had more practice, Yosuke was carefully considering his options. Should he use a character he was good at playing, or one that he was less skilled at so he could go easy on Chie? She was just a girl, after all, so he shouldn't beat her too badly. He finally decided on the guy with the two-handed sword, who was powerful but far too slow for Yosuke to be any good at. "Alright, I'll try not to whoop you too bad."
"Hah!" Chie scoffed and shot a smirk in Yosuke's direction as the battle arena loaded. "You just watch, mister! Um... which button is kick again?"
Yosuke sighed and gave her a rundown of which buttons did what. Had it been a guy friend he was playing against, he might have been sneaky and neglected to mention which button was block, but he decided to go for full disclosure with Chie. How good could she possibly be, right?
30 seconds passed, the only sound being the grunting noises from the TV and the clacking of controllers. And then--
"Whoo-hoo! KO'd ya!" Chie shot Yosuke a victory sign, grinning ear-to-ear. "Toldja you shouldn't underestimate me!"
Yosuke opened his mouth once, then closed it. A tiny crease between his eyebrows was the only sign of his true feelings. "Beginner's luck! You won't have it so easy in round two."
"Bring it on!" Chie replied, tightening her grip on the controller and staring down the television as if it were a particularly nasty Shadow.
30 more seconds passed, and this time the end of the fight was punctuated by the sound of Yosuke's controller falling into his lap in utter shock. He hadn't even managed to get a hit on Chie's character before she wasted him. It had to be beginner's luck, it just had to be. Plus he'd intentionally chosen a character that gave him a handicap. Yeah, that had to be it.
Chie, of course, knew none of this, so she wasted no time in gloating. "Gotcha again! Game and match!"
"I- I went easy on you on purpose!" Yosuke spluttered out, picking up his controller again. "I challenge you to a rematch! You'll regret the day you went against the great Yosuke Hanamura!"
"Uh-huh, sure," Chie said, rolling her eyes. "Don't give me that. I saw you mashing buttons like a madman over there."
"I don't know how you could, over the sound of your own button mashing!" Yosuke shot back, glaring at her. "You're gonna break my controller if you keep that up! You better buy me a new one!"
"Oh, what, like you bought me a new Trial of the Dragon? Yeah, right! Just hurry up and pick a character, loser."
Yosuke was fuming, but managed to keep himself from snapping back. He'd just have to show Chie how horribly, tragically wrong she was. Predictably, she was sticking with the same kung-fu character as before, so Yosuke quickly changed his character to the one he was best at, an extremely fast dual-wielding ninja type. He smirked at the irony of it; the characters they'd chosen now reflected the way they fought Shadows inside the TV perfectly. Loser got to pick the battle stage as well, so he lowered Chie's chances even further by picking one of the most challenging arenas, an extremely small area with no bordering walls. "Ready to lose?"
"Speak for yourself!" Chie snapped back, clenching harder on the controller. Yosuke was a half-second away from reprimanding her again when the match started.
The two of them were all concentration, bodies tensed as though they were ready to spring into a fight themselves. Yosuke knew his character well, carefully orchestrating his moves into combos he knew were best at overtaking Chie's character type. Chie, for her part, was still mashing buttons, but somehow it was scarily effective. She even managed to wriggle away from one of Yosuke's best combos. Increasingly frustrated, Yosuke instead tried to grab Chie's character, intending to throw her over the edge and win instantly. But even that proved fruitless; teaching her the block button had clearly been a mistake. After nearly causing time to run out on the fight clock, Chie finally managed to chip off the last sliver of Yosuke's health with a well-timed low kick.
"Ha ha! Take that, mister ninja!" Chie said triumphantly, turning to stick her tongue out at her classmate.
Again Yosuke was left spluttering. "Y- you haven't won yet! I'll get you in round two!"
Chie was grinning ear-to-ear, which made Yosuke even more angry. "I think I've heard that somewhere before. Hmm, where was it...? Oh yeah! You said that the last time I totally kicked your ass! And then I totally kicked your ass again!"
While Chie was gloating, she'd failed to notice that the second round had started, and Yosuke was ready to take advantage of it. Before Chie could even react, he'd punched her character towards the edge of the arena, then thrown her off the unguarded edge. "You were saying?"
"Th- that's cheating! I wasn't ready!" In her anger, Chie took the controller and smacked it hard against Yosuke's upper arm.
"OW!" Yosuke's left hand flew to where Chie had hit him, rubbing it gently. "You're seriously gonna break it if you keep that up! Not to mention my arm!"
Chie was already staring up at the TV again. "No time for that! Round three, buddy! You're about to get stomped!"
Yosuke fumbled to regain the proper grip on the controller, managing it just in time to block Chie's crazy opening high kick. "I don't fall for my own tricks, missy," he shot back, confident enough now to throw some mid-game taunts. "Button-mashing is no substitute for skill." He punctuated his sentence by catching her in a particularly damaging combo, leaving her with only a fifth of her life bar remaining.
"Less talking, more fighting!" Chie shot back, catching Yosuke in his post-combo gloat with a completely improvised combo of her own, bringing his life bar down to nearly the same level. There was no time for snotty retorts after that, and the room grew tense with concentration as the two of them both went on the defensive, carefully circling and looking for an opening. Every once in a while, Chie would get impatient and attempt to attack, but Yosuke was getting better at reading her moves and was able to block every time. The two of them were so intent on winning that they noticed little else, especially not the match clock slowly counting down to zero.
"TIME UP!" announced the game, startling both Chie and Yosuke out of their hunched over, battle-ready postures. Then the same voice announced that Chie's character had won.
"Wha?" Chie said, blinking in confusion at the screen.
"WHAT?!" Yosuke shouted at the same time, throwing his controller down on the ground. "No way! Our health was the same! There's no way you won!"
Chie got up and stuck her nose right next to the screen, examining the display. "Nope, actually, looks like yours was a teensy bit lower than mine. That means I won?"
Though he couldn't deny the truth of her statement, Yosuke was still upset. "Well, yes, but... but NO! That totally doesn't count!"
"How doesn't it count?!" Chie retorted, putting her hands on her hips and glaring down at Yosuke. "If that doesn't count, then you throwing me off the side doesn't count either!"
Yosuke stood up to stare the girl in the face. "That was taking my opponent off guard and using the environment to my advantage!"
"Oh come off, if I'd done the same thing, you'd've been crying foul from here until tomorrow!" Chie moved her face very close to Yosuke's staring him down, until their noses were almost touching.
Not about to let her get the better of him, Yosuke stared right back, even though something about their proximity to one another was making him feel vaguely uncomfortable. "I would not!"
Feeling far too uncomfortable to continue the staring contest, Yosuke finally shoved Chie away. "If I cheated, then you totally cheated too!"
Chie was quick to recover, answering Yosuke's shove with a swift punch in the gut, which sent her classmate reeling. "I do not cheat, Yosuke Hanamura! I have honor and pride!"
"Not enough honor and pride to keep from nearly killing your friend on a goddamn daily basis," Yosuke grumbled back, doubled over on the floor. He coughed a couple times, honestly surprised that he wasn't hacking up blood after the powerful blow the girl had delivered. "Dammit, Chie, what the hell?"
Despite all the training Chie did, she still managed to surprise herself with her own strength. She really hadn't meant to hit Yosuke that hard, and she felt bad, but she was determined to stand her ground. "You're the one who started i--"
Her words were cut short by a loud CRUNCH. Chie'd taken a step forward towards Yosuke, but at some point their discarded controllers had gotten between the two of them, and her angry step had caused her to bring her socked foot down hard on one of them. There was a brief moment of silence; Chie stood there, her foot hovering over the smashed controller, while Yosuke looked on, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, his previous injury all but forgotten.
And then, quick as a flash, Chie bolted for the door.
"You'd better buy me a new one!" Yosuke yelled after her, a hint of pain lingering in his voice.
"I'll just go to Junes and put it on your tab!" Chie's voice called back from the entryway before the front door slammed closed.