They had been relaxing, Ryuji leaning on Akechi’s shoulder while reading manga, Akechi typing out a report for Shido. The message used a complex method of code that Akechi himself had come up with (and was quite proud of), so he didn’t have to worry about Ryuji seeing his report on who he killed and why. Thankfully, he had finished all of his assignments for the month and wasn’t expecting more, so he had time for Ryuji. They could go out days in a row-maybe Akechi could take him to the sushi place and impress him by paying the bill.
“Akechi…did you…are you…?” Ryuji paused, sitting up and looking at him. Akechi felt a cold spot where Ryuji’s head had been, and he paused in his typing. Ryuji looked serious.
“Black mask.” Ryuji placed his manga on the table, eyes boring into Akechi’s soul. “Are you the black mask?”
“I don’t understand-”
“Akechi, I’m not stupid. I saw you in Mementos with a black mask on, and your explanation was way too simple for it to be true, I don’t even know anyone else who’s in the Metaverse, so it must be you!”
“Ryuji, it could be anyone. I haven’t murdered anyone so-”
“I never said anything about murder,” Ryuji interrupted, a glint appearing in his eyes. “It is you.”
“I don’t understand what you’re talking about,” Akechi answered curtly, still attempting to salvage his image. Ryuji couldn’t know about it, he couldn’t have worked it out-this would ruin their relationship, and after how much time Akechi devoted into making Ryuji like him!
Ryuji laughed softly, shaking his head. “I know it’s you. And to be honest, I don’t fucking care.” Akechi froze, a frown appearing on his face. Ryuji…didn’t care? Ryuji laughed at him again, shaking his head. “I don’t care. I don’t know why you do it, but it’s better than whatever the fucking Phantom Thieves are doing.”
“Kaneshiro fucking died. That was you, wasn’t it? Turns out he was doing worse things than we thought. He deserved it.”
Akechi’s eyes widened. He couldn’t have imagined those words coming out of Ryuji’s mouth, hatred pouring out like a river. Ryuji stared right back at him, eyes seething with anger. Not aimed at Akechi though. He could work that out. Akechi nodded, sighing wearily and leaning back on the sofa. It was all too much to deal with.
“Let me join.”
“No,” Akechi replied quickly, shaking his head. “I’m not letting you kill.”
“Let me. I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to be in the Phantom Thieves anymore. It hurts to be with them Akechi.” Ryuji’s hands clasped together-he was begging. Akechi’s resolve threatened to crash down at Ryuji’s puppy eyes, a voice in his head telling him that Ryuji wanted to join him and they would be together. But it would put Ryuji in danger. And could ruin him.
His brain contemplated Ryuji’s offer for a minute before coming to a decision. “You can join-” Ryuji perked up, looking at him expectantly. “But you have to stay in the Phantom Thieves. As a spy. For me. And then we can take them down.”
Ryuji smiled, shuffling next to Akechi like a puppy. “Sounds like a deal.”