Cutscene: Back Against the Wall

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Another night working late, another night getting home late for Thora wasn't so unusual. Nor was it to see that the lights were off at home. Morita did often work very late, much later than her. Upon stepping inside, Thora turned into the kitchen, her stomach roaring out in hunger. Just as she reached for the refrigerator, the light in the adjacent and un-separated den area flicked on.

There Morita stood, looking unhappy.

Thora looked up, undaunted, he being unhappy was hardly rare. "Hey Morita." before casually diving into the fridge.

"I saw your exam scores."

Thora froze.

"Kobayashi, do you remember the deal we made at the beginning of the school year?"

Slowly, she stood to stare at Morita over the open door of the refrigerator. "...yeah." Then hastily, she added, "Look, it was just some bad luck, I'll do better next ti-"

"We had a deal." Morita cut in sharply, crossing the floor to confront the teenager in the kitchen. "You keep your grades decent, we stay here in Inaba. You /fuck up/, we move to Sumaru."


"I cut you some slack on your previous set of exams but now you're not even trying. Don't think I don't know how much you skip class or screw off out of town for days on end." Morita snarled, stepping closer, but not so close that her personal space was invaded. Previous arguments had taught him a painful lesson about doing that to Thora.

"It's for my job!" Thora retorted, slamming the fridge door shut and pulling herself up to her full height before Morita. "Sensei has me run errands for him because I have a motorcycle!"

"I spoke with Daidara-san, he told me he sends you out for errands twice a month at the most and only on Saturday afternoons. You go out of town MUCH more than that."

She fell silent, glaring angrily at Morita before taking a step forward, one hand curling into a fist, a murderous glint in her eyes. In response, Morita held up a cellphone, finger resting on the SEND button, the number to the Inaba police department displayed upon the backlit screen. A number that Thora thoroughly recognized; he'd pulled this move before. Thora froze again.

"I have to stay in Inaba." Thora pleaded, in a low voice. "I /have/ to stay in Inaba." Shirou was here. Boss was here. Her /job/ was here. The TV world was here. 'Gee Morita, I'm sorry I couldn't study for exams, I was kind of preventing people from being murdered.' "C'mon, I promise to do better next time."

Both parties fell silent, staring at each other for several tense moments before Thora finally turned her eyes away. Only then did Morita finally speak. "I'm giving you a choice."

Thora looked up.

"Either we move out of Inaba or..." he paused, taking a moment to savor how that damn brat hung on his every word, " join that group for troubled youth they have set up in the new mall."

The color promptly drained from Thora's face. "You mean KNOWS?"

"That's right." Morita immediately supplied, "You clearly can't straighten yourself out. I can't straighten you out. So they will, I'm sure."

'Tch, yeah, /straighten/.' "Can I sleep on it?" Thora asked warily.

Morita lifted his head so he could look down his nose at her, then turned away to leave the fuming teenager in his wake. "I expect an answer first thing in the morning."

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