• Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
  • If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders

Not All That is Gold Glitters [Persona 5] [Yusuke/Futaba]

TheCharredDragon

This is my justice...and my punishment
Summary: Old fears of Yusuke resurface when his son seems focused on money not long after showing his eye for art. But it's only after a suggestion from his wife, Futaba, does he realize the true reason behind his son's behavior. Aka: Dad!Yusuke worried his son might end up like Madarame but finds out it's just his son being like him and Futaba.

Yusuke had been in the middle of brainstorming his next piece when, like a hurricane, Futaba slammed the door open and said,

"Sorry Yusuke! I got to go! Some idiot messed up the data and I have to fix it! Keep an eye on the kids!"

Then ran off, leaving him in charge of their children. Yusuke sat still, staring where his wife had previously stood, before sighing with fondness. Still many years since they first met and she still went at her own pace. He would have to put his project on hold for now.

He put down his pencil, made sure the door to the atelier was secured, and then headed for the nursery. As he expected, the area of the room meant for them to watch their children as they played was in disarray, papers and such that Futaba had likely been going through strewn across the floor around the armchair. And his two children were very curious about them.

"Ah ah ah," he said as he quickly grabbed their hands. "No. These are your mother's papers."

His young children grew sullen at the denial but Yusuke was quick to change their focus, picking them up in his arms and carrying them into the center of the room, where various toddler safe toys were scattered on the floor.

"Would you like to play with papa?"

He put them down only to pick up a plush—a white kitsune Futaba bought because of course she did—and wiggled it in front of them in imitation of a fox wishing to play. Jirou, his son, cooed and clapped before he reached forward to grab it. But a fox was ever the trickster so Yusuke had it "jump" out of his range to end up within the reach of his daughter, Shion. However, unlike her younger brother, Shion was even more sullen than before and was making her way towards the papers again.

Yusuke frowned, letting the go of the fox to be caught by his son as he took hold of his daughter once again.

"Shion? Is something wrong?"

Though now that he spoke, he felt silly for it. His daughter couldn't understand that. Despite that, Shion whined before she waved her hands in the general direction of Futaba's fallen documents. He froze. No...could she...? It was probably wishful thinking but... Her squirming brought him out of his astonishment and he decided he would see if his suspicion was correct. Making sure Jirou was thoroughly occupied, he left the nursery with Shion in his arms, retrieved one of his many, many sketchbooks and some of his colored pencils from his atelier, before returning and closing the nursery door, seating himself on the armchair. With his daughter on his lap, he held the sketchbook before her and began to outline the room.

As soon as he did, Shion cooed, grabbed his pencil and scribbled all over his sketch when he let it go, a large and excited smile on her face.

Yusuke smiled as well, pride, joy and more swelling within his chest.

It wasn't until Futaba came back did he realize he spent two hours doodling with his daughter.

"What?! Inari! Why didn't you put Jirou in his crib?!"

Yusuke startled, blinked, then turned his head to see that, yes, his son had napped on the floor.

He flinched. "Ah my apologies, Futaba..." he said, contrite.

He shouldn't have had his excitement get the better of him. Now he had neglected his son, even if it was for a moment.

His wife sighed and cradled Jirou, rocking him to make sure he remained in slumber.

"What did you get distracted by this time?" she said, only slightly scolding due to them being in the nursery.

"Ah well..." It was embarassing but he would tell her.

Or at least he would've if Shion hadn't looked up from his sketchbook and cooed at her mother. So of course Futaba noticed it and said,

"Don't tell me. Did Shion start drawing?"

He stared. The wording implied... "You knew this would happen?" he said as he stood to fulfill Shion's silent request.

Futaba sighed again. "Of course I did," she said and put Jirou into his crib. "The moment she got your blue hair, I just knew she'd be like you."

Yusuke frowned. "I do not see how her having my hair color would correlate to her inheriting my interest."

His wife rolled her eyes. "Woman's intuition." She sighed. "Now things are gonna be really messy..."

"You're not that tidy in the first place."

"Neither are you, Inari."

Shion put to stop any further banter between them as she reached out for her mother and Futaba picked her up with a smile.

"But I'll live with it. She's our daughter after all. As long as she loves doing it, I'm happy too."

Yusuke shared his wife's joy.

"Yes. I feel the same as well."

Yusuke smiled as he watched both visitors and patrons view his art among the many done by other artists. He would admit to feeling proud that so many were crowding his work in particular, especially from the comments of those not experienced in viewing and critiquing art. Even without the advanced knowledge of veterans, they were still having discussions about what he meant to convey with his piece and what it meant to them in consequence. What's more was that teenagers in casual clothes were among the crowd, a demographic not often seen in an art gallery unless it was for a school trip.

His art was reaching hearts far and wide.

"Uh...sir?"

"Hmm? Yes?" Yusuke said as he turned to his manager, Keisuke Takagi.

It still amused him he had a manager, but after years of marriage, his continued inablity to handle large amounts of money and his wife's insistence, he had hired one. After Ren, Akira, Akechi, Makoto and Futaba herself screened him of course.

"Is it really all right to be bringing your children here?"

Yusuke frowned. "Of course it is," he said, checking the stroller and baby carrier to be sure they were secure and safe. "My daughter is enjoying it after all."

And she was. She stared at everything in awe and wonder, often cooing and waving her hands in hopes of her father acquising and standing closer to them. But, alas, he knew she would try to touch the art and that wouldn't do. When she was older and thus more conscious of being careful, he would.

"Are you sure it's not just because she's a baby...?" his manager said. "Your son's also looking at everything with the same look."

Yusuke froze. Then he leaned forward to see that, yes, Jirou was looking at everything with the same expression his sister sported.

"Indeed he does," he said, almost breathless. "I must be sure it is for the same reason."

"Same reason...? Huh? Kitagawa!" Takagi said, his voice fading as Yusuke walked as swift as he could without jostling his children or bothering the visitors.

Jirou hadn't shown interest in doodling like his older sister had, so he wanted to be sure he was indeed fascinated by the paintings just as Shion was. And it seemed it was, for whenever they were in the larger gaps between pieces, mainly the hallways connecting the various buildings for this particular gallery, all smiles or noises were subdued until they in proximity with any art piece, whether it be sculptures, installation art or the paintings. It filled him with joy to see that both his children would have an eye on the arts.

But his greatest joy was when they were before his own piece, the crowd now much smaller after having their fill of the sight, they smiled, bright and cheerful, as if they recognized that this painting was their father's.

Yusuke watched his children from his hiding spot of the corridor just outside the living room, Futaba coming up from behind him with quiet and careful steps.

She peaked over his side and chuckled. "She looks like you when you're concentrating."

The "she" his wife referred to being Shion, who was so engrossed and passionate in her art assignment that she made not just one, but several pieces, each one made with erratic yet precise strokes. Her brother on the other hand... He looked almost bored, dare he say, eyeing his project with the same dispassion he had for his other subjects, particularly physics. Yusuke would've concluded that he was just not "into" art, much like Futaba was for the most part, but then Shion said, lifting up her latest piece,

"Hey hey, Jirou. What do you think of this?"

Her brother smiled. "You know you just need to give one right?"

"Yeah yeah! Now come on! What do you think?"

His son laughed. "Okay okay..." he said before turning serious. "Hmm...I think the orange is a little too much. It's overpowering the other colors."

"That's great! That's the point."

"Oh really? Well even if it's the point, the composition makes it look like you spilled it on the paper. I think it'd look better if you..."

And so his two children started talking in a way that Futaba simply described as "two kids sounding like art critics but talking like kids", and he would agree. Though their vocabulary and knowledge of art was still small, they spoke of it with the seriousness and passion that any artist who loved the craft would speak with.

And yet none of that vigor his son had in discussing art was directed into the creation of it.

He sighed. "Indeed she does..."

"Disappointed?"

Yusuke frowned and turned to see Futaba looking at him with a slightly smug and amused expression.

"About what?" he said, confused.

"About Jirou."

Yusuke flinched. He almost wanted to deny it, loathing the thought of being disappointed, for even a moment, in his son for not sharing the same interests as him, but...that wouldn't be fair on his son or himself, to not admit a part of him he wished wasn't true.

So he steeled himself and said, "In a sense... I had thought he too would grow passionate with art when he showed interest like Shion, but he doesn't do much to create art, unlike his sister."

"Thought so..." Futaba said. And for a moment, he felt some anger at her sounding so dismissive until she added, "I mean, I'm kinda in the same boat. When I see 'em like this, it makes me wonder if they'd like the stuff I like..."

Yusuke flinched once again, now ashamed for forgetting that she would've wanted to share her own passions with her children as well, but she held back when it seemed her children would be like him, more interested into traditional art and not the ones she loved. In the small hope of making up for it, he held her in an arm before he bent down to kiss the crown of her head.

"You still have a chance. There must be some manga or anime that your children can see," he said.

Yet still Futaba was hesitant. "But..."

"I know there are some with amazing art. I'm sure you can use that as a starting point."

Futaba contemplated it.

"Okay. I'll give it a shot."

One week later, Yusuke smirked as he watched over Shion, who was currently sitting in front of the living room TV with wide-eyes, Blu-ray cases of a mecha anime, a magical girl anime and one version of Featherman scattered on the couch she sat on, all of them belonging to his wife. On the table before her, Jirou was busy admiring all of the "toys" on it, also belonging to Futaba, the "toys" being old figures she had that she wouldn't feel as torn if they were ruined, for even though they were considered vintage with their age, they were common and thus easily found. But Yusuke knew with how his son held and observed them with reverence that she would have nothing to worry about, save a slip of the hand. He turned his smug expression to his wife.

"I told you."

"Oh shut it Yusuke. How was I supposed to know my kids would be art and pop culture nerds?"

"Your woman's intuition?"

"Do you want me to glue your mouth shut, Inari?"

Yusuke laughed.

Ever since that day, his children would more often than not spend time with their mother. Not that they didn't spend time with him, especially Shion. His daughter most certainly did, always enjoying their art lessons, suplementing her normal ones with what he was honed over the years. But he knew they have been enthralled by the wonders of his wife's hobbies, igniting a passion in them he hadn't seen before. As lonely as it felt to see his children likely drifting away from traditional art, it paled to how heartened he was to see them so happy, his daughter growing interested in animation while his son had taken quite a liking to all the mechandise his wife has collected over the years.

But still, he treasured the times when his children felt like breaking their routine to simply spend time with him. So he didn't mind when Jirou decided to stay in his atelier one afternoon while he, once again, worked on his next piece.

"Hey Dad!"

"Yes Jirou?"

"How much is this worth?" his nine year old son said as he held up degraded paint brushes

He frowned, uneasy from his words but still said, "I forget. Which company is it?"

Jirou examined the paint brushes and told him the creators. With that information, Yusuke remembered the price and told his son. Jirou nodded but otherwise said nothing as he eyed the brushes. Yusuke was curiously worried about why would he ask for the monetary value of his equipment but "brushed" it off as he returned his focus on drafting his next piece, assuming it was just a whimsical inquiry. But not long after he asked that question, Jirou asked another, this time the price on some aging grames. And then another. And yet another. All of them asking how much they were worth.

Including his piece.

"How much do your paintings usually cost?"

A pencil tip snapped.

"That is not your concern," he said, brusque.

"Huh? But—"

"Don't disturb me when I work."

Jirou quieted then. And it was only then did he realize he had snapped at his child.

With remorse, he frowned and put his pencil down before making his way to his sitting son. His heart ached when he was right before Jirou and he flinched, not relaxing immediately when Yusuke reached out to embrace him.

"I'm sorry, Jirou," he said. "I shouldn't have been angry with you."

"But..."

"But nothing. I was at fault for being irritated and you did nothing wrong. Do you understand?"

His son nodded against his shoulder. With him relaxed, Yusuke gave him the truthful answer of not knowing until he was finished, not mentioning the fact it would likely sell hundreds of thousands, if not millions of yen, considering the average price his paintings were sold.

More and more his son asked for the price of objects, and the more and more Yusuke grew worried and the more and more did he scold Jirou for it.

"Why do you keep asking me how much they are worth?" Yusuke asked at one point, particularly when Jirou wished to know of Vincent Van Gogh.

"Because I wanna know," was his simple and innocent answer.

But it did little to assauge his worries.

He would remind Jirou that when he made money, it was a side-effect from pursuing what he loves, creating art and spreading a light in the dark. But his boy would end up focusing on how much it was sold for. His eyes would sparkle and he would gush about how "cool" Yusuke, his father, was for making so much money. He couldn't deny the joy his son felt.

He would remind Jirou that money wasn't everything to life, that it would not buy happiness. But his boy would frown and scrunch his eyebrows in a way that was very reminiscent of his mother and tell him it was still important if they needed to survive and have food, housing and more. He couldn't refute the truth that his son thought.

And he would remind Jirou that not everyone wasn't as fortunate as them, living comfortably and able to afford things besides what was needed to live, with a job for both him and his mother could make a living from that they loved. But his boy wouldn't understand why was that a problem, to spend money if he had it and to spend it on what he wanted. He couldn't understand why his son thought that.

It was reminding him too much about the distant past.

Yusuke sighed.

"What's wrong?" Futaba said.

"What makes you think something is wrong?"

"Because you're doing that overdramatic sigh you only do when something's bothering you. Like an art slump."

"I do not sigh overdramatically."

"Yes you do. But seriously, what's wrong?"

Another sigh. "It is nothing. I'm just concerned for Jirou is all."

"Huh? Jirou? Something happen?"

"He has been asking me about prices of my art and equipment lately... Even my older ones, like 'Desire and Hope' and some of the brushes I've kept from our high school days."

His wife had an inquisitive look. "Yeah and...?"

He glared at her. "He's putting a price tag on everything, Futaba. Are you not concerned about that?"

"Well, yeah, but it could just be like me and that's just his way of relating with things outside of his interest. Like me using game terminology."

"Then what? His interest is money? Why is that? I don't want my son to—"

"End up like Madarame?" Futaba said, somber.

He flinched. And there it was, the root of it all...

"Yes..."

He would admit it. His son's seeming obssesion with money reminded him of Madarame's definite obsession with it. It was so odd for his son to be so interested in it at such a young age. If he continued this way...he worried his son would become the very thing he had escaped from.

They were silent for a while, Futaba just leaning against him to show she was there for him.

Eventually though she said,

"I got an idea."

That idea, it turned out, was to stalk—"No, you're investigating", his wife would insist—his son after he left from school. As dubious as his actions were, he would do it, and it was something he could easily do, his time as a Phantom Thief still aiding him now. It would allow him to see a side of Jirou he might not completely show to them at home for whatever reason.

He would have to stay a while though considering there were clubs, even if it was only a week or two after the first semester started. But just as he thought that, he was surprised to see Jirou bidding his sister good-bye before they went their separate ways, Shion going back inside and Jirou leaving school grounds. Yusuke frowned but put any speculations on hold as he followed his son.

Despite him wanting to halt his musings, his mind couldn't help but go in all sorts of directions, some of them familiar and some not, all of them fueled by his memories of his own high school days, where they were the Phantom Thieves and saw all sorts of crimes done to all people of all ages. It got even worse as they arrived in a less dense and more run down area, where fewer people walked and the atmosphere was more dismal than earlier. And then Jirou went inside a shop and he stared when he realized what it was.

It was an antique shop.

"Hi Watanabe-san! I'm back!" his son said, loud and cheerful.

Yusuke didn't hear the immediate reply but he did hear part of it as he neared the front door as discretely as possible.

"What would you like to do today?" the presumed owner of the shop said.

"Can I help clean the drawers?"

"Go ahead. Here."

Yusuke assmued the owner gave his son a cloth before he put down his school bag with a clatter and rushed to one side, his footsteps echoing against the wooden floor.

"So? Did you find out what kind of chairs they are?" the man said, tone warm with kindness and a hint of humor.

"I did! They're..." Then his son went on to detail an impressive amount of history on Victorian chairs, their style and, most notably, how much they fetched on the market.

The owner, Watanabe-san, laughed. "Yes yes. That's right."

"Huh? Wait. You knew already?!"

"Of course I did, Kitagawa-kun. It would be embarrassing for me not to know of the things I deal with in my profession, wouldn't it?"

"Grrr... Then how about this?!"

Yusuke froze.

Once again, his son showed how knowledgeable he was for his age, citing history, properties and price, but this time it was for Vincent Van Gogh.

Silence permeated.

Then Watanabe-san said, "My... I'll admit that even though I do handle paintings, I'm not that knowledgeable on them or artists. You beat me there, Kitagawa-kun."

"Heh heh," Jirou said, reminding him of his wife's snickers. "Of course I do! It's all thanks to Dad."

Watanabe-san chuckled. "I should've known. I forget you're the son of an artist."

"Don't you forget it!"

After that, the conversation turned into one between student and mentor as Watanabe-san told him more about antiques and all sorts of memorabilia, mainly their history, before having Jirou guess the selling price for the piece. From what Yusuke could tell, his son got it right a little over half the time. By the end of it, the sun started to set and the shop owner said,

"You're getting better, Kitagawa-kun. You'll be a good antique dealer at this rate."

Another chuckle reminiscent of Futaba. "I hope so! I wanna make money so I can finally get that fox carving from you!"

Fox carving...?

Watanabe-san laughed. "You're still after it eh? Why don't you just ask your parents to buy it for you?"

"I want it to be a surprise! And I want it to be first thing I buy with my own money," Jirou said with the pride and assurance of an innocent eleven year old.

The shop owner laughed again before he said, "All right all right. But you better hurry then. Who knows if that carving will still be here when you can buy it."

"It will."

"And how do you know?"

"Because it said so! It says it'll wait for me to buy it. I can feel it."

He could only imagine the look of bewilderment on the man's face but Yusuke himself had to cover his mouth, lest his laughter escape its confines. That odd but confident explanation reminded him so much of Futaba...yet he knew only his son could think of such a thing, to look at an object and see its whole value, both monetary...and sentimental.

Yet again the shop owner laughed before he spoke. "If you say so, Kitagawa-kun. You should leave now. You don't want to worry your parents, yes?"

"Huh?" There was a pause, likely Jirou looking at a clock as he then said, "Gah! You're right! Bye Watanabe-san!"

And Yusuke tilted his hat while his son ran right past him to head home. When he was sure he wouldn't return, he looked down the path Jirou took.

He smiled, somewhat rueful but mostly relieved...and embarrassed.

He should've trusted his son.

"You knew?" he said to his wife when he came back.

His children were busy in the living room, dealing with their homework, while his wife was in the kitchen, cooking the family dish, Leblanc's curry.

Futaba smiled like the Cheshire Cat. "Of course I did."

He shook his head in fond exasperation. "That was why you weren't so worried..."

"Heh heh heh. Sorry Yusuke," she said, genuine despite still being amused by it. "But I didn't do it just for fun."

"Oh really?" he said in jest.

His wife laughed. "I mean it! I did it 'cause I wanted you to see it for yourself." She smirked. "I mean, you're a visual kind of person after all."

Now he laughed at her joke.

"Yes. Yes I am."

It was the best way for him to learn about that part of his son. Now he would begin to make up for his misconception.

"Jirou?"

"Yeah Dad?"

"Would you come take a look at this?"

"Huh? Woah!"

Yusuke, with care, took out the object from its casing to reveal it to his son.

"Is that...?"

"It's a replica. But I thought it might interest you," he said.

The model in question being the koshirae, the "scabbard" for his very first katana, the one his will of rebellion formed along with his thief clothes when he awakened his Persona all those years ago. Akira insisted that he kept it, citing that she had no right to keep "starting equips" but it would be a shame to throw it away.

"Wow... You had this?"

"Yes. I have always been interested in koshirae."

"Is that why some of your art is about weapons?"

He laughed. "Yes. That, and some of them are commissions from my friends, specificially Akira."

"Really? From Auntie Akira? How much would she pay?"

Had it been before, he would've been hesitant. Even now, years later, he always focused on whether he was inspired to do a piece, hence why he has only ever accepted commissions from friends. But now, Yusuke easily told him the price of the painting and why she had wanted that painting commissioned. From there, they ended up spending the entire morning talking about koshirae, commissions and the price of art in general. At least until Shion came in, looking for his and Jirou's critique on her latest animation. They most definitely would've continued past lunch had it not been for Futaba dragging them all to the dining room once she found them, all the while complaining how her entire family were a bunch of "art loonies".

That caused an explosive cacophony as both his children protested against their mother's accusation and she defended her point.

All he could do was smile and chuckle at his chaotic family, his children just as unique and headstrong as both him and his wife.

Author's Notes: Happy Father's Day everyone!

As usual, I don't see a lot of fics with Yusuke as a father, or at least where he's a father and paired with Futaba. So here's a fic about him and his kids! I enjoyed making this. Though I will admit that I was kinda hoping to have Yusuke argue with Jirou about their views on money and stuff but I couldn't think of a way for it to happen organically. Instead we get him getting worried and then Futaba suggested to look out for him. That part though was always planned.

Shion is written with 賜恩, gift and grace/kindness/blessing. In case you couldn't tell or just want confirmation, yeah, she's an artist like her father, but prefers to create animation. She's the older Kitagawa. Meanwhile Jirou's name is written with 慈郎, the kanji for mercy and son, and it should be obvious, he too has his father's eye for beauty, but it's more in objects in general, and likes to collect stuff. Both are just as odd as their parents, though I like to think Jirou gets better with handling social situations since he'll need to be a good negotiator.

Yes I know koshirae isn't exactly a "scabbard", that's just a part of a koshirae, hence why the quotation marks when Yusuke described it as such. It's just me "simplifying" it to the "main part" of the koshirae for the sake of flow.
 
Top