I kinda hate myself for liking the hell out of this game because I end up writing stuff like this and I don't stop lol. Welp, Jin is best boi so he was for sure going to get a story out of me.
Word Count: 1,063
Characters: Jin and Iris
Every morning at six o'clock on the dot, I go jogging. I didn't start this regimen until Miriam kept insisting I work too hard... She said I needed to blow some steam every once in a while, and exercising was the first thing that came to mind. I know I don't have to do it anymore since I'm a SoulWorker now, but it's still fun to me. So I guess that means keeping my body in check is a hobby of mine? I didn't think I had one, really.
Or maybe I'm just doing this because Miriam said to do it, so it's just another job...
Anyway, it doesn't matter. It turned into a habit in the end, and I try to do it whenever I have the chance. The solitude kinda helps me clear my mind, too. It's really nice.
I thought that running in Ruin Fortress would make me freeze to death. Surprisingly, it's tolerable when you keep your body active! Maybe this is what Amanda does to stay warm considering her, er, attire. And after spending a whole week here, the cold merely turned into an afterthought. This little diversion transformed into something useful after all.
I finished today's run a couple of minutes ago, and now I'm heading back to where the SFL is stationed. Hopefully, they figured out how to make the showers have hot water because I've been using cold water all this time. Now that I think about it, maybe those showers are the main reason why I essentially turned into a polar bear at this point and not the jogging in cool morning air...
Out of nowhere, a hand slapped me on the shoulder from behind. "Good morning!"
Whoever it was is trying to give me a heart attack! Who'd even be up this early in the morning? "WAH!"
"Ha, that really scared you?"
I held on to a shred of my mind under all of that panic trying to well up in my chest, and I recognized that voice. I turned my head enough to see another head of long black hair gently illuminated by the orange light of dawn.
The sigh I let out was comically, embarrassingly loud. "I-Iris..."
In response, Iris kept smiling at me albeit a bit apologetically. "Sorry, sorry. I just didn't think you'd scare that easily. Besides, who else would it be aside from the SFL members and the other SoulWorkers? No one else is out here."
"Even so, I wasn't expecting to run into anyone this early in the morning..."
"I guess that makes sense~"
"But what are you doing out here, Iris? Plus it's not like we're all that close to the base."
"Hmm..." Her eyes looked off to the side staring at nothing in particular and returned back to me. "I've been watching you."
"Don't get too worked up! I've been waking up early like you, too, for some extra exercise. It's not full-on jogging like you; I just take a calming walk. A certain 'someone' as to not name any names says I have a bad temper so..."
If Iris kept talking, I couldn't hear it The blood rushing in my ears blocked out all sound. A girl watched me exercise. The simple sentence played in my head like a mantra.
"...Do you need a minute? Your face is as bright as a tomato, Jin."
She laughed, although I didn't find it funny. I'm still trying to get used to women, alright? "It's fine~ Even after I spent all that time trying to pick the right words..."
"I... I'm sorry..."
"You apologized already~ You're funny, Jin~"
"Hahaha," I laughed, but it was one of those 'I'm not too sure what you mean by that' types of laughs. I just need to calm down a bit; yeah... I sighed and took a moment to try again. "So if you've been watching me, how come I've never noticed you?" I'm certain I would have caught at least a glimpse considering we're the only people active out here.
"You're always so absorbed in your workout that you never pay attention to me! I've tried calling out to you before, but you ignored me and kept going. I figured I'd for sure get your attention if I was more direct and, whaddya know, I was right~" Iris beamed at me. The way she kept smiling, I guess she wasn't too torn up with how I failed to notice her before.
...Was I really that naive?
"Ah... I didn't mean to ignore you," it felt awkward saying that without adding a sorry, but I managed.
"I know you didn't. You're not the type of guy to do that but anyway, to get to the point... How about we try exercising together sometimes? It beats being alone every morning and it gets kinda boring."
"So like... A training partner..." I mused aloud. And the more I thought about it, the better the idea sounded. We could both give each other tips and maybe push each other to go the extra mile with our exercising! I'd be totally on board with it.
"That's perfect, Iris!"
She laughed. "And here I thought you'd get all flustered again since you're so shy around women."
I shook my head. "The complete opposite. Just imagine it; we could have races for who can run the fastest!"
"Or maybe instead of speed let's try endurance? Since we're both SoulWorkers, we probably have similar strength!"
"No, Jin, I-"
"And did you know there are some exercises that require two people? I've been wanting to try them for a while so we could probably do those!"
"Hey," Iris' tone grew sharper, "I hate to ruin your excitement and all but I was thinking more of just joining you on your jogging. I don't want a regimen."
I think my heart sunk. "...Oh."
"Mm... But I'll think about it. Let's just stick to jogging for now and we can build towards your... idea."
"Ok... It's a deal," I tried my best to smile again but I did guess I let my hopes get a little too high.
"Alright. So tomorrow as long as we aren't bombarded with work?" Iris proposed.
"Yeah," I said with a small nod.
"It's a date~ Now stop making those puppy dog eyes and let's head back before everyone starts wondering where we are."
"Ha~ You're just fun to tease~"
We finally did go back once Iris quit making anymore quips at me. I just hope exercising with her is going to work out ok in the end... Please let there be no regrets?
A/N: I might write a second part with Erwin instead. We'll see~
And I hope the colors actually helps with seeing who's talking even though my work now looks like McDonalds hurled all over it lol. Removed the colors because it was hard to read. Thanks for the suggestion!