Disclaimer: I do not own Persona or Fate or anything in the nasuverse, any resemblance to any other Persona 4/Fate fan fiction is coincidental and plagiarism is not intended. No flames please, constructive criticism only.
AN: So six months and some change later, I've finally got this done. If you want a reason why it took so long, well the most prominent is that writing for this fic just stopped being fun and became more like a chore. I needed a break, and now I think I can write for this again. But updates will still be infrequent, plus I still think this chapter isn't near my best, but I think those you still interested deserve something after all this time. Another thanks to SaintInfernalNeos for putting up with me all this time.
[August 23rd, Dojima Residence, Inaba]
Yu blearily woke up to the ringing of his cell phone.
"Hello?" he inquired sleepily.
"Morning" Yosuke's voice greeted "hey remember how I mentioned how we should all go to the beach before? Why not go today?"
"Sure I've been looking forward to it," Yu said trying to shake the drowsiness away.
"Right!? When you think of the summer, you think of the beach! And vice versa! I'm sure suntanned skin and a little accidental hand-slipping is in our future! Oh man, I'm so excited!" Yosuke sounded delighted; Yu could tell where his friend's mind had wandered. "I'll go ahead and call up the others! See you later!"
Yu shut his cell phone and looked outside; the sky was bright and clear today...It was the perfect day for an outing. Before he could think more on the subject his phone rang again, this time when he answered it the person calling wasn't who he would have expected.
[August 23rd, Road to Shichiri beach, Inaba]
Later on, the team was on the road to Shichiri beach the trip was long and Rise was getting impatient.
"SENNNNN-PAIIIIIII!" Rise called to Chie. "Is the beach really this way? We've been on the road for a while…"
"I'm positive!" Chie said. "Can't you smell the ocean?!"
"What smell…?" Rise said. She didn't smell anything.
They were all riding along on their scooters,
"You can definitely trust her on this, Rise…Chie's got the senses of a beast, remember?" Yosuke said with a chuckle.
"HEY! What are you saying…?" Chie demanded angrily.
"Hey! I was only complimenting you…"
"You call that a compliment, you idiot?! What kind of girl wants to be compared to a big dumb animal…?"
While the older teens and Rise were on their scooters, lagging behind were Kanji and Teddie. The latter of whom had decided to wear his fur and some roller skates to try and keep up with Kanji who was on his bicycle due to his lack of a scooter.
"Hey, dude, gimme a break, will ya?!" Kanji panted peddling as hard as he could. "Have you seen the map, this is crazy!"
Teddie was just having a hard time skating and breathing.
"Wait…fur…me…" Teddie said, trying to reach out to grab Kanji's bike to keep up "I'm…I'm…done…fur…" the bear collapsed from exhaustion.
The rest of the team ignored the two's bickering and after a couple more minutes of riding, they rounded a corner and the glistening blue ocean came into view.
"Oh-ho-ho-ho-ho!" Chie chuckled with excitement ceasing her argument with Yosuke as the ocean came into view. "LOOK! THE OCEAN!"
"All right!" Yosuke cheered as they drove by the water.
Yukiko admired it for a few seconds until she slightly slipped on her scooter, luckily she able to right herself before anything serious happened, but blushed with embarrassment regardless.
Yu had looked nonchalantly at the ocean when suddenly he saw in his rear-view mirror Kanji pedalling fast and Teddie angrily screaming following Kanji on his skates. They seemed to be moving faster. He was rather impressed when the pair gained enough speed to pass by.
Chie looked in shock and then took it as a challenge… "Hah! Nobody's beating me to the WATERRRRRR!" And then she sped up.
"Yeah! Let's go!" Yosuke yelled excitedly speeding yup to match her.
"Ummm Okay," Yukiko said speeding up.
"Wait for me!" Rise called as she sped up to catch up with the others.
Yu smiled and allowed his friends a head start before revving up his engine, within seconds and sped up easily catching up to them.
[August 23rd, Shichiri beach, Inaba]
Eventually, they finally arrived at the beach, the guys changed rather quickly this left Yu, Yosuke and Teddie standing around waiting for the girls and Kanji who was taking his time. The beach was rather empty, strangely with only a few people dotted on it even then they quite far away.
"Man…I'm getting nervous. I mean, Risette in the flesh, wearing a bikini…" Yosuke said. "What are the ramifications here? Am I using a lifetime supply of luck here…?"
"Yes…" "Yup" Yu and Teddie said in unison.
"Oh man…Here they are…" Yosuke breathed ignoring both Yu and Teddie.
"Senpai!" Rise greeted as she ran up in a pink polka-dot bikini.
Yukiko was wearing a simple white bikini; Chie was wearing a yellow bikini top tied in a knot at the back of her neck and wore a yellow mini-sarong.
"Summer…is…AWESOME!" Yosuke said clenching his fist.
"Ooooh…such beautiful mermaids…I feel like this could be my chance for a summer romance…" Teddie commented.
"Like that'd ever happen…" Chie snorted.
"Hey, where's Kanji?" Yukiko asked.
"I bet he's still worn out." Yosuke said "Riding all that way on a bike really did a number on him.
Nearly everyone's jaw's dropped when Kanji came along wearing a black speedo.
"DUDE!" Yosuke yelled. "What the hell is THAT?!"
"It's your basic black…" Kanji replied with a confused tone.
"Dude! I'm seeing things that I never needed to see!"
"You're the only one who's saying that Senpai" Kanji said to Yosuke.
"Ummm can we get in the water…?" Yukiko said blushing.
"Wait, Kanji…Why aren't you getting a nosebleed from me…?" Rise asked flirtatiously.
"Why would I get a nosebleed?" Kanji asked.
"Why would you get a…?" Rise stumbled angrily.
"That thing is liable to cause injuries…" Yosuke commented.
"What the hell does that mean?!" Kanji demanded angrily.
"It's just making me see things I can't unsee!" Yosuke yelled back equally as angry.
"Geez, they're hopeless. I'm gonna go ahead and jump in the water! Chie-chan, Yuki-chan! Let's be mermaids! Wheeeeee!" Teddie yelled then dove into the water or tried to before Cu Chullain wearing a Hawaiian t-shirt and shorts grabbed hold of his shoulder halting him in his tracks.
"Hold it bear, we need to establish something first." Cu Chullain stated seriously.
"Establish something, what's the problem?" Yosuke asked
"See that rocky outcropping nearby?" The blue Spearman pointed to a ledge of rock that extended out of the sand and a few metres of the ocean. "If you guys are gonna swim we need you to swim nowhere near there got it?"
"Uh sure but why?" Chie inquired.
"Well we can't catch our lunch if your swimming scares the thing off." The Lancer replied setting down the pair of case's that Yu had brought with him.
"Wait you're gonna catch lunch, like fishing?"
"Correction we're gonna catch lunch, then cook it and join you later," Yu stated digging into his bag and retrieving a fishing rod. "Alright, equipment check."
"Fishing rod and spare?"
"Spare fishing line?"
"They're really serious about this," Chie said sweat dropping at the two.
"Yeah, why are they so pumped up about fishing?" Kanji asked.
"Alright swimming time, YIPEEE!" Teddie ran and dove into the ocean, Avenger following close behind.
"Hey, he went in first!" Chie yelled "C'mon, you two. Let's go!"
"Hold on!" The girls halted and looked to see Tamamo in the flesh. "Master, you can't come to the beach and not let your cute persona have any fun."
"Caster, but what if someone see's you?" Rise asked worriedly.
The Caster persona responded by summoning her mirror which let out a bright flash.
"There we go, I've put up a bounded field around the beach and the nearby ocean, it'll keep any unwanted visitors away." Suddenly she did a twirl was wearing a bikini. "Come on master let's have a race."
Caster promptly ran into the water with Rise hot on her heels.
"We might as well do it too." "Yeah, I think they deserve a break." Chie and Yukiko agreed.
In a flash of light, Li Shuwen and Drake appeared. The latter scratched while the former folded his arms and looked thoughtfully at the ocean. Chie looked and saw Kanji's Berserker sitting on the beach with his legs crossed, looked out at the ocean. She shrugged and went swimming herself.
After a few minutes the duo had set up and began fishing, they attached a Genji beetle as bait for the sea guardian and waiting patiently. Their eyes were all focused on the water, as they waiting for their prey to take the bait, they overheard the banter of the others who were swimming a short distance away. Suddenly they heard a loud clang and the splashing of water.
"Ow bitch, what was that for?" Avenger whined nursing a bruise on his head, as Teddie was doing the same, they both were looking at Caster who had bashed them both with her mirror.
"No peeking." She replied.
Nearly half an hour passed and while the others were having their own fun; Yu and Cu Chulainn were still trying to catch the Sea Guardian. In the time that had passed, they had caught several Meguro Tuna and some octopi which they had promptly thrown back into the ocean, having no means of preserving them.
Their efforts had been made more frustrating by Berserker cannonballing into the ocean and deciding to swim for himself., creating large waves and ripples as he did so.
"Come on you damn fish show yourself." The Lancer growled as he watched the waters, before spotting a shadow and directing his rod in its direction.
She pointed in the direction of the beach, Yu turned just in time to see the girl's running back into the water.
"You sicko!" Rise screamed as she, Chie and Caster all ran back into the water.
There on the beach was Kanji….covering his lower parts in Seaweed, apparently, he was missing his bathing suit.
Then as if called, Berserker emerged from the water, tapping Kanji on the shoulder and holding out Kanji's missing bathing suit.
Quick as lightning the boy snatched it up and ran off to put it on, yelling a quick thank you as he ran off.
Out in deeper waters, Yukiko and Rider had sailed out in a longboat which the latter had summoned forth. Currently, the manager-to-be was looking out over the water, while her Persona lay back with her hat tilted over her eyes, the oars lay by her sides, thus leaving the boat to drift wherever the current took them.
"This, is the sea?" Yukiko asked in wonder, this was her first time going to a beach or to the sea.
Her family had always been tending to the Amagi Inn, even more so during the holiday season so her family had rarely left town and even then, only for business.
"That it is lassie." Rider told her not bothering to open her eyes. "Out here on the open ocean, the only things you need to worry about are the wind and the weather, on the sea you can go to the edges of the map and beyond, on the sea you can go to the edges of the map and beyond. You can chart any course you like and no one can stop you all you need is the resolve to see that course through, well that and a decent ship."
"The resolve to see it through, my own course…" Yukiko mumbled dipping her hand into the water.
Suddenly, her thoughts were interrupted by something catching her eye. There was something moving towards the boat, rather quickly. See it suddenly leap out of the ocean as it was only a few feet from the boat, a shark! However, before she or Rider could react something impacted the shark, sending it skipping across the surface of the water until it hit a rock stack nearby and slide into the ocean.
"STAY AWAY FROM MY ROD YOU BASTARD OCTOPUS!" Cu Chullains voice screamed getting a chuckle out of Rider and a few seconds later, Yukiko as well.
"Here it is, the Sea Guardian," Yu said as a large shadow came into view once more.
"It's definitely a fish this time," Lancer said with a grin.
After a few tense moments, the large fish bite onto the hook and began to pull with all its strength.
The Sea Guardian was still intent on fighting however and pulled hard, intent on snapping the line to break free. Lancer, however, was ready and waited for moments when the line was not taut and reeled in the line in until it became tense again. He kept this method up until the Guardian had no way to go but towards him.
The water became white and foamy as the Sea Guardian's struggling became visible as it approached the surface with its violent thrashing and attempts to escape.
"No, you don't COME HERE YOU BASTARD!" Lancer yelled pulling on the rod.
When it was finally close enough Lancer and Yu hauled the catch out of the ocean, the Sea Guardian was larger than any fish Yu had ever seen and was more than worthy of its name. So he had the Blue Spearman hold a pose, it was nearly larger than persona himself and so he had to grab it by its middle and hold it facing downwards that way.
Yu took out his cellphone and took a picture of Lancer holding the Sea Guardian with one hand and doing a peace sign with the other.
After doing some preparation, the Fool decided that now was a good a time as any to start cooking the sea guardian on the large grill that was conveniently placed on the beach. Cooking the fish had taken about twenty minutes, and that was not including the time it took to prepare the fish by doing things such as removing the head and carefully deboning it.
Idly he saw the others still having fun, Berserker, Kanji, Yosuke and Diarmuid were playing a small game of Volleyball, which ended with Berserker smashing the ball into Yosuke's nads. Such was the luck of the prince of Junes. Yukiko was still out on the water with Drake. Chie meanwhile was having her own brand of fun, she was making large splashes in the water and then quicker than any human began chopping at the droplets as they hung in the air. As for Rise, she and Caster were using the latter's magecraft to walk upon the surface of the water so they could look into the clear waters, at the marine life below. Teddie and Avenger were trying to peak on the girls, unsuccessfully if the bruises on their heads were any indication.
When lunch was ready Yu called to everyone and got them all to line up for some after returning their Personas to spirit form to save energy. First up were Yukiko and Rise both of whom had a modest slice of the fish wishing to watch their figures. Next came Yosuke, Teddie and Kanji, the four each had an average sized slice which didn't put much of a dent in the fish considering how huge it was. Lastly was Chie, the fact that she had the largest slices which came as no surprise to anyone because she was, in Yosuke's words 'A walking stomach' which earnt him a kick to his own.
Yu placed a piece of fish on one of the two remaining plates, then took one himself and joined his friends.
[August 23rd, Forest near Shichiri beach, Inaba]
Naoto Shirogane was at a loss for words. She'd followed the group of would be victims out here on a hunch. But what the girl disguised as a boy had seen had stunned her. All was normal when the group first arrived at the beach, but then out of nowhere, a blue haired man appeared in beachwear and grabbed the blonde haired one, whom Naoto could not find any records on. Before walking off with Yu Narukami with some fishing gear.
Then next to Rise Kujikawa, an odd looking girl with fox ears and tail appeared, also out of thin air, next was a muscle bound giant near kanji, a female pirate woman near Yukiko Amagi seemed to conjure a boat in the water and got aboard with the girl.
Near Yosuke Hanamura was a dark haired, man wearing a bandanna and greenish armour. He had a dutiful look, to him and seemed more like a bodyguard than someone there to relax.
Finally, next to Chie Satonaka was a man in a flame patterned martial arts garb, who sat down and carefully watched the girl, who began doing sort of kata in the water but the speed at which she was doing it was, not human.
Ever diligent Naoto used her cellphone to take photographic evidence of the superhuman feats, like Satonaka, chopping droplets of water as they were in the air, and the blue haired man tossing the octopus he'd caught with such strength that it crashed into a shark a fair distance away near Yukiko Amagi and the woman she was with.
Then there was Rise Kujikawa who was walking on ocean water, with the fox girl! Naoto despite her disbelief and after checking to make sure she wasn't dreaming, kept taking pictures, silently praying that her phone had enough memory for all of this.
"Stop." An emotionless voice commanded as a hand was put on Naoto's shoulder causing her to freeze up, someone with blue hair stepped into Naoto's view.
"A-aika Nakamura?" Naoto stuttered out still unable to move, as Aika put a finger on her forehead and Naoto felt everything seemed to fall away, she heard Aika's voice.
"Sleep, and when you wake, you shall remember nothing out of the ordinary happening today." Naoto's eyes glazed over as the hypnosis took hold and the detective fell to the ground like a puppet with its strings cut.
Aika grabbed Naoto and leant her against a tree before taking her cell phone. She then proceeded to delete all the photographic evidence that the detective had gathered of the bizarre happenings, at the beach that day before returning the phone to its owner.
Then she withdrew her own and dialled a number.
"It's done." She reported. "All the evidence is erased, and Naoto Shirogane has been hypnotised to forget these happenings, Lord El-Melloi."
"Good," Lord El Melloi the second replied, "It is not Ms Shirogane's time to awaken just yet, and we can't risk the exposure of the Moonlight World."
"Caster put up a bounded field to keep mundanes away, the beach is empty anyway, by the time Naoto Shirogane wakes up they will be gone," Aika replied diligently.
"Very well, they should be fine on their own now, return to your deliveries." Lord El Melloi commanded before hanging up.
Aika nodded and walked back to her scooter which had only one order so far. A Nikudon for someone called Akira Kurusu.
After a couple more hours of fun on the beach, the sun was beginning to set. The Persona's had stayed in spirit form, now having had their fill of fun for one day.
"Pretty busy day," Yosuke commented as he, Yu and Kanji all stood up on the nearby path looking down at the beach.
"Well, I never woulda come to the beach if you hadn't invited me," Kanji replied.
"Haha, I guess it would be out of character for you." Yosuke chuckled.
"...It actually might be more fun to try stuff that's out of character." Kanji said.
"Yeah...in a way, your nature is like a wall, after all. Surrounding yourself with high walls makes things simple, but simplicity isn't always a virtue..." Yosuke stated wisely. "Oh man, what was that!? Did I just get all philosophical there!?"
"By all means, keep going." Yu teased the boy
"Oh, well, if I have your permission...! C'mon, you're embarrassing me even more!" Yosuke griped crinkling his forehead in a frown.
"I think it's fine. I look at that big ocean out there and think, man, why keep hangin' on to all this embarrassment? Just let it go." Kanji said sagely.
"So you don't deny that it was embarrassing, huh...?" Yosuke sniped with a smirk.
The three boys looked down at the beach and saw the girls and Teddie playing together.
"Ok, why don't we play a game?" Chie suggested, "Whoever loses has to buy barbeque on a stick for everyone else!" As usual, her brain was in her stomach.
"But that's a prize only you would want to play for, Chie-senpai..." Rise pointed out.
"Then the loser gets to smooch Teddie!" Teddie suggested with a grin.
"Talk about kicking someone when they're down!" Rise sighed.
"Then, instead of playing a game, why don't we do something else together? Like, bury Teddie in the sand?" Yukiko proposed getting a hearty agreement from the others.
It wasn't long before the bear turned human was buried up to his neck in sand protesting all the while.
"Good times never last long." Yosuke sighed. "I wonder if our high school days will end that way too..."
"Yeah, I guess you're right, the bastard behind all of this is still out there," Kanji said.
"That's true..." Yosuke paused thoughtfully before speaking again. "Man, though, this trip turned out way better than I imagined. Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't we go skiing during winter break? Wait 'til you guys see how awesome I am on a snowboard!"
"Talking' about winter already? Get serious for a sec will ya?" Kanji sighed "That asshole is still in town somewhere and-"
"I know Kanji," Yosuke snapped before calming himself "I know, but right now we can't do anything, we've got no leads."
"What we do know is that Kubo was an attention seeking copycat, who was probably put into the TV by the real killer." Yu explained "Our killer wasn't deterred by the fact that we saved each of his would-be victims, we discovered his method of killing and could stop it, but instead of playing it safe and laying low our killer kept trying, he wasn't scared by the fact that the number of people hunting him who knew how he did it was growing. This leads me to believe one thing."
"And that is?" Yosuke and Kanji leant in both interested.
"That this whole thing, throwing people into the TV world, us rescuing them and gaining a new ally to help hunt him, it's similar to Mitsuo, it's a game to him."
"A game of cat and friggin mouse," Kanji grumbled.
"Wait a sec, Mitsuo tried to confess to the murders and turned himself in at the police station, but was let go after an interrogation." Yosuke pointed out. "But the killer was still able to snag him after he left the police station in broad daylight."
"That means it's probably someone who can hide in plain sight. Someone that people all over town would see every day but would never look at twice because their presence in different places around town is normal." Yu speculated.
"If the fiend truly is hiding in plain sight, there are many who could fit such a description," Diarmuid said thoughtfully.
"Hey, guys!" The boys looked over to Rise who had called them, she was standing by her bike with the other girls who had begun packing up, "Let's get going, it's getting pretty late."
"All we can do for now is wait," Yu told them walking back onto the beach to pack up. "He'll try again sooner or later."
After packing up all the fishing gear and put what was left of the Sea Guardian into the cooler he'd brought with him, Yu attached it to his scooter. Yosuke and Kanji helped Teddie get free, Caster took down the bounded field and after making sure no one had left anything behind they began the trip home, which was by contrast uneventful. When they were gone a certain blue haired detective began waking up, ashamed that she had fallen asleep on the job and angry with herself that her targets were gone.