A/N: I just finished Persona 5 and I couldn't get it out of my head, so here's some more Persona. (Sorry for people waiting on Spark updates, I need a break from Yuri on Ice for a bit, but I'll be back soon!) A note on ships, I actually like a whole bunch of Persona ships, but these are the ones I've chosen to write about.

Important note on games, I'm only considering Persona 4 (no spin-offs, other than maybe Golden) and Persona 5 for this. That means that you should be able to read this without having played any of the other spin off games. (I haven't personally played any of the spin-offs, so if this contradicts those, I apologize).

Hope you guys enjoy!

"But it so happened that Kandata, in the

midst of his suffering, raised his head and

looked towards the sky above the lake. And

he saw, descending gradually towards him

in a straight, shimmering line, as though

fearful of being seen by man's eyes, the

silvery thread of the spider."

-Ryunosuke Akutagawa, "The Spider's Thread"

Tokyo – Evening

"I'm going to find her…"

A figure crept through a silent upscale apartment, a knife clenched in one hand. Streetlights from outside cast a light on his face, revealing gleaming eyes, a mouth pulled into a grin. The intruder was an older man, in his mid-thirties, dressed in a rumpled business suit. The door of the apartment swung open behind him.

"I'm…going to find her…"

His feet scraped against the carpet as he shuffled through the living room, walking towards a closed door. The man's hand landed on the door. He pushed on it and it swung open noiselessly, revealing a bedroom. A single shaft of moonlight came in through the bedroom's open curtains, illuminating the figure on the bed.

It was a young woman in her early twenties, reddish brown hair strewn around her head like a halo. She was lying on her back, a pillow nestled in the crook of her arm. Her chest rose and fell with sleep.

The man moved towards her, the sound of his footsteps masked by the hum of an air conditioner. He stretched out one hand towards her, his grin widening as he raised the knife.

At the last second, before he could touch her, the woman's eyes drifted open. They widened when she saw him, and she screamed.

The door to her apartment was open, and all the lights were on inside, a pair of policemen questioning the apartment's sole occupant. Yu Narukami paused in the doorway, watching as a third policeman led a handcuffed man out. Yu's eyes passed over the culprit in question, taking in his appearance and expression. He was muttering to himself, shaking his head. Yu frowned in thought, stepping into the apartment.

One of the policemen spotted him, getting to his feet. "Excuse me, sir, you can't be here," he said. "This is a crime scene."

"It's alright," said the woman on the couch, flashing him a tired smile. "I asked him to come here."

Yu gave the officers a reassuring smile, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a badge. He showed it to them and slipped it back into his pocket. "Don't worry," he said. "I won't touch anything."

"Is this the boyfriend you mentioned, Kujikawa-san?" the second officer asked, turning towards the woman.

Rise Kujikawa nodded, resting her hands on her knees. "Thank you for coming down so late, Yu," she said.

"It's no problem at all," said Yu. "I'm here to help."

"We have this pretty much taken care of," said the second officer. "But if you could stay with Kujikawa-san while we take another look around, that would be a big help."

Yu nodded. "Leave it to me," he said.

He took the seat next to Rise when the policemen left them alone, letting out a tired sigh. Rise gave him an embarrassed smile, clasping her hands together. "Sorry," she said. "I know it's your night off."

"Don't apologize for this," Yu said, shaking his head. He breathed deep, trying to inject more energy into his demeanor. "How are you holding up?"

"Fine, I guess," said Rise. "They said he was a stalker. I'm still not sure how he managed to get through the locks in the first place. This building is supposed to have really good security."

Yu frowned at her in concern. "He didn't—," he began.

Rise shook her head. "No," she said. "He didn't touch me at all. He backed off as soon as I woke up and started screaming." She let out a sigh, leaning back in the couch and staring up at the ceiling. "I'm lucky, I guess."

"Rise…" Yu began.

Before he could finish, Rise turned towards him, flashing him a brilliant smile. "I really am fine, Yu," she said. "Don't worry. I'm just a little…shaken, I guess."

"Anyone would be," Yu began.

"—and that's not all." Rise broke in before he could say any more, a frown on her face. She tapped at the corner of her mouth with one finger, shaking her head. "There's…something else."

"Something else?" Yu asked.

"I'm just…I can't put my finger on it," she said. "But there was something…wrong with that man. It felt—you're going to think this is crazy. It felt almost…how Shadows used to feel, when I would sense them with Kouzeon. But that's silly, isn't it?" Rise let out a nervous laugh. "I'm probably just working too hard. Stay here, okay? I'm going to see if the police need anything else."

She got to her feet, hands clasped behind her back as she walked off. Yu watched as she walked off, thinking.

After a moment, he reached into his pocket, pulling out his cellphone. He scrolled through a list of contacts, before finally stopping on one.

Naoto Shirogane.

20XY/07/22 (Sat)

Elsewhere in Japan

"I thought school was never going to let out," a black cat said, sticking its head out of a schoolbag. He took a grateful gulp of air. "Ah, fresh air! I didn't think it was even possible, but that school gets even hotter than Shujin!"

Akira Kurusu hummed in response, holding onto the straps of his bag with one hand. With the other, he tugged at a lock of black hair that had fallen into his face.

It was a hot summer day, the kind of heat that made shimmering waves rise up from the pavement. Akira tugged at the collar of his school uniform absently, loosening one of the buttons. From inside his bag, Morgana twitched and shifted position, making the bag bump into his side.

"Hey, it's summer break!" Morgana said. "Are you excited, Akira?"


Akira frowned as he thought about how to answer that question, staring at the long stretch of road ahead of him. Summer break back home was much…quieter than it was in Tokyo. Last summer…

It was Futaba, wasn't it? That endless stretch of desert. It had been hot then too.

So hot…

Maybe he'd pick up some ice cream on the way home.

Tires screeched on the deserted road, the sound cutting through the still summer air. Akira's eyes widened, and he looked behind him in time to see a blue van peeling around the corner, a blond, tough-looking boy behind the wheel. The van skidded to a stop beside him, tires squealing. Before Akira could speak, the door slid open, revealing a group of teenagers seated in the back of the van.

"Alright, we found him!" a girl with curly hair shouted. "Grab him!"

Two pairs of hands, one pair belonging to a blond girl and the other belonging to a dark-haired boy, reached out from the inside of the van, grabbing Akira by the arms and pulling him in. Akira let out a startled sound.

"Hey!" Morgana shouted, as he and Akira were hauled into the back of the van. The door slammed shut, and the van rocked with the commotion, the sound of a yowling cat echoing in the air.

"He's in!" an orange-haired girl yelled. "Step on it, Ryuji!"

"Got it!" the driver shouted. "Everyone hold on tight!"

The van's engine roared, wheels squeaking as it pulled away from the scene and turned the corner.