Chapter 1

What Ifs

Heavy eyelids…so tired… Is it possible to stay awake during Mr. Ekoda's class?

Minato shut his eyes and laid his head on his desk. Even if he was in the second desk from the front, Yukari could block him from the teacher's view. His mind and conscious felt like a feather in the wind.




Drifting away into the darkness of sweet slumber…

(- -)

-April 24, 2006, Monday

Arisato Residence

Early Morning

"Minato. Minato!" called a voice.

The boy lazily opened his eyes. Light was pouring through the windows, reflecting off of the various objects in his room. Minato blinked several times before his eyes finally focused on the figure looming over him.

"Minato, get up now." His mother ordered impatiently.

Truth be told, Minato knew that he was in a dream world. In reality, his parents died when he was seven, as did the baby growing inside his mother. That was why they were on the Moonlit Bridge that fateful night. They were returning from the hospital because Minato's mother felt ill.

He gazed at his mother's stomach and did not see a baby bump at all. His eyes traveled up to his mother's face. Back in the real world, he had a photo of his parents and him. It was the only way he could remember their faces, but he never could really remember how much they loved him. His mom was quite pretty. She had short hair with the navy color that Minato had inherited. She had soft features and a look of innocent honesty. She had blue eyes that were brighter than her hair.

"What are you waiting for? It's only the beginning of the school year, and you don't want to be late in the first month!" she answered as she left his room.

Minato didn't groan or complain, but slowly trudged out of bed. Though this was a dream, Minato felt like he knew where everything was and what to do. As he was beginning to walk down the hall, he watched a little girl bump into his mom.

"Sorry, mom!" She apologized. She bowed furiously and then continued down the hall.

In this dream world, Minato already knew that this was his little, seven-year old sister, Minako. If they had not gotten into that accident that night, in nine months, Minako would have been born.

Minako looked like a female miniature version of Minato. Her hair was the same navy blue and she had the same gray eyes. Her eyes sparkled with childish innocence while Minato's were dull and blank. Minako's hair was long and they were in two pigtails, each tied with a white ribbon.

"Good morning, brother!" She chorused as she ran past him.

"Morning, Minako." He answered with yawn as he his way (or more likely, the dream led him) to the bathroom.

After washing up and dressing in his middle school uniform, Minato went downstairs where his family was already ready to eat breakfast. The food had already been neatly arranged into four plates. As Minato took his seat, he could see that today's breakfast included miso soup, rice with natto, a small portion of grilled fish, and a raw egg.

His father was reading the newspaper. Minako was trying to resist the temptation to start eating, and his mother was in the kitchen putting the final touches on something.

Minato's father was a silent figure like himself. He was tall and stern. He did not have navy hair, but black instead. He had the gray eyes that both Minato and Minako had.

Minato's mother came around holding a tray of drinks. She placed a cup of green tea in front of her children, a cup of coffee in front of her husband, and a cup of water for herself. She sat down next to her husband, and clasped her hands in her lap.

"Itadakimasu!" The Arisato family exclaimed before beginning to eat their breakfast.

"Minato, I hear you have a new student transferring into Adachi Middle School." His father commented quietly.

"Yes, sir."

"Treat that student well."

"Yes, sir."

(- -)

-April 24, 2006, Monday

Adachi Middle School, Classroom 8-C


"Class, as you all know, we have a new student today." Taniguchi-sensei announced during homeroom. Minato looked up from his notebook and removed the headphones from his ears and paused his mp3 player. He lifted himself slightly in his desk just so he could see over Yukari Takeba's shoulders.

The new student looked like a real punk. This kid was tall and he wore a baseball hat on his head. From the little hair Minato could see under his hat, the color of his hair was a light black, and his eyes were dark brown. He had a simple silver necklace on and a chain hanging loosely from his belt.

"This is Junpei Iori, students. He is transferring from Osaka." The teacher continued. She turned to Junpei and said, "Please, introduce yourself."

The guy stepped forward with this grin on his face. He chuckled and said, "Wazzup?"

Minato's opinion of Junpei turned from "punk" to "slacker". In this dream world, Minato never knew how it felt like to be a new student. He grew up in this city and never transferred schools. Many have said that new students are always confused and alone. They needed friends to show them the ropes, right?

"You can sit in that empty seat next to Minato Arisato." Taniguchi-sensei answered, pointing to the second seat in the fifth row, right next to Minato.

Yukari's hand shot up in the air. "Taniguchi-sensei, that seat is already taken. He's just out sick." She answered.

"Well, then Junpei can take his spot and we'll find a seat for him when he comes back." She replied.

Junpei dropped his bag next to his desk and sat down. "…'Sup dude?" He whispered to Minato. The boy turned to him. "I'm Junpei." He stuck out his hand.

Minato reached over to grasp his hand firmly. His father always taught him that a firm handshake showed that you are confident and knew what you were doing.

"I'm Minato."

(- -)

-April 24, 2006, Monday

Adachi Middle School, Class 8-C

After School

Junpei and Minato became fast friends. His opinion of Junpei had changed from "slacker" to "slacker and class clown" now. Junpei was pretty upbeat and cheerful. He was excited to have moved to the city.

They both were talking at their desks after school when the girl in front of Minato turned around and asked, "Hey, Minato, the theater is having a movie marathon tonight! Let's go!"

The boy smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry, but I can't, Yukari. I promised to watch Minako and her friend Maiko tonight."

Yukari Takeba was one of the most popular girls in the school. She had light brown hair and amber eyes that seemed to sparkle more than usual when she spoke with him. She was cheerful and always positive. She likes to tease Minato affectionately. The Takeba and Arisato family were old friends. Echiiro Takeba and Koji Arisato were friends from high school and remained close throughout the years. Minato and Yukari were childhood friends.

She scowled at him. "No fair. Why can't your mom watch them?"

"She's visiting her parents tonight."

"Uh…who's Minako and Maiko?" Junpei asked.

"Minako is my little sister, and Maiko is her best friend."

"Oh…well, that's nice."

Yukari thought for a moment before exclaiming, "I know! I'll help you baby-sit the girls!" Junpei snickered, and the brunette gave him a sharp glare. "What?"

"Are you two…" The new kid looked at both Minato and Yukari. "…on a high level together?" He was smirking.

The brunette took the hint and blushed. "N-no! We're only childhood friends!" She whirled on Minato and nearly yelled, "Hey, tell him!"

Minato ran his hand through his hair and said hesitantly, "Uh, yeah. We're only friends." Junpei's smirk didn't fade. It was getting a little awkward so the boy took a glance at his watch and said, "Well, I should leave now. I have to walk Minako home."

Yukari walked over to the window and looked out from it. The eighth grade classrooms were on the top floor of the Adachi Middle School. It looked out into the courtyard and the front gate of the school.

"You probably should, Minato. I can see your sister and her friend at the front gate." She answered.

The boy cursed in a small voice and grabbed his bag. "Then I should get going. They probably are going to want to go Wild-Duck Burger."

Junpei grabbed his backpack as well. "Wild-Duck Burger, huh? I've heard about that place. Do they really add secret ingredients to the burgers?"

Yukari grabbed her bag and ran after the two boys leaving the classroom. "Hey, wait for me!"

(- -)

-April 24, 2006, Monday

By the front gate of Adachi Middle School

After School

"You're late!" Minako replied angrily. She had her hands in her pockets, and she scowled at her brother and his friends.

"I'm sorry, Minako." Minato answered.

"And for that, you get the death penalty!" She yelled, pointing her finger at him.

"D-death penalty?" Junpei cried out.

Yukari chuckled. "It means that Minato has to buy everyone whatever they want for today."

"I want takoyaki!" Maiko, Minako's friend exclaimed. Maiko was Minako's best friend in elementary school. She had brown hair and eyes. Her hair was braided and then wrapped into a bun on both sides of her head with pink ribbons. She loved takoyaki and Mad Bull, and she had a crush Minato. Even though she knew that Yukari and Minato were childhood friends, she always found opportunities to separate them.

"No! Let's go to Wild-Duck Burger!" The younger Arisato child answered.

"I wouldn't mind some ramen from the Hagakure." Yukari suggested.

"Everything sounds so good! I'll have anything!" Junpei replied with a grin.

"NO! Wild-Duck Burger!"

Minato ran his hand through his hair. "I guess it doesn't matter what I want, huh?"

"Brother, I want Wild-Duck Burger!" Minako yelled. She grabbed his hand and began dragging him away from the front gate of the school. Maiko followed along with Junpei and Yukari bringing up the rear.

"I have the death penalty. You'll get your mystery burger." The boy answered calmly.

"So why do you want ramen, Yukari?" Junpei asked.

"My dad recently performed an experiment on the ramen from the Hagakure. Apparently, it does improve your collagen." She replied.


Minato looked back at them and laughed. "Mr. Takeba is a professor at the city college, which is owned by the Kirijo group. Because he is a professor, he does a lot of research as well."

Yukari beamed and said, "He is a professor in both physics and chemistry. Right now he is researching more on the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. So, experimenting on ramen is probably fun for him."

The new kid scratched his head. "Huh? I have no clue what that means!"

The girl laughed. "I don't blame you. But even I don't know what it all means. I mean, come on! We're only eighth graders!"

"Brother probably knows what it means!" Minako chirped excitedly.

Junpei turned to Minato. "SERIOUSLY?"

"Uh, only a small portion of it." The navy haired boy answered quietly. "But it is a advanced physics."

Maiko beamed. "Minato is so smart!"

"Yeah, almost genius-like…" the other boy muttered.

Suddenly, Minato felt something big smack him in the back several times.

(- -)

Minato blinked his eyes several times and lifted his face from his arms. His eyes slowly went into focus as he looked at both Junpei and Yukari.

"Hey, man, class is over now." Junpei replied. "It's time for lunch now."

"Is it?"

"You shouldn't be sleeping during class, Minato." Yukari reprimanded.

Junpei scoffed. "Not like it matters for Minato anyway." He answered, almost coldly. He could sleep through all his classes and still make the top grade. He's like Mitsuru – a genius."

The classroom door opened and a student came in claiming, "Hey! The test scores are posted now!" Junpei's face fell like it was going to be the end of the world. He always dreaded the results.

Yukari, Junpei, and Minato left the classroom together to view the results. In front of the faculty office was a crowd of people. The three of them fought their way to the front. They all searched for their names. Minato had gotten the top score in his class again.

"Above average, huh? That's not so bad." Yukari commented.

"Ugh…I failed once again. This sucks, man!" Junpei answered. He took another glance at the results. "Tch. Of course, Minato Arisato gets the top grade."

"Congratulations, Minato!"

"Like I said…a genius."

Hello everyone! This is delusionment here! Well, this is my first Persona 3 story. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you don't know my style, I always put notes at the end, like now.

So first, I was thinking of where this story falls into during the timeline. It could actually fit in anywhere after Yakushima trip and when the test results are posted before summer break. I decided to have Minato's dream world go back in time to when it was 2006. It was originally 2007, but I later found out that the ninth grade was part of junior high, so that made the date 2006. I calculated that at that time, everyone would be 14 and be in the eighth grade. Eighth grade is also when Junpei transferred there, as said by him in the beginning. If my calculation is wrong, please correct me. Yes, I know I hinted at a Minato x Yukari pairing there. I'm going to leave that open for now. Mitsuru and Akihiko will most likely make appearances later in the story along with Fuuka, Ken, Shinjiro, and other characters like Chidori.

Well, anyway, that is all I have for now. I have a couple of other Persona 3 stories in mind so I'll put them up later once I finish them. Thanks for reading!