Disclaimer: Persona 3 is rightfully Atlus bla bla bla, etc. I'm so bad with disclaimers. D:
I'm some vivid P3 player that has only touched the Japanese version and not much of the English version. Even though my knowledge of Japanese is weak. Heheh. And this would be my first fanfic based on it. My bluehead's name would be Hidetoshi Aoki, and I did not realize how his surname coincides with that dude from the Emperor's Social Link/Commu until my classmate told me.
Which was weird. D: I like the surname alot, but apparently the English version had a letter caps of 8 and I couldn't fit it in. OTL So I resorted to Itoshiki Aoki; Itoshiki being the surname of Zetsubou Sensei. Hahah.
So anyways, enough of my rant, and enjoy the emo fic. Reviews are much appreciated, thanks.
Hidetoshi Aoki climbed.
He climbed up the final block himself. No, his comrades were not tired; they yearned and requested to join him, but he did not allow that to happen. He would not cast his dear friends into death, even if the world is going to end. They were so precious, so dear to him, that he vowed in his little heart to keep them from the face of danger.
So he did.
Heaving his axe, he carefully trudged through the accursed floors. The texture of every floor in a block remain unchanged—the rule of the Tartarus. He silently favoured the axe over the rest of the weapons, in respect to one of their fallen comrades, Aragaki Shinjirou. The desire to not start a fight on who to use a newly-obtained weapon from the tower overwritten his personal thoughts. In fact, he had forgotten the last time he had thought for himself.
He caught himself and stepped back in time to dodge an upcoming shadow. Instincts kicked in. The next few moments were in a blur to him, it always did. Duck. Slide. Slash. Tumble. Wails of the Lost resonated from the night-black monstrosity as it's primitive mind attempted to comprehend the fact that it was losing to one human. Aoki never allowed it to finish it's thought. Just then, a huge shadow closed in behind him, dragging its body of goo through the crystalline corridors.
He slowly turned around and unleashed his killing intent on the minor avatar of Death.
Elizabeth stared beyond the door, waiting. She had a warm feeling whenever the boy visits the Velvet Room, a feeling she never thought was possible. When he brought her out to see the world he lives in, she felt… happy. But she knew that it would not last long. She must feel indifferent when the time comes for him to exit the stage. She was sure that her master was suffering, too; even if he does not show it.
And she was right.
Igor had thought long and hard about the possibilities.
When he realized that his next group of customers was but one graced by his master, he had feared for the worst. If the number of Wild Persona wielders were truly dwindling, he might lose his meaning of existence. He was even more surprised when he realized that Philemon did not approach him at all.
He once dared to speak up and questioned his master's intent. When his upcoming guest first awakened his other self ten human years ago, he had politely inquired about his coldness and passiveness towards the new Persona users. What his master said after, however, was absolute, and he knew it himself that it was true.
They were too weak. They did not have the variable, nor the potential that Philemon desired to see in humans.
Aoki almost reached the stairs to the next floor before he broke down. The axe in his hands felt like deadweight. His leg injuries left a trail of blood behind him; a stark contrast with the blue-white corridors. He took some time to catch his breath before attempting to get up from the cold floor, but found no such strength. With his ears on the floor, he could clearly hear the dragging of chains edging ever closer to where he was. A spark of adrenaline temporarily restored his vigour and rolled out of the way, right before the Reaper landed a phantasmal shot at where his head was. The hovering menace seemed even more intimidating from Aoki's low angle. He dragged his knees up and could only try and stay conscious. Keeping his eyes open was becoming an impossibility.
He did not really care when a blur of colours took hold of him and a warm light engulfed his vision.
If Fuuka had not found out that he was missing, that was most probably the end of him.
She had anxiously inquired Yukari-chan and Aegis on his whereabouts, and when they didn't know, they helped out in looking. It was only when the clock striked twelve did they realize that he had most probably went to Tartarus alone. They immediately summoned the rest of the members to head towards Port Island immediately.
The ones who went up the tower to search for him was Koromaru, Akihiko-senpai, and Aegis. The party arrangement had been suggested by Mitsuru, the replacement mastermind. Fuuka saw wisdom in the arrangement; they all can handle themselves fairly well alone, therefore broadening the search range. She had silently wished them good luck, and went to work.
And Akihiko was there when the Reaper fired.
He saw the bluehead tumbling out of the Reaper's shotgun range, but did not land far. Akihiko took the chance to summon Caesar; the swift movement of reaching into the belt holster and aiming the Evoker at his own forehead. He made a dash for the collapsing boy while Caesar landed a distracting blow at the Shadow. He dimly took note of Aegis and Koromaru reaching them in the fastest speed possible. Akihiko timed.
The two were getting closer. The Reaper was recovering. The canine and the battle android's rush seemed agonizingly slow. The Reaper raised it's shotguns, about to fire a spell that he did not recognize. Then they were all in the spell range. The senior student shouted.
In the next instance, Yuno's warping abilities transported all of them back to the safe sanctums of the ground floor.
Mitsuru was in a semi-panic state when they returned. Nonetheless, she and Yukari hurried to get everyone out of Tartarus before it returns to it's normal state—as Gekkoukan High. The Dark Hour was ending, and the last thing they needed was to be stuck in parts of the school that they do not even knew existed. She was already mentally blaming herself for not noticing about his disappearance earlier. Not being observant enough was her error, and her comrade had to pay the price.
How many times must things happen before she finally learns?
Back in the dormitory, all was as quiet as a grave.
Ken sat down on the lounge's sofa, looking groundwards. Being in a different age range, Ken witnessed events differently from the others. It was early January, after the New Year. He saw how their leader had suffered many blows from many different angles. He also knew that Hidetoshi was tired. Whenever anything happened to any of them, he cared, he wept, he blamed it on himself. That was not all; he kept everything within his heart.
Coerced into making a decision relating to Ryoji-kun not long ago, he spent most of the time alone, contemplating. Ken observed from far, knowing that the burdened one preferred the comfort of solitude. There were times that it was too painful to even look at him, but he always had proven that he can pull it through. Ken secretively admired such resolve, and wished to obtain such strong willpower himself.
Perhaps that resolve was finally shattering.
Koromaru peeked into Aoki's room. The lights weren't on, but his sight and sense of smell was good enough to sniff out Yukari was in the room, along with the outcold leader that himself, Sir Protein and Miss Dog Intepreter rescued from the Tartarus. The room was warm because of the heat generating machine sitting in the room; there were small red lights on the thing. Koromaru let out a sympathic whimper, mentally giving moral support, then went back downstairs.
Yukari tried her best in trying to keep her emotions in check.
"How can you be so stupid, Aoke? Running up Tartarus without the rest of us? What on earth were you thinking?" she whispered softly, ruffling his hair. She and Fuuka tried their best in patching up whatever they could, and had Akihiko-senpai help out in changing his clothes. With the Dark Hour long over, normal moonlight streamed and filtered through the curtains, providing limited illumination within the room. She felt so drained at that moment that she was tempted to sleep; but something urged her to continue staying where she was.
It was then she realized that sound flowed out from his headphones and music player on his study table. Listening closer by picking up Aoke's precious items by her ear, her eyes widened slightly from what was playing. She silently continued to listen to it, and turned off the player after that particular track ended. Quietly, she left the room, closing the door behind her.
The track that was playing voiced out his despair, his suffering, his emotions that he had kept to himself. And among other things that none of the others knew; fragments of his past, fragments of his encounters, fragments of his very soul.
The track was no music; it was his audio journal.
Junpei bumped into Yukari while she was on her way back to her room afterwards. The brunette wiped away at the streaming tears with her sleeve, but to no avail. Oh yes, he definitely know fully well what was she unhappy about, since everyone else was in the same emo mood. Priding himself as the jester, he tried to lighten the mood in the lounge, but apparently got himself bitchslapped by that boxer-senpai-that-fails-in-flirting. Since talking was just going to get him into deeper trouble, Junpei decided for the next best option.
"Hey, Yuka-tan, how about we grab some drink from the vending machine and go for some fresh air on the roof?"
Aegis had screened through numerous things in the past few hours. It was now 0526; everyone else was sound asleep in their rooms. She had sneaked into Aoki's room with a cup of warm water for the resident. Registering a slight groan from the sleeping beauty, she leaned closer and muttered a dead-pan "Good Morning".
Wait. What's a sleeping beauty?
Nonetheless, she watched as he slowly got up from bed, a hand on his head. All readings concerning his health were normal. She reasoned that the reason he was out at the tower was due to excessive fatigue, not injury. Recalling her promise to stay by his side, she wondered if she had failed to keep her promise. The next moment was unexpected, however.
The bluehead drew Aegis close, and wept on her shoulders.
Surprised, she kept herself steady and placed the water down the side table, careful not to spill the liquid. She let him carry on for a few more minutes before holding him back at an arm's length. "They say a man do not shed tears," asked Aegis questioningly, but deep inside she thought that perhaps bringing up conversation might help. He stopped sobbing and looked at her silently.
Yes, she thought, I have not failed. I'm by his side, right now, when he needs company. I have not failed as yet, and I will continue to carry out the promise. He alone can change the mood and attitude surrounding each and every one of us in the S.E.E.S.; he alone binded us all together.
She mechanically offered the cup of warm water to Aoki. "A drink?"