Authors Notes: I'm using Minato Arisato as the main character's real name, as that was what was used in the manga, right? Haha, I bet he grew up being called Main Character.
Spoilers up to the first December full moon. If I mess something up, it's 'cause I have yet to beat the final boss. I'm there, but 'Night Queen' takes me out every time... so I'll just have to keep trying. (I know, it's really depressing, especially since it's only used RIGHT before that thing DIES and ARG.)
Several in-game jokes in here. Social Links really make me laugh. Every time Minato makes a friend, he hears voices in his head? Haha, Minato is great. I wish he was real. I want to be a Social Link!
It's strange how there's not a lot of boylove fanfiction for Persona 3...
I'm not used to writing one-shots or non-multiple chapter fics, so forgive my badness. Um, maybe it's decent. I sort of considered writing more than one chapter, but I really don't know. Whahh, just enjoy it as it is and if it's loved too much then maybe I will. I don't know.
Well anyway, I don't own Persona 3 or any of the characters mentioned. They belong to their respective creators. Thanks for reading, and please review if you have the chance. This is my procrastination fanfiction against my other one at the time. Reviews make me a happy girl!
(... oh, and people should write more MinatoRyoji. And ShinjiAki. Please?)
The exact songs I listened to when writing this, in order, are;
Today Again So Pure A Blue (Yume Miru Kusuri OR A Drug That Makes You Dream)
Niche of Friendship (Yume Miru Kusuri OR A Drug That Makes You Dream)
Orange Twilight So Close (Yume Miru Kusuri OR A Drug That Makes You Dream)
Attached To Maturity (Yume Miru Kusuri OR A Drug That Makes You Dream)
Last Regrets – Final Mix (Kanon Arranged)
Pure Snows – Arranged (Kanon Arranged)
.. so pretty much, Yume Miru Kusuri music with a little bit of arranged Kanon music.
Thanks for reading, once again, and please enjoy!
Minato can't figure out why he can't get Ryoji's friendship – or to him, his Social Link. Ryoji thinks they're already friends. When he thinks his chance has finally come assumptions get the best of him; how far is he willing to go?
Eyes glued to the back of short, black hair.
Keeping a deathly secure eye on him while thinking. Pretending to do his school work. Well, the other boy probably wasn't either. He had heard his grades weren't up to par.
No, he couldn't move his sight, even if he had something important to pay attention to. He had to figure out what it was; what made him tick. Had he just not figured out what made him happy?
It wasn't normal. He wasn't used to this – a friend who didn't make him hallucinate voices and cards in his head.
It bothered him, because he was the only one.
Minato only looked dully interested, but his mind was whirling with a million possibilities. The other boy – black hair, blue eyes, golden scarf, and a rather distinct mole – sat a few seats away, separated by Aigis. It looked like he was trying to pay attention, trying to write down notes, but he didn't seem to be getting it all. He'd do quick jots and sudden bursts with his pen, and then a confused or rather unsure look would cross his face and he'd scratch out the last thing he copied. Minato had these actions memorized for the sole purpose of memorizing Ryoji himself. It was the same every day.
But school work wouldn't get to him. No, that wouldn't be it at all... he needed something else to go off of.
All the watching, all the planning, everything was done still with that silent personality that the boy always held onto. But one could still see that somewhere, deep within that usually hard-to-read face, there was uncertainty and insecurity.
He had spent much time with Ryoji now. Ryoji was always at the dorm, and ever since Minato had realized nothing was coming every time he talked to him, hours of his time was dedicated to the transfer student. But with most people, usually after the first or second outing-
"Ryoji, here's a question to see if you're paying attention."
Ryoji was forced out of his seat by everyone turning to look at him. He was placed on the spot, and it was easy to tell he wasn't going to get the answer correct. It was almost pitiable how someone could look so involved and then get dragged into something like this. "If you combine hydrogen and chlorine, how many parts of each would you need?" The question was simple. Not simple enough, however, for someone with the mental capacity (well, a little more than that) of Junpei. In the seat beside him, Minato could see slight movement from Junpei; he probably had his hands placed in prayer for his best friend.
But then it struck him.
This could be his chance!
Ryoji unsurely looked around the class. "Well, the answer is definitely..." he started, stalling for time. As luck would have it, his eyes fell on the silent boy. Minato just smiled, mouthed a single word very strongly, and Ryoji took that as his only chance. "... one. One of each...?"
"Very good, Ryoji. Now let's do some examples on the board..."
The class didn't notice, because Minato had not actually spoken the word but expected Ryoji to read his lips. So when Ryoji sat down, beaming with false intelligence, the class had thought it was his ability all on his own. However, he was sure to not leave the true mastermind behind the answer unloved; his head turned to Minato, he mouthed a "thank you", smiled lightly, and nodded. Minato smiled and nodded in return.
Yes, after class would be his chance.
He'd just have to get him alone...
Today was the day, he was sure, that he would finally discover how to bond with Ryoji. Time after time, because of the new nature of Minato's friendships, he felt that he only understood how people felt about him after securing a link with them. But no such link existed for Ryoji. That didn't mean they weren't friends, right? Just that Ryoji was being difficult.
It only unnerved him because generally, when he spent that much time with a person, the Social Link would instantly fall in front of his face.
But not with Ryoji.
Class ended for lunch.
Students all piled up to escape out the door. Junpei was the first to the dark-haired boy's seat, asking him to eat lunch with him so that they could watch the girls together, probably. Minato, who still watched him from his own desk, tightened inside as he realized he was loosing his chance. Ryoji nodded and smiled, accepting the proposal and rising. However, they exchanged more words, Junpei shrugged and nodded, and Minato only heard the tail end of the conversation.
"Well, alright dude, I'll save you a seat, But hurry up, all right?"
Ryoji nodded. "It'll only take a minute. It's just that I left my bag on the roof when I was with someone earlier and I've got to go get it."
Junpei grinned. "A girl?" Ryoji didn't need to blush or deny it; he just smiled contently. "Well, I hope it's not already stolen. Better go get it fast." With that, he turned away from his desk and darted off, wanting to get a good seat before all of them were taken. Ryoji started off as well and began walking down the isle between the desks.
Now was his chance.
He was sure, this time-!
Minato quickly rose from his seat, grabbing his books carelessly under one arm and stepping out ungracefully, but retaining balance. Aigis turned her head to say something to him, but he was too quickly off, leaving the girl without a parting word. He matched pace with Ryoji near the end of the isle so that the two of them met when they both went for the door. Ryoji caught his gaze, a little shocked at his sudden appearance from nowhere, but smiled.
"Heading out?" Minato asked. Inquiry was always how it started.
"Oh, no, I'm just going to the roof to get something I left there." As he explained his hand lightly beat the air, emphasizing his words. He definitely noticed Minato seemed in a hurry to meet with him, even with the quiet voice and reserved personality. "It's not much of a trip, but did you want to come?"
Minato took that as a sign. That's always how it began! Being offered by them to spend time together, even for just a few moments-
"Sure." He agreed as he forced back happiness that would have been uncharacteristic of him, and Ryoji grinned in return.
Both boys placed their hands in their pockets, opposite sides of one another, like twins or dual sides of a person. The android kept her gaze on both of them as they left together, distress welling inside of her. An inexplainable distress. One that she had grown used to... but was not happy with.
Blue skies expanded above the empty rooftop. The two boys, when they made their way up the stairs and through the door, were the only two there. Absolutely alone. The cool November air would have been chilling if Minato hadn't been dressed in a full jacket and Ryoji had been without his scarf. Minato stepped out after him, closing the door and silently worshiping the unpopulated area.
All that was left was to say the right things as the right time. He felt his motives were a little skewed, but when he felt as close to Ryoji as he did, he wanted to confirm the other boy's appreciation for him as well. He glanced over. Ryoji was testing the atmosphere; he took in a deep breath, and then gave a satisfactory smile. The sun at least warmed the cement ground and that heat radiated into their feet. But then he frowned slightly.
Minato caught this. Alright, just do it like you always do. "Something wrong?"
"Mm. I can't see it. My bag," Ryoji explained, scanning the area with his eyes. "Most of my notes are in there..." His face looked rather distraught. The work that he had actually done was contained within his precious bag. There was no way he had the mental discipline to rewrite everything, nonetheless find out what he would need.
"We can look for it together," Minato suggested.
Both boys set to work. It was a small area, but every nook and cranny had to be checked for the possibility that someone had just moved it instead of stolen it. Minato flipped his body over, checking underneath all the benches. Ryoji clung to the fence, hoisting himself up to try and see if someone had thrown it over and it had caught on the bare ledge between a thirty foot drop and the rooftop. They looked in the shadows, in the light, at the top of the stairs... everywhere. For about five minutes the boys even tried to look down beyond the fence to see if they could see it on the ground.
Time ticked away. Soon, only ten minutes of lunch were left and they didn't have any luck. Ryoji gave up and sat on a bench, hunched over, looking disheartened. Minato sat beside him, looking over, trying to think of the right words – the right method of action – to gain more trust in him.
"You can borrow my notes if you want," the quiet teen suggested, studying the other closely. What was it that he wanted in a friendship? Why couldn't he figure it out...?
"Thanks, but it's still a little disappointing," his partner replied, sighing and then falling backwards so that his head hung off the other side of the bench and his hair tangled with itself beyond his face. His eyes closed shut and he looked like he was thinking about something.
"... hey, Minato?"
Well, they were friends enough for him to be called 'Minato' as opposed to anything with an honorific.
"Mm?" The reply wasn't much. He needed to know more before he could plot the perfect answer.
"... a lot of the girls I hit on mention you sometimes. You're pretty popular, aren't you?"
Not with you it seems. "I guess so."
"Well, how do you do it?" He didn't move from his upside down state. "I mean, other than being really cute and all."
Minato's mind stopped. Froze. He felt like he had stumbled upon something he shouldn't have. The key to the Social Link, but something he had never even thought of trying before. But that was ridiculous!
"... it's what I say to them, I think."
"What, so you're not physical at all?" Ryoji pulled himself up with one hand temporarily, expressing shock. "You don't make any moves other than conversation? No trying to hold their hand, no trying to hug them, or kiss them or anything?"
His mind was definitely wandering into territory that it shouldn't have been going. It was a terrible assumption, one that probably wasn't even true, but he had nothing else. Was Ryoji the kind of person who liked physical contact before he got close to someone?
No, that wasn't the issue here.
Was Ryoji bisexual?
Minato tried to remain calm, but it was hard. There it was, barely in reach – the Social Link. Or what he thought would be the Social Link. But to obtain it, to make a move on a boy – he'd never thought of anything like that before! He'd never thought the chance would arise!
Was Ryoji worth it?
".. no, I've never tried anything like that. Do... you think it's what people want?"
"I know that's what I would want from a cute girl," he snickered and then flipped back into his original position, hanging his head off the back of the bench. "I mean, what's better than a kiss?"
Certainly the multiple-Persona user had known people like that were out there. He'd known that they probably existed in Iwatodai. He'd questioned Akinari a bit, but dismissed it at the fact that he had little time left and craved any sort of comfort. Minato honestly never thought that he'd have to do anything with a boy like that to obtain a Social Link. The idea was just too far from his mind.
But Ryoji was a good friend of Junpei's. Ryoji was in the dorm now and then. He was around a lot; he was the only member of their group that did not possess a Persona, but that didn't mean it wasn't accepted by them. In order to feel fully comfortable Minato had grown accustomed to needing Social Links to determine how he was doing with his friends. Relationships with others meant everything to him. But... was it worth trying to be gay for?
He tried to muster up some courage, but he felt like he barely had enough to even think of the idea. It would be karaoke tonight, he decided.
It was now or never.
"Junpei's probably getting mad. We should probably head back..."
Ryoji's voice snapped him out of his deranged fantasy. He had seconds now. He felt overcome, dizzy, but somehow retained his calm, emotionless expression. His hand twitched on the solid bench. Ryoji's hand clutched the side of the bench again and began pulling himself up–
If he didn't do it now, he may never get another chance to get a Social Link with Ryoji–!
This could be my last chance–!
He swallowed his pride.
There weren't any words he could really use; he wasn't used to this sort of thing. But everything that Ryoji had said had lead him to believe that this was the right course of action. Minato's actions were sort of cautious, sort of unsure, and yet as strong as he could be to get it done and believable. He quickly placed his own hand over the hand that Ryoji used to hoist himself up, trying to prevent him from going much further, and in a quick sweep he used the other hand to grab hold of the scarf wrapped around his neck, pulling him so that he was upside down once more. And then quickly, ever so quickly, Minato pulled himself down with him so that they were side by side. Ryoji's eyes caught Minato's questioning, but Minato closed the difference in space between them quickly. He stalled ever so slightly, inches before the goal, and Ryoji was only able to start with a "Mina-" before his voice was stolen away from him.
It wasn't an expert kiss; it was the first time he had done something like this. Both boys hung, deep black and faded blue mingling together. Minato's eyes were slammed shut; he couldn't see the wide-eyed boy beside him. Minato made no move to make the kiss more serious than just lips, but both felt the softness of each other for the ten seconds that Minato held it. Had Ryoji wanted to pull away Minato would have noticed; his hand was still locked with the other and the scarf was still tightly clenched. Probably too tightly; the fabric sent slivers of pain, similar to rug-burn, from the pressure. But Minato did not know how to do something like this; he assumed it was the same with a girl. He pulled away slightly so that their breath mingled but it created a hallucination that the boys could still feel each other locked in that moment. Minato opened his eyes slowly, meeting with Ryoji's wide ones. His features, including the delicately placed mole, never seemed more fine, but it was probably from the closeness the boys shared. Ryoji's breath caught in his throat.
".. uh, Mi..."
No, I won't take no for an answer!
To ensure, finalize, and confirm the actions, Minato did it once more; this time it was just a quick peck, but his lips overlapped Ryoji's top one. Ryoji's sentence was caught yet again and it was hard to tell whether the noise he made was the end of his words, a mumble, or just the slightest moan. Minato's heart fluttered when it shouldn't have, and Ryoji's heart stopped when it should not have even existed. And when Minato pulled away, both boys craved more in the deepest depths of their wishes. Both realized this. And both became self-conscious.
Minato's mind snapped away from Social Links in a moment. His own eyes became large at the realization of what he had just done. His hands pulled away as fast as they could and he tried to flip himself back onto the bench, but the attempt was made too quickly and he slipped and rolled over the side, falling onto the hard ground. Ryoji, broken from the shock, let go of the side of the bench and his back slid down, his neck hitting the pavement. He let out an exclamation of pain before letting his whole self slide down. Both of them grumbled for a moment. Ryoji lay on his back, elbows bent and hands beside his head. Minato was curled on his side, holding his head with one hand and his body with the other.
Both didn't move.
Both didn't speak.
Both did nothing, until Ryoji broke the silence.
He began to snicker. At first it was very light and quiet. Minato barely uncurled to glance in his direction, giving him a strange look, his eyebrows cocked. Ryoji had to place a hand over his mouth when it began to gradually grow louder. The more it grew, the more blood rushed to Minato's head and he could feel himself getting warmer and warmer by the minute. Quickly, very quickly, Ryoji couldn't contain it any longer; the snorts and giggles became full blown laughter and he rolled to his side, covering his stomach in pain.
Minato didn't understand. He couldn't understand.
But it was so funny, that he began to laugh too.
"Well, I'm glad you two think something is really funny, but Junpei's looking for you, Ryoji-kun."
Minato and Ryoji lazily looked over to the door through their unstoppable laughter to see Yukari peeking through an open crack. Her sentence implied that she had not seen the events before hand so neither felt threatened, but after she finished speaking they both just laughed harder. A look of confusion crossed her face.
"... boys are so weird," she said to herself, sighing, before raising her voice to be heard again. "He sent me to deliver that message, so hurry up." She disappeared back through the door, trying to ignore their ridiculous fit. It took the two of them another few seconds before calming down and forcing themselves to sit back up.
"W-what's so... funny?" Minato asked carefully.
"Actually.. I really don't know," Ryoji replied, flashing a smile as he wiped away tears from the pain in his stomach with a single finger. "You're pretty weird, you know?"
Minato smiled just lightly, putting his hands back in his pocket. He couldn't wipe the strange grin off his face. "Guess so."
"But that's alright. No matter how much you seem like a player," Minato cringed, knowing that he did hit on a lot of girls, "no matter how much you're the spotlight of popularity with your strange, quiet personality, we're still friends."
Maybe it was that moment that Minato felt himself give up a little. He felt that maybe he didn't need a Social Link to understand Ryoji. That even though he may not have be able to read how he was feeling, guage his emotions, and know what to do and when to do it, it was okay to have someone like that. He could be himself around Ryoji, instead of some outer persona created to please. Things that he said to Kenji were different than what he said to Kazushi. But what he said to Ryoji...
Because he couldn't figure out how to please Ryoji, to Ryoji he was his true self.
Both boys turned to leave. The bag was forgotten about. They walked side by side, opposite to how they walked when they had left the classroom; the hand that Ryoji had in his pocket was the side that was by Minato, and it was the same for the other. Both said nothing of the kiss; it was a secret that they'd hold to the grave.
A secret they didn't mind.
The Social Link was dropped. Despite what Minato thought, it was impossible to Social Link with Ryoji anyway. It was impossible for him to master a Social Link beyond it's highest level, and that's why he had not heard the hallucination for Ryoji.
Their bond was beyond unbreakable as of the beginning of November, before they had even met with that form.