Persona 3/4 – A Meeting of Worlds
Author's Note: This fic was a spur-of-the-moment idea. I liked it. I'm placing this fic under the category of "Persona 4" even though it has P3 people in it as well. For that matter, there are some decent spoilers for P3, if you haven't played it. Especially this chapter. I've tried to keep the main spoilers out of the P4 recap that's present in this chapter. If you haven't finished P4, you shouldn't be spoiled much, but if you're paranoid, I wouldn't read anything after the groups assemble in the Inn.
Thanks for reading!
Chapter 1: Introductions
"What a backwards little place this is." Mitsuru Kirijo looked around the station as she boarded the platform from the train. "Yasoinaba Station. What a small station." Curious, she surveyed her surroundings once more. It wasn't until her third look around that she noticed a beautiful young woman with long black hair standing in front of her with her arms crossed. "Are you Amagi-san?" Mitsuru asked.
The girl nodded with a confident smile. "I am Yukiko Amagi. Please, just call me Yukiko. You must be Kirijo-san. Please, follow me. We have a taxi for you to take you back to the Inn already." Yukiko motioned with her arm and Mitsuru nodded with a warm smile.
"Oh, my traveling partner," Mitsuru said with sudden realization that she was leaving someone behind.
"Traveling partner?" Yukiko asked with a curious expression.
"There," Mitsuru said, pointing at a dog carrier on a pile of luggage being pulled along by a trolley.
"You…you brought a dog?" Yukiko inquired.
Mitsuru nodded. "I hope that's all right. Koromaru can't be left at the mansion on his own, and with everyone out of town, we thought it would be best if I took him with me."
Yukiko shook her head. "No, no, that's fine. He'll need to stay in your room until designated hours at the Inn, though. We usually don't allow pets, but since you're such an important guest, we can make an exception."
"Oh, he's not a pet, I assure you," Mitsuru replied offhandedly. She walked over to the luggage and immediately opened the dog carrier. "I'm sorry you had to travel in that thing, Koromaru. Forgive me?" she added with a smile.
Out bounded a small white dog with a red armband on his left front leg. He wore a white sleeveless dog tunic with two small wings sewn into the back. He grinned up at Mitsuo and barked, his tail wagging. Yukiko was astonished.
"Well then, shall we go?" Mitsuru asked Yukiko. Koromaru stood close to Mitsuru, sniffing every which way from where he stood.
Yukiko's discomfort at being around Koromaru was evident, but she did her best not to let it show. "Y-Yes, this way." She turned and led the duo to the taxi awaiting them outside the station.
Half an hour later, Mitsuru opened the door to her room in the Amagi Inn, letting Koromaru in first. He immediately investigated the premises as Mitsuru laid her bag down near the futon. She turned and looked at the doorway, in which Yukiko stood watching.
"Is there anything else, Yukiko-san?" Mitsuru asked.
"Not officially," Yukiko admitted. "I was wondering if you traveled with Koromaru-san often?"
Mitsuru nodded. "He is a very important friend."
"I noticed you said he was not a pet, yet he is clearly your dog," Yukiko observed.
Mitsuru shook her head. "He is not my dog. I am his guardian, but he is not mine. His owner passed away just a little over three years ago. We have had the luck to have co-guardianship of Koromaru since."
Now Yukiko was truly confused. "We?"
Mitsuru laughed. "You'll see soon enough. We were the first to arrive, yes? We're expecting a total party of eight, including Koromaru."
Yukiko nodded. "The guest list only included seven names. Whoever set up the reservations didn't mention Koromaru-san."
Mitsuru's brow furrowed. "That was rude of them. Who was it that set up the reservation? I shall have a word with them when they arrive."
"I believe it was a man by the name of Junpei Iori."
"Of course. He and Koromaru were always close, but he probably did not think to include Koromaru in the reservation list. That's just like him," Mitsuru said with a sigh.
Yukiko bowed her head and looked back up at Mitsuru. "Well then, Kirijo-san, I shall be going. If you need anything, the phone in this room is directly tied to the front desk."
"Thank you, Yukiko-san. I shall remain here for now."
Yukiko bowed and turned down the hall, closing Mitsuru's door behind her. As she headed down the hall towards the front office, Yukiko couldn't help but think, What a strange woman, traveling with a dog, yet refusing to acknowledge it as a pet. A party of eight, she said? I hope our Inn doesn't fill with animals…
The next morning, Yukiko received a call from a person named Yukari Takeba, announcing that she was on the train headed for Inaba station. Takeba was on the guest list to be included with Kirijo and Koromaru, so Yukiko told her that she would be at the station to greet her. As an afterthought, Yukiko hesitantly asked, "Takeba-san, do you have any animals with you?"
The answer came from a confused Yukari. "No, why?"
Yukiko sighed in relief. "No reason. I shall meet you at the station when you arrive."
Half an hour later, Yukiko stood atop the platform awaiting the next train to arrive. Her cell phone rang in her purse. Answering it quickly, she heard a familiar voice.
"Hey, Senpai! You wouldn't believe the characters on this train! There's this Iori guy that-"
"Wait, Iori? Junpei Iori?" Yukiko demanded.
Yukiko's heart skipped a beat. "Wait, you're on a train?"
"Sure am! Heading to Yasoinaba station right now! But anyway, Iori and Takeba and Sanada are all heading to your Inn. And you won't believe the stories they'll have to tell you. And by you won't believe, I mean only we would believe."
Yukiko's heart skipped another beat. "Rise-chan, what do you mean by that?"
"You'll have to wait and see, Senpai. Do me a favor and call Yosuke-senpai and Chie-senpai. I'll call Naoto-kun and Kanji. We need everyone to meet these guys. And don't forget Teddie."
Yukiko hung up, more confused now than ever. Still in a state of confusion, she followed Rise's idea, calling Yosuke and Chie, asking them to get Teddie and come to the Inn. Both of the others were confused, but agreed to be there by nightfall.
The train finally arrived. The first person off the train was a bouncy young woman with curly brown hair and a huge smile on her face. She rushed over to Yukiko and grabbed her neck with her arms. She and Yukiko laughed together as they hugged for a moment before breaking apart.
"Rise-chan, I'm so glad to see you!" Yukiko said with a huge smile.
"Likewise, Senpai! Oh, hey, wait until you meet these guys!" Rise turned and yelled back towards the train. "Hey, guys, c'mon! Over here!"
Three young adults left the train in a straight line. The first was a young man with silver hair and a devilishly handsome face. The second was a young woman with short brown hair and bright, intelligent eyes. The third was easily depicted as a jokester, a young man with a baseball cap and goatee, with a mischievous grin on his face. The three of them saw Rise and walked over to the two of them, sticking close together.
"You must be Amagi-san," the silver-haired man said with a smile that could make Teddie jealous. He extended his hand in greeting, which Yukiko took with a blush.
"This is Akihiko Sanada, Yukari Takeba, and Junpei Iori," Rise said, her hand motioning to each person in turn. "Everyone, this is Yukiko-senpai, just like I told you."
"Pleasure to meet you," Yukari said with a smile.
"Yo," Junpei said with a laugh. "So you're the one with the haunted inn, right?"
Yukiko blinked. "Excuse me?"
Rise laughed nervously. "I might have mentioned the murders to them, and how your inn was under suspicion of being haunted by Miss Yamano."
"Rise!" Yukiko hissed. "You didn't!"
Rise's eyes opened in innocence. "Don't worry, Senpai. I only did it in confidence. Trust me on this. You'll understand tonight."
"So is anyone else from our guest list here, Amagi-san?" Akihiko asked.
"Kirijo-san and Koromaru-san are here," Yukiko replied. "Which reminds me. Iori-san, Kirijo-san said that she would have to have a word with you about not including Koromaru-san on the guest list."
Akihiko laughed and looked over at Junpei, whose face had turned a strange pale color. "Looks like you're going to get executed, Junpei."
Yukari shook her head. "Eh, he'll be all right." Junpei didn't look so convinced.
Akihiko looked back at Yukiko. "There should be one more train, I believe. Yamagishi should be bringing Aigis and Ken."
"Then the guest list will be complete," Yukiko admitted. She looked at Rise. "Rise, aren't you staying at the Inn as well?"
Rise nodded with a smile. "Only for tonight, though. I'm going to go stay with Grandma after that."
Yukiko looked back at Akihiko. "The last train should be here in about an hour. I'll stay here and wait for it. Rise-chan can show you to the Inn."
Rise nodded. "Sure thing, Senpai. Let's go, guys! I can't wait to get everyone together!"
Yukiko looked worried as Rise skipped away with Junpei, with Yukari slowly following behind them. She stopped Akihiko for a moment. "Sanada-san…"
"Please, call me Akihiko."
"Akihiko-san, what did Rise tell you?"
Akihiko smiled. "She told us enough to verify the fact that Junpei thought that this would be a great place for us to stay. No worries."
This answer did not sate Yukiko's confusion. In fact, it only raised more questions. She let Akihiko join the others as she sat down to wade in her own doubts and concerns. What had Rise told them? No one would believe the things that Rise could have told them. Dojima-san still didn't believe them, even though they were the ones that had brought in the real killer.
Yukiko pondered this and that for the next forty-five minutes, when she heard the announcement of an incoming train. She stood up as the train arrived, the final train to fill the guest list for the Amagi Inn. A young woman with disheveled hair approached her from the train, followed by a taller woman with blonde hair and a large hairband and a small boy, middle school aged.
"Amagi-san?" the first woman inquired. She was very soft-spoken. Yukiko nodded. "My name is Fuuka Yamagishi. This is Ken Amada, and our friend Aigis."
"Pleased to meet you. I am Yukiko Amagi. Please, call me Yukiko. A taxi should be here momentarily to take us to the Inn." Yukiko looked at Aigis. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your last name."
"I don't have one," Aigis replied with a kind smile. "My name is simply Aigis."
Yukiko tilted her head in confusion. Would the strange things from this group never cease?
"Well then, shall we go await the taxi?" Yukiko asked, motioning to the exit. Fuuka nodded and led the three of them after their stewardess.
An hour later, the Amagi Inn was bustling with the likes of people whom Yukiko had never imagined before. Hugs and hellos were thrown every which-way, even moreso as Yukiko's comrades arrived. Soon, the lobby of the Inn was completely filled with bodies.
Yukiko observed the seating arrangement, and was shocked to see Kanji sitting directly next to Junpei. "You two sure warmed up to each other quickly," Yukiko observed.
Kanji laughed nervously and Junpei grinned. "Well, truth be told, we didn't just meet," Junpei admitted. "We've been pen pals for about a year now. This is the first time we've ever met in person, but we've known about each other for a while now."
"That's amazing, Kanji-kun! I'm impressed," Rise said with a smile. "I didn't think you'd be the type to keep a pen pal."
"Kanji's just full of surprises," Yosuke admitted. He and Teddie were sitting next to Chie, who was next to Ken. Koromaru was sitting at Ken's feet. They were opposite Kanji, Junpei, Mitsuru, and Akihiko. Fuuka and Rise were sitting in a small loveseat at the end of the lobby, and Yukiko and Yukari were standing at the other end, surveying the group. Naoto was standing next to Aigis in the corner, watching the scene quietly. It was quite the crowd.
"Okay, so what's the big deal to be dragged out here, anyway?" Chie asked Rise. "I mean, it's cool to meet so many people, and they're really awesome people to boot, but why them, Rise-chan?"
Rise leaned forward and grinned. "Well…" She stopped, her face suddenly serious. She looked around and saw that no other inn guests or workers were around. "Okay. So get this, guys: everyone in this room can summon a Persona."
There was a stunned silence. Only a select few weren't slack-jawed. This select few consisted of Rise, Akihiko, Yukari, Junpei, Kanji, and Koromaru. Koromaru was probably not slack-jawed only because he was already panting.
Mitsuru made a motion with her hand. "How do you know about Personas?"
Rise's face contorted into irritation. "Didn't I just say that everyone here could summon one?"
Mitsuru shook her head. "Well, that's partially accurate. We can no longer summon ours."
Yukari nodded. "Yeah, when the Shadows disappeared from this world two years ago, we lost the ability to summon our Personas."
Yosuke perked up. "Wait, did you say 'this world'? You guys could summon your Personas in this world?"
Fuuka nodded. "We used our Personas in an altered dimension parallel to this one. Well, kind of. It's…hard to explain."
"Our school was, for one reason or another, 'cursed' several years ago, and transformed into a gigantic tower whose sole purpose was to usher in the bringer of death, Nyx," Mitsuru explained. "Our Personas could be summoned in our world because we never left our world."
"A giant tower," Yosuke whispered. "That would have been something to see."
"Shadows in this world?" Teddie demanded. "That's not possible. Shadows can't exist in this world."
"They didn't exist long in this world," Mitsuru replied. "They would only leave the tower every full moon."
Teddie shook his head. "I'm telling you, that isn't possible."
Mitsuru stood up. "Explain that to the year-long struggle we went through!" Her voice and face were angry, but none of her colleagues looked concerned.
"Teddie here is a bit of an expert on Shadows," Yosuke explained.
"Their situation was different," Naoto interjected. "The Shadows manifested in their world, whereas we enter the Shadows' world." She looked at Mitsuru. "How long was the tower around?"
"The school would only transform into the tower for one hour every night," Mitsuru acknowledged.
"I get it," Akihiko said. "If Shadows really can't stay in our world for long, that explains why Tartarus – er, the tower – would go away after the Dark Hour ended."
"Guys, this is all really interesting, but let's hear them out, huh?" Rise suggested. "Speculations can wait. I wanted you guys to hear their full story. You'll really be shocked."
Mitsuru returned to her seat and crossed her legs. "For one hour every night, the world would shut down. We called this hour the Dark Hour. Only those with the potential to host a Persona could function during this hour, and electronic equipment would cease functioning. I was the first person in the area to successfully control a Persona in order to fight a Shadow."
Akihiko leaned forward. "Mitsuru and I were the first two people to decide to explore Tartarus. Along with a friend named Shinjiro, we started a group known as SEES – the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad. We were devoted to discovering why Tartarus had appeared, and seeing if we could put a stop to the Dark Hour."
Yukari spoke up next. "Eventually, every full moon brought out a monstrously powerful Shadow that would leave Tartarus and wreak havoc on the outside world. We took it upon ourselves to destroy these Shadows before people were hurt. Unfortunately, some people had already fallen ill to the Shadows, and went comatose. Many rumors started out of these comas, but only we knew the truth. Every time we defeated a large Shadow, the number of comas would dwindle, but they would increase again as the next full moon approached."
Fuuka's arms started moving as she spoke. "Unfortunately, we didn't realize that by destroying the large Shadows, we were actually rejoining them into one entity. Eventually, we defeated all the large shadows we were going to, but a problem presented itself: because of our actions, mankind was going to die."
Aigis stepped forward. "I was originally created to battle Shadows, specifically one large Shadow represented by Death. I was defeated and reconstructed, years ago. After we defeated the last of the large shadows, Death reappeared before us in a false image. We discovered this fallacy and faced him on it, but he disappeared before we could defeat him. He claimed that he would return on New Year's Eve with a decision for us: either we could have our memories erased and die with the rest of the world peacefully, or continue to retain our memories and suffer the fear of knowing that the end was coming in thirty days. Either way, the world would end on January 31."
Junpei's voice was rather sudden, as he didn't make any movements to let anyone know he was speaking. "Problem was, we didn't like those choices. So we fought our way to the top of Tartarus, and on January 31, we fought the representation of Nyx, the entity formed of mankind's desire to end all suffering through death. Or something like that. In any case, we kicked his ass, but he had one last trick up his sleeve. He summoned, like…the moon or something, and the world was really almost over. But…"
The room went silent.
"But what?" Chie demanded, leaning on the edge of her seat.
Everyone who had spoken turned to look at Aigis, who smile sadly. "But our squad leader sacrificed his life to seal away Nyx and block out the desires of mankind. He single-handedly stopped Nyx and saved the world. All he needed was our thoughts of him and our unstoppable wills."
The Inaba group was quiet now. Yukiko couldn't believe her ears. Everything they'd said seemed to line up somehow to their own incident. No wonder Rise had wanted the two groups to meet.
"But that wasn't the end of it," Ken voiced, breaking the silence. "We were about to go our separate ways, when the day started repeating itself. Because of our involvement in Nyx's defeat, we'd been tied to the Desert of Time. For some reason, Aigis was given the same special powers as our first squad leader, and we had to dive into the desert and defeat the actual embodiment of mankind's desire to die. You see, when our leader sacrificed himself, he established a physical barrier that our desires were constantly beating against. It was a solid barrier, but it was already beginning to crack, just two months later. We saw a lot about each other in that desert, and when everything was said and done, it was us versus the will of mankind to die."
"I assume, since we're still around, that you guys won," Chie said. Ken nodded.
"So what's your story?" Akihiko asked. "Rise mentioned that you guys had an interesting one, but she didn't tell us any of it."
Naoto stepped forward. "I can retell the story."
Yukiko nodded. "That's probably best. We can fill in the parts you missed."
Naoto delved into the story of the Inaba murders, the world inside the television, and the eventual confrontation with mankind's desires to hide the unwanted truth in a dense fog. The embarrassing stories were left out, but the failures in capturing the correct criminals were included. Teddie's origin was also recollected, which got several gasps from the other group. Finally, Naoto told the story of Izanami, and how their own group leader had squared off against the original goddess of Japan one-on-one, with only the thoughts of those around him to support him. When she spoke of this, everyone in the room became very somber. The connection between the two people was undeniable. Both had been exceptions to the Persona rule, and both had faced off against the will of man and won.
"So what happened to your leader?" Yukari asked.
"He moved back to his home town," Chie said. "He's still alive."
Yukari looked at the ground. Her face seemed to be…bitter.
"It's been three years, and yet we still wish he'd come back to us," Aigis explained. "When I inherited his power of multiple Personas, we worried that I would die as well. Unfortunately, I did not. To this day, if I could give my life to restore his, I would."
Yosuke scratched the back of his head nervously. "Well, I hate to say it, but what's done is done. We can't live in the past, right?"
"You're exactly right," Mitsuru admitted. "It's just very difficult to let go the death of two of your best friends."
"Two?" Chie asked.
"Remember Shinjiro, who helped us start SEES?" Akihiko asked. "Yeah…he…"
The room became silent again.
"Well!" Rise stood up quickly with a grin on her face. "That's enough of this mopey stuff! Collectively, we've saved the world how many times? We should go do something happy for a change!"
"What about the TV world?" Chie asked. "Their reason for using Personas is gone, but ours still exists. Maybe we could show them?"
Teddie nodded. "And now, since it's so beautiful there, it'll be a real treat!"
"Oh hey, why don't we invite Nana-chan and Dojima-san, too?" Chia asked. "I mean, I'm sure Nana-chan would love to see everyone again, and I bet Dojima-san would love to see proof with his own eyes that the place exists."
"We can try, at least," Yosuke said with a grin.
"Okay then. It's a date!" Teddie cried with a laugh.
Yukiko nodded. Quite the gathering of people. Each one had a story, and each one had a reason that they had fought. In the morning, they would enter the TV world again, not as people searching for answers, but as people who know the answers, and are merely seeking a good time.
"Good night, everyone," Yukiko said with a bow and a smile.