Disclaimer: I don't own persona 3…if I did, then basically every character in the series that lacked a Y chromosome would be in love with Minato.

Minato Arisato's storm grey eyes swept over the grizzly transformation that had come over the city. It was like this every night, at mid-night. The dark hour, an "hour between seconds" that could only be experience by a few gifted individuals. Gifted or cursed…depending on your view of things. The green light of the moon laid an eerie tinge on everything. Water was replaced with blood, lying in puddles in the street where numerous black coffins stood erect through the city. The transmogrified forms of those who couldn't experience the dark hour. Minato envied them sometimes, after all ignorance was bliss. But he would never admit to that, no sir. He was a leader, Mr. Perfect, Commander Feel-Nothing. He would sometimes laugh bitterly when he remembered the alias that his friends would sometimes use for him…never when they were looking though; after all he had an image to keep.

It was a load of crap of course. NO matter how amazing his Personae or how great the strength granted to him by the shadow Death's residence in his body…he was still human. But he knew that for what needed to be done, human just wouldn't cut it. Which brought him back to the reason he was up here in the first place: what needed to be done. It was December 30th, and once this dark hour ended… it would be the 31st. At night of the 31st, Ryoji…Death would come to him. He would ask for his decisions… kill him and live in blessed ignorance, or stay and fight against an entity that couldn't be beat. However, it wasn't the decision that was stealing the sleep from his nights (he already knew his choice)…it was his dreams. Strange dreams of what was to come, dreams he could never make out properly, but all gave him a strong sense of finality, of ending.

When S.E.E.S. had learned that their fight to destroy the Great Shadows had unwittingly facilitated the very end they were trying to accomplish had crushed them all. The following loss of Mitsuru's father and Chidori had only served to dishearten them. Yet Minato had watched from afar as the picked up each other's pieces and gained new strength and will…all without his help. No one had even bothered to wonder about his state, after all, he was the impregnable wall of inner strength, and he had to admit that he had tried his best to make sure they didn't find out otherwise. At times like that, he would many times venture the thought that his presence was an unnecessary thing, that it wouldn't have mattered at all whether or not he had been here; or existed at all for that matter. However, he'd quickly brush these thoughts aside because they were meaningless. Whether he had made a difference or not was a moot point, because he had been there and he couldn't change that. Besides, it was better they learned to rely on each other…he had a feeling he wouldn't be around much longer.

Minato sighed and twirled the gun shaped evoker from his finger as he took a couple steps back from his window. He tried his best to relinquish his humanity, his fear of loss; because he knew that it would only get in the way of what he somehow knew would have to be done. Yet for all his pretending as the strong, silent one…he had a heart and it had given him one final selfish command. He decided to relinquish to his hearts desire just once more, he owed it that much after everything he'd put it through.

He sat back down on the bed and lifted the evoker to his temple and pulled the trigger, the familiar sound of a lock being opened echoing with the force of a gunshot. IN a flash of blue light particles, his first persona Orpheus appeared before him. It appeared a bit confused, having been summoned, but without any shadows to fight. His mouth didn't move, but rather, the speaker on his chest emitted his voice.

"Master, is something amiss."

"I have a special request for you Orpheus. I need your power for something of the utmost importance to me."

"Of course master, what is it?"

"Well, you're in my heart, so you should know."

The room was silent for a moment, as the half-mechanical Persona's eyes closed in concentration. His eyes slowly opened, and they shown with a peculiar melancholy.

"I see. I will do what I can master."

And for the first time in a long time, Minato cracked a genuine smile.

"Thank you."

Orpheus removed the white lyre from his back, and held it in front of him. He closed his eyes in concentration, after all, he had never used his power in such a manner…and this was very important to his master; failure wasn't an option. He lifted his left hand to the strings, and began to play, the hauntingly serene melody carried throughout the dorm, bringing his masters wishes to its sleeping tenants.

(At this point I would recommend listening to All My friends BY Amos Lee…just 'cause it sets the mood.)

All my friends,
all live in pain.
Longing for the warmth of childhood,
to bring them home again.

All my friends,
got broken hearts.
And if the world's a stage,
we're searching for our parts.

In her dreams, Yukari Takeba smiled happily as wind pulled at her hair, first forward then back, then forward again. She pumped her legs harder to try and get more lift out of the swing. Each time she moved back, she felt a small pressure on her back, pushing her forward again. She would giggle and a low, masculine voice would chuckle in response behind her. She turned around once more, taking in the radiant smile on her fathers face as he stood under the shade cast by a nearby tree, hands up and prepped to push her forward again. He suddenly looked ahead and rushed around the swing. Yukari followed him with her gaze and caught site of her mother coming towards them carrying a stack of boxed lunches. In anticipation of the food, Yukari jumped from the zenith of her swing, and felt weightless, like she was hovering on a cloud. She landed on the soft grass, but didn't feel a thing. A small distance away, her parents were laying out a blanket on the ground. Her father turned to her, still smiling, and motioned with one hand. Yukari closed her eyes, and turned her face upward and let the sun warm her face. She then smiled again as she returned her gaze to her parents as she sprinted towards them, not really noticing that the only sound in existence was a strange, beautiful melody that seemed to be humming from the thin air itself.

We'll face the winds,
that break the strongest of trees.
And beckon for the sweet, soft, summer breeze.

Akihiko stood in front of a wooden door that stood at the end of a long hallway. He didn't know where this was, but he knew that he wanted to open that door. He couldn't explain the desire and didn't even notice that he couldn't. He just opened the door and strode into the room like he'd been doing it for years. He saw the TV was on, and one person sat upon the couch that lay directly in front of it. He walked over to the couch, jacket held over his shoulder in his right, and his left hand reached down to ruffle the gleaming silver hair of his little sister. She instantly shook his hand off and pouted at him so cutely, he couldn't help but laugh in her face. Her only response to this was to puff her cheeks out like a blowfish and turn back to the TV with a very definitive jerk of her head. Over by the kitchen he could see Shinji leaning against one of the counters, trying to act like he wasn't just cooking something. Unfortunately the plan backfired as a smoke alarm went off. Shinji jumped and muttered a stream of colorful curses before looking to Miki and promptly shutting up. He reached into a stove with an oven mitt and pulled out a pizza with a mostly burned crust. Yet the aroma was so delectable, Akihiko elected tom kick his ass for cursing around his sister, after the pizza was done. He strode over to a rather sheepish Shinji and picked up a slice, not realizing that despite it being burnt, it was just warm enough to eat at a comfortable pace. HE smiled as Miki joined them, and didn't even realize that the fire alarm seemed to change its tone from an annoying beep to a beautiful melody.

All my friends,
got broken wings.
never will you hear them asking why,
the cage bird sings.

Mitsuru's scarlet hair flew out behind her haphazardly as she picked up speed. She had no fear that she was ridding a motorcycle without a helmet and pushing speeds that were probably illegal all over the country. There was no one else on the seemingly endless road and she seemed to instinctively know that no harm would come to her here. She relished in her unbridled freedom, and a grin appeared that sucked up most her face. She felt arms tighten around her waist and she could hear the childish laughter her father gave as he rested his head on her shoulder. She giggled as his raspy beard prickled her neck in a pleasant way. She revved the engine and pushed the speedometer to its limits. And had she been listening intently, she would've sworn that the motor began to sound less like a motor, and more like a serene tune.

All my friends,
they know how to live.
oh so much sorrow,
so much love to give.


Junpei tightened his grip on the bat, drawing in heavy breaths as he blinked sweat from his eyes. It was the final inning of the game, his team had 3 people on base, and they were behind. The only way to win this was for him to hit a homerun, right now, on his last strike. The pitcher spat into the ground, cocked the hand back, and let the ball loose. Junpei watched it with his eyes, heart beating faster as it came closer, and closer, and closer, and…bam! Junpei swung with all his might and the ball went flying like a fighter jet, right out of the park. The crowd erupted into applause as he made a show of moon walking through all for bases. When he finally reached home, he ran for the bleachers where he could see Chidori seated in a front row. She smiled at him and rolled her eyes at his antics. When he got near, she leapt from the bleachers and he tackled him to the ground. When the both recovered, she planted her lips on his in a kiss that didn't' show any sign of stopping. And if you asked him about it later, Junpei would've sworn he heard the crowd's cheer flow into a slow, heart-twanging rhythm.


We'll face the winds,
that break the strongest of trees. Beckon for the sweet, soft, summer breeze.


Ken bounced the ball off the wall a couple times and caught it without effort while his head lay in his mother's lap, legs stretched out across the couch. He kept throwing the ball to the wall in time, and it would bounce back and inevitably end up in his hand again. It was almost as if it was drawn there, like it didn't want to interrupt this precious quite moment by making someone get up and get the ball. Ken stared out the large sliding glass door. He and his mother had come here to sit together and enjoy the soft sound of the light drizzle. Ken looked up to see his mothers eyes closed and her lips drawn in a small smile with her head tilted to rest on the sofa.

"Sweet dreams mother" HE whispered as he resumed his ball bouncing. And for a moment, it seemed like the rain had turned from a pitter patter, to a slow waltz.


We all know that storm is coming.
Everybody wants to know which way to go.
I see the crowds running,
the winds gonna blow.


Fukka held onto the sides of the tube in apprehension. She had never done anything like this before. It was so dark in there. What if she flipped over or something? She turned to voice her concerns to her friend Natsuki, when said friend promptly pushed her into the wet tube. Fukka shrieked as she barreled along through the slide along with the water. Her terror didn't leave her until she finally exited with a great splash into the pool. She quickly got up and dog-paddled out of the way. Soon after, a great splash sounded behind her and as she turned, she saw Natsuki behind her with a tremendous grin that promised we are so going again! Fukka was enjoying herself so much; she forgot to complain about being pushed into the slide. As Natsuki bolted off to try and get a good spot in line, Fukka turned back to look at the slide. When she had been in the tube, had she heard… music? Her friends call banished the question, and Fukka ran like she had never run before, with a big smile.


All my friends,
are dear to me.
Oh when the storm comes,
they're as close as family.

Koromaru panted lightly as the old monk stroked the top of his head. The man had finished sweeping the grounds and took this opportunity for some quiet reflection. Then, the monk removed his hand from Koromaru's head and reached into his robe. When he pulled out a small bouncing ball, Koromaru barked excitedly. The monk just laughed at his enthusiasm and tossed the ball. Koromaru split after the bouncing projectile with great vigor, catching it in the air in mid-bounce. HE raced back to hand it to his chuckling master who promptly threw it again. This continued for god-knows-how long, but Koromaru didn't seem to get tired. Once, when he was retrieving the ball, his ears pricked up at an odd sound: music? However the sound was gone, so he shook the thought and ran back to his smiling master.


All the friends,
are the ones I chose.
If I hear them knocking,
you know I can't refuse

The sound was every where. It was a beautiful melody, but it was so melancholy that Aegis's eyes began to tear up. She wiped a tear away with her soft hands and sniffled a little bit. She straightened the blue dress she was wearing and looked about the room. There didn't seem to be anyone else present, and the music seemed to lack a musician too. Her feet slid across the smooth floor as she turned a circle, confused. Then, a hand lightly touched her shoulder, causing her to spin around. Her bright blue eyes were met with one the color of storm clouds. She gasped slightly and looked down. His hand snaked up and pushed from under her chin. She stared at her face again as he placed his hands on her waist and puller her close to him. Her arms rose and wrapped around his neck of their own accord. He pressed his face into her hair and she could feel a slight movement of the strands as he inhaled the scent of her hair. Before she properly realized what was going on, their feet had already been moving for a while. Their dance took them in a circular motion about the room, moving flawlessly in step to the mournful tune, despite Aegis having never danced before. No words were exchanged, and when she desperately sought something to say, he put a finger to her lips before she could even speak. For some reason, she relaxed much more after that. Just for now, there was no dark hour, no shadows, and no impending doom. Just for now, they weren't Minato, ace persona user and Aegis, anti-shadow weapon. They were just a boy and a…girl…a girl, dancing together. Aegis closed her eyes, and let the music dictate her moves. It was a sad song yes, but it was so beautiful.

We'll face the winds,
and break the strongest of trees.
And beckon for the sweet, soft, summer breeze.
All my friends.

Minato smiled once more and bowed in thanks to Orpheus. The Master of Strings bowed back, and vanished. Then, the dark hour ended, and the moon returned to her pale glow. It was a full moon, and a beautiful night Minato concluded as he lay back into bed and hummed himself to bed. It was a sad tune… but it was oh so beautiful.