Heaven's Big Brother
Plot Summary: Nanako's classmate Kenta just wants to take her out on a Sunday but finds himself confronted with the ultimate obstacle: her new "big brother". OC, Nanako and Souji-centric. Occurs Late July/Early August.
Disclaimer: No, I don't own the franchise. If I did, your social links would all be playable!
Author Note: Inspired by a hilarious picture I saw at gelbooru that practically demanded a backstory. (link is in my profile) And if you think about it, Souji (MC) can be pretty damn scary when he wants to be! P.S. Kenta has no relation to the Ken of P3, cause the latter is like in middle school man, age discrepancy much? Oh, and italics are meant to be thoughts.
Just look at the slippers… Kenta told himself. "Don't look anywhere else! The slippers are safe! If they move, you follow them! They're green and fuzzy and have cute cat faces on them…Wait, don't think about the faces! Because if you think about it they're sorta like those animal skin ones that big game hunters make on tv, so he might've made them out of real ca-…oh no, what if he has a gun? I know Dojima-san has one because he's a cop, but still…"
Kenta fingers nervously played with the strings of his windbreaker, trying to vent his fright so he wouldn't make a scene, fall over or worse, illicit a response from Nanako's…
"No-no-no!" Kenta was for once, glad that his mother had talked him out of cutting the messy brown bangs from his head. With his looking down at the floor, they probably hid his face and the terror on it pretty well. "Don't think about him sitting in front of you, don't look or think of anything but those slippers! Not the table, not the chair, not the TV, why-why couldn't he be watching TV right now? Not even the ceiling or walls or…"
The elementary school boy's frenzied mind gave a contented sigh. "…Nanako…"
His trance toward the tortuous footwear broken, he glanced leftward at his classmate. She was holding a small tray with two cool glasses of ice tea, standing there in her pink and red attire that he saw her in almost every other day, not that he was complaining, it was a comforting sight almost, and because of it he could spot her from the lunchroom crowd in an instant. Kenta sat there, his mind cleared at seeing those two trademark pigtails that framed her, though he'd never admit it, cute face, so much so that he practically forgot whom the other glass was for.
"The laundry's done, so I'm just going to get changed." She said simply as she lay the tray on the table. "I'll be back in a few minutes." Nanako smiled before departing.
Even though those weird murders were striking terror into everyone else, himself included, and her father was often out more than ever before because of them, Nanako was smiling much more than she had in a while. Though this association would've unnerved most, Kenta merely worried that that wonder-…nice smile, which came about rare as a full moon, would have its shine diminished by gracing the world everyday. To his relief, it was still as…nice…as he remembered.
His head moved without thinking. To its defense, it just wanted to turn its attention toward the ice tea. The day was hot after all, and he felt slightly stupid for coming in his windbreaker, so even looking at a cool drink would probably set his body temperature down a few degrees. His eyes didn't intend to take their time, linger as they scanned from where Nanako was a moment before, to where the drink was. They surely didn't intend to stop at the two things that Kenta would've given his allowance (and most of his earthly possessions) not to see…The silver eyes of Souji Seta. And though his throat was dry and sweat began to run down his face, Kenta was neither thirsty nor hot. In fact, he felt cold, well a cold, a sensation of cold, brushing against his bones and gnawing at his stomach.
Souji Seta…transfer student of Yasogami High from the big city, though he didn't really know which one, no one seemed to know. Cousin and though not technically one per say, big brother of Nanako. But for a surrogate, oh boy, he sure was acting the part pretty well.
At first, Kenta didn't think he was so bad before. His initial inquiries to Nanako of how it was like to have her cousin live with her were answered with greater degrees of warmth and…smiles as the weeks went by. Nanako would tell him how Souji would talk with her when her father was out, go shopping with her along with his friends, and show her clever little magic tricks. (which to Kenta's chagrin, she never bothered to teach him after numerous requests and bribes)
Then he started hearing other things. Some were nice, like how this stranger from the city managed to befriend that girl, what was her name-she was on tv wasn't she?, whose mother ran the Amagi inn as well as that popstar his mom liked, Risette. There were even rumors that Souji was helping out at that creepy hospital. But most were, unsettling. Kenta heard that he and his friend Yosuke, Nanako had mentioned his name during lunch once, were arrested for bringing swords and daggers into the Junes food court. That hadn't been so bad, in fact it was kind of cool. Shortly after though, kids from Yasogami highschool started…disappearing. They did turn up days later, sans memory of the missing week, yet the fact that it all started when Souji had come to town…well his mom's loud gossiping had a way of hammering certain ideas into his head.
Then there was Kanji Tatsumi. Kenta remembered that day, he had been helping his mom get some groceries from the Central Shopping District ("Because Junes doesn't have 'em fresh." She explained) and he was passing by the Chinese Diner Aiya when he heard a loud, angry and familiar voice tear its way through the noise of the restaurant goers. It was a voice Kenta remembered well, one that had furiously shouted expletives as its owner's fists smashed against the faces of anyone foolish enough to disturb his mother's sleep. A voice that cried with triumph as trash can lid knocked gang member of his still charging motorbike. (Incidentally, his mother had deleted the video he took of that fight, which was a shame because it might've been cool to show to his friends, and perhaps the local news station…) He peeked in to see the bleach blonde, black-clad high school freshman threatening the chef to hurry up with his order.
Kenta remembered Kanji yelling. "I'm gonna tear your store apart so fast you won't have time to file for insurance!"
That didn't scare the boy though. It was what happened next. Because when it seemed like Kanji was about to go through with his threat, he looked to his right and froze, his sharp features stilled in a nervous grimace. Kenta thought that maybe a cop had come in, but as he looked to where Kanji was gawking at, his face fell as well, for sitting next to the terror of Inaba was none other than Souji Seta, staring rather disapprovingly at the boy next to him.
Kanji Tatsumi, the guy who had beaten up more people in his middle school years than most people would in a lifetime, who was rumored to have killed a grizzly with his bare hands, who Kenta had once seen scare off a police officer with a scathing remark (though the guy did look a bit wimpy…), was silenced, halted, intimidated with but a single glance from Nanako's "big bro". If Kanji was the resident badass, then what the hell did that make Souji? What was he capable of?
Whatever it was, Kenta was frightened all the same.
And now he was staring into those grayish eyes that shone like polished steel, trying not to scream as their gaze pierced his.
Seconds became miniature eternities for the small boy, who now wished he could return to counting the whiskers on the high schoolers slippers. Souji's expression wasn't angry in the slightest, it never creased into a frown or curled into a sneer, it was neutral, but far from disarming. That blank face continued to stare into Kenta's own, unwavering, unblinking and utterly unnerving.
Once again, Kentai's thoughts were in a jumbled mess. "Oh no, I'm all alone with Seta-San! Well I was alone with him before, but he never stared at me like this…then again, my head was down, so maybe he was looming over me the whole time…damnit! He might not like eye contact. No witnesses, he can do whatever he wants now…but he's a police officer's nephew, he'd be found out if he did anything to me. But then, what if he knows enough about the police to fool them! I should have made an offering at the shrine before I came here; I hear that that actually works nowadays. What's taking Nanako so lon-?"
A single syllable woke Kenta from his paranoid wonderings. "So," Souji began, undisturbed by or uncaring of the small jump Kenta gave. "You're a friend of Nanako's?"
Kenta tensed, blushing slightly as he got back into his kneeling position. "Well it isn't a threat or anything like that. Might as well answer." He coughed slightly. "Ye-yes."
Small hands frantically wrung around young wrists, trying not to think about how the black high school jacket Souji wore made him look like a bancho. "S-Seta-san, it's a Sunday, kind of hot too, but you're in your uniform…"
"Laundry day…" Seta said simply.
"And you're wearing a sweater. What's your reason?"
At this, Kenta scratched the back of his head, slightly embarrassed. "I usually wear this, and by the time I realized it was too hot I was halfway here." He gave a small laugh.
Souji however, did not.
"Great." Kenta grimaced. "Now he thinks that I'm some kind of irresponsible ditz." He tried of thinking of something else to say. "You have any plans for today?" he asked, hoping that the older boy would indicate he was leaving soon.
"I'm minding the house so Nanako can have a nice, safe Sunday out." Souji answered, putting much emphasis on the word "safe".
"Right, sorry…slipped my mind almost." The young boy mentally slapped himself. That was why Nanako had the day off!
"I forgot to ask, since when?" Souji asked vaguely.
"Since when have you been friends with Nanako?"
The tone was steady, as unwavering as the silverette's appearance, but tinged with authority. "Is this a conversation or an interrogation?" Kenta gulped. "Almost forever, since like nursery."
Souji seemed to perk up at this. "Oh, then you were around when…" his eyes looked downward, almost regretfully. "I'm sorry I shouldn't ask…"
"Ye-yeah," Kenta sputtered before he could stop himself. "Though I wasn't, well you know we knew each other before but we were never that close, I wasn't her friend until after it happened."
The iron expression of the Junior seemed to soften. "It's alright if you don't want to talk about it."
"I-I didn't do it just because she was vulnerable or anything like that…" Kenta whispered loudly, defending himself from an accusation that was never made. "It's just, well, I felt a little guilty. Because on that day…" he stopped himself, why was he telling all this so easily to someone he had been afraid of moments before? Then again, the teen in front of him was kind of Enthralling. Kenta held his words, waiting for Souji to prompt or hinder his little speech. "I was one of the last kids to get picked up, it was kind of late, and it was cold, so I asked Nanako if she wanted to have my mom bring her home. She said no and smiled, saying her mom was going to get there pretty soon." He smiled sadly as he recalled that grey, empty day. "A few minutes after I left it started to rain…And she wasn't at school the next day, the teacher said she was sick."
Souji leaned forward, looking level with Kenta rather than down at him. "How, how was she?"
The confession came out more easily this time. "When she got back, I didn't know what happened, she looked so gloomy that I thought she was still sick." The fear was unhooking itself from Kenta's heart, making way for a new presence, sorrow. "Because she used to laugh a lot, everyday…I used to find it annoying. But for the next few weeks, she barely spoke." the memory made Kenta bite his lip in agitation, like many of his classmates, he had left her alone for all those weeks. "The silence really bugged me, more than the laughter, so I tried to make her smile, lighten the mood."
"But you found out…"
Kenta bitterly recalled that first outright display of emotion Nanako had had in a long time. That broken, pleading, tear-stained face, brought upon by his oblivious asking. "So what are you going to get your mom for Parents' day?" The following morning he was sent to the principal's office for making her cry, which he thought, served him right. "Yes...but, but even though they said I should stay away from her, 'give her space', I wanted to see her smile more than ever. So I hung out with her whenever I could. I tried sharing my lunch, walking home with her, cracking rude jokes I had heard, I even came here a few times to y'know watch TV and stuff like that. And that's, well, how we became friends." Kenta grinned apologetically. "Sorry if my reasons sound a little selfish."
"Did you get her to though?" Souji noted that the boy tensed a little at the sudden question, like a servant awaiting further instruction. "Smile?"
"I, heh, had my moments." The schoolboy shyly stated. "Some of my jokes made her giggle. There was even this one time I offered to help her with the laundry and freaked out when I touched Dojima-san's underwear, I couldn't get her to stop laughing for half an hour." He left out the part wherein she had only stopped to slap him after he accidentally washed hers. "Junes helped, she actually started humming the jingle in class. But she never laughed or smiled as much as she did before…until…" Kenta then stared intently at older boy. Maybe it was the fact that he was on a roll with his speech, maybe it was because the older boy didn't scare him (as much) as before, but whatever the reason Kenta's tone changed into a rather provoking one as he asked. "How did you do it?'
Souji was almost taken aback by the boy's change in temperament. "Excuse me?"
"Get her to looooo-ike, like you?" Kenta cringed as he tried to resume his cross stance. "It took me almost a year to get her lips to even curl up. Then you come in a complete stanger, and in a few weeks she's just…like how she used to be..." He lowered his voice slightly, this was definitely something he didn't want Nanako to hear.
The older boy's eyes closed, contemplating how best to answer a question he hadn't even asked himself. Kenta briefly wondered if he was going to glare at him again. "It doesn't take a year to see how lonely she was watching quiz shows each day of the week." Souji muttered. "She needed someone to talk to with her father investigating the murders, and I was there, so I guess I was just lucky Kenta."
The mention of the cousin's arrival in conjunction with the murders and his being 'lucky' sent alarm bells-no, gongs clanging in Kenta's head. Only to be quelled when he realized that this was the first time Souji had referred to him by name. "Well, I guess that makes sense…" he pouted. "And I haven't been around much either…."
"But for a friend, you sure are mistaken about one thing." Kenta waited for a response, but Souji leaned back, arms and legs crossed once again, but now with a slight grin on his face. "She's not her old self."
"H-how would you know?" Kenta wished he hadn't almost shouted, though he began to wonder what was taking Nanako so long. His right foot fidgeted indignantly.
"The way you put it Kenta-kun, Nanako is returning to her old happy self, in other words reverting." One of the cat faces on Souji's feet began to bob up and down to some unseen rhythm. "But I don't think so, she may seem like how she was before but she's actually becoming a completely different person."
The aura of authority returned to Souji's voice, but there was something gentler about it. "You can tell when that happens?"
Souji produced a small pair of dark grey glasses from his jacket, absentmindedly regarding them as he replied. "I've had…experience with seeing people grow. Sometimes it's a really big…" For some reason he started to rub a small bruise on his head Kenta hadn't noticed before. (because fear tends to bulldoze over little details like that) "…ordeal that requires an er… 'intervention', while other times its quite subtle." Souji replaced the glasses into his coat pocket, giving them a fond pat. "Nanako isn't going back to the way she was, I know it might look that way but she's really moving forward, not in reverse."
Kenta thought about this for a bit, his hands began to play with his windbreaker again. "And this new person she's becoming, she's happier right."
A huff was his initial reply as an old memory of a little girl angrily calling her father stupid because of a little misunderstanding began to play in Souji's mind. "Growing isn't easy, in fact it can be a bit of a Grind, but in the end of it you can smile and say you honestly pursued your true self and if you're lucky, you can even boast you found it at the end of that long way."
The answer was so cheesy, so mushy and practically bled pop culture references, that Kenta was confused at how he thought it was absolutely brilliant. "You're really smart…" was all he could say.
"And you're not so bad for a pervert." Souji winked.
NANAKO TOLD HIM ABOUT THAT? "It was a complete accident!"
A small chuckle escaped Souji's lips. "You should come here more often."
Shock was pushed aside as Melancholy returned to replace it. "I can't…well not as often as I'd like."
At this, Teasing was replaced by Concern in Souji's tone. "Why's that, you're friends aren't you?"
"That's true but my mom told me that it was too…well dangerous to hang around the 'Detective's daughter'." His fingers quoting the last part in mock emphasis.
"The murders…" Souji sighed.
"As long as Dojima-san is working the case, everyone thinks its too dangerous to hang around people associated with him, including my mom." Kenta shook his head. "Says they might bring trouble. Heh, I'm not really supposed to be here, but I convinced my mom that since they had a suspect, it was only a matter of time till the police catch him…and well, let's just say I'm actually in a friend's house near the Samegawa flood plain."
When their eyes met once more, Kenta saw that Souji's had returned to their steely, sharp quality. Thankfully for Kenta and his pants, they closed, moving upward in an assuring motion. Nanako's big brother reached over the table and gently patted Kenta's head. "Don't worry Kenta, I'm sure the killer will be brought to justice." He resumed his place on the family sofa. "Then it'll be safe for you to be with Nanako again."
"Thanks…but-but that doesn't mean I can't protect her myself." Kenta was sputtering again. "Because its nice when she's happy, and anyone who wants to make her otherwise will- gulp – you know, I won't take it lying down." Despite himself, Kenta thought he might be able to pull it off, next to struggling not to faint from being in Souji's general area, everything else seemed easy in comparison, including fending off some psychotic serial killer.
Souji smiled at this. "Good, because you know, I'm not going to be here next year, and someone needs to make sure that she continues to grow into the fantastic young woman I know she'll end up becoming." The brief moment of flattery in Kenta's heart was crushed as the silverette leaned forward, leering at the youth. "However, if you hurt her again in any way, not saying you will…well." The highschooler opened his school jacket to reveal nothing but cotton blackness, slight moisture from the heat and-wait…WAS THAT A SWORD????? !!!!!!!! "I wouldn't like it, AT ALL."
Even as the coat closed, impossibly concealing the long blade that lay within its folds, Kenta's eyes never left it, twitching all the while.
A faint sound of socks hitting wood, reverberated through the mire of Kenta's thoughts, like angel's footsteps descending down some divine staircase to rescue him from the evil knight. "Sorry it took so long, I get confused with Dad's and Big Brother's clothes sometime-."
The cold sweating young boy sprang up from the tatami mat, practically sprinting until he reached Nanako. "H-HEY THAT'S A NICE DRESS! YOU LOOK PRETTY! I MEAN YOU LOOK GREAT-I MEAN NICE, ARGGGG!!! LET'S GO IT'S GETTING LATE!"
Nanako looked at her friend, puzzled. "But it's only eight in the mor-whoah!" she cried as Kenta practically tucked her under his arm and ran out the door, his adrenaline granting him the hot-blooded strength of 5 Kentas (which wasn't much, but sufficient to carry the girl.) "See you later big bro!"
The swindled girl's Big Brother marveled at the door that had been closed barely five seconds ago. "Wasn't expecting that." He said to himself. "Oh well," he thought as he happily grabbed the two sweating glassed from the tray. "More Ice Tea for me…"
Author Note: I thought Kenta came out pretty well though I may have gone overboard with Souji's big brother act, but who am I to say right? R&R. Oh, and here are some OMAKES to pass the time that may or not be canon.
Kenta panted as he finally propped Nanako to her feet 200 yards from the Dojima residence. "So, where do you want to go?"
Slightly winded, Nanako checked her hair to see if any of it had been blown away. "I don't know, maybe Junes?"
"Great, I hear they have a new mascot who's just hilarious."
"Oh, you mean Teddie?"
"Teddie? How do you know his name?"
"He's a friend of Big Bro's, why?"
"So he has agents everywhere." Kenta paled. "Ya-Yakuza maybe?"
"To tell you the truth, I used to be afraid of your older brother." Kenta chuckled, taking another sip from his soda. "But he's actually a really cool guy."
"Yeah." Nanako blushed in a way Kenta found unnerving. "He really is cool, in fact I…" she stopped.
She looked away. "No, it's too embarrassing…"
"C'mon you can tell me, I can keep a secret."
"I'm going to ask him to marry me." Nanako smiled as a new frenzied look appeared on Kenta's face.
All of a sudden, the hot-blooded energy that had given him the power to escape certain death was now telling him to go and punch an army of Shikigami in the face.
He leapt on top of the Food Court Table like some kind of Action Movie Hero Boy and from within him a phrase he didn't really understand roared from his heart for all of Inaba to hear.
"I WON'T LOSE!"
"What was that?" Apparently the object of his passion had been looking somewhere else when this outburst occurred.
It was then that Kenta noticed that everyone in the food court, bored vendors especially, was staring at him. "N-nothing." He said as he sat back down, grimly noting he had spilled his cola on himself on his way up.
Nanako gave him another of her…nice smiles, telling him she'd get him another one. "Heh, serves you right for calling my laugh annoying." she smirked inwardly.
"Nanako, this might be my last day alive!" The thoughts of Souji's blade still sparkling dangerously in his mind. "So I was wondering…um…well…uh…if I could give you a hug before I pass into the next world?"
"You're sweaty and covered in soda…"
"Ah," Kenta smiled sadly. Well, maybe in his next life.
OMAKE 4 (Kind of Dark, Dramatic Irony for those who have finished the game)
"I have a feeling that this whole murder thing is going to be over soon…"
It was getting dark, but Nanako had insisted on watching the sunset by Samegawa River. "Yup, and soon dad will be home more often…"
"So I was wondering, I know things have been a bit weird but, would you like to hang out again real soon?"
"When? I might not have time you know."
Kenta decided to try with months.
"We have class…"
"My dad might have plans…"
"November…" It was more stated than asked. Kenta's courage was nearly depleted as it mentioned the eleventh month, and his ego couldn't bear to try for the next year.
Nanako's eyes widened, looking upward in thought, then shifting back towards Kenta. "I think that could work, we might even be able to have fun for the entire month. The weekends anyway…"
Kenta's spirits gave a happy jump. "Well we'll still see each other at school, but even though its far away I don't think I can wait for November." His heart gave a strange ache as he saw Nanako's…nice…form framed by the orange light of the sinking sun.
The glow did wonders at concealing the blushes on both their faces.
"Yeah, me neither."