Man, it's been FOREVER since I've uploaded anything on . For that I'm so sorry! Instead of a lame explanation I'm just going to let you read my apology. Anyway, this fic was what got me writing all over again ( I posted this on LJ back in February of this year ), and we all have one Ryoji Mochizuki to thank for that. It's a smutty one shot, inspired by H.I.M's song "Killing Loneliness". It just reminded me of Minato and Ryoji so much. If you guys like the way I write this pairing, which I hope you do, then look forward to something else that's in the works. I received a delicious little doujin of this pairing today, so I got inspired. :D

Also, remember everyone there are spoilers up to December here! Right, now, on to the reading.

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The days seemed to pass by quicker than Minato had hoped for, considering the circumstances. Everyone was coming around, but there was still a small aura of hesitance in it all. With the new year right around the corner the team shared their opinions around their leader as much as they could. They knew the decision was one for all to decide upon, but no matter what he was the deciding vote. Minato had to think things through, very carefully.

Christmas Eve would've probably been more enjoyable if the end of the world wasn't leering around the corner. Although, things seemed to brighten up a little as Minato remembered he agreed to spend the night with Fuuka. He had gotten the perfect Christmas gift for her too, so it promised to be a very interesting evening.

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The next day approached, and it was finally Christmas day. Sadly, the day drawled on as uneventful as the day before. With no prior engagements or the like, the Persona user decided to just go back to the dormitory.

As expected everyone was there discussing gifts they received and gave. It was a pleasant sound to hear laughter in the dorms again; it had become a rarity in the passed couple of months. Even if he knew deep down some of it was forced, everyone was trying their best to have a great time.

Who knew if they would be able to share precious moments together again next Christmas… They had to make this one count.

"Oh Minato-kun, I baked some gingerbread men, would you like some? I promise you'll like them," Fuuka smiled confidently as she extended the tray of cookies towards him.

The blue-haired teen nodded as he took one, "Of course, Fuuka."

She blushed slightly, "Thank you." She was tempted to ask in her meekly tone, if they were any good, but she was sure of her skills that time around. It was all thanks to the person right in front of her. He was indeed one of a kind, and she didn't know what any of them would do without their team leader.

"They're delicious, Fuuka, as expected. You've gotten really good," Minato smiled a genuine smile that made the girl blush further.

"Oh! Thank you, you don't know how much those words mean to me." Fuuka returned the smile once more, but then it soon faded. A thought came to her, and she looked away from the boy's glance.

Minato continued to look at her pensively, "Is there something on your mind?"

She nodded in agreement as she looked back up, "I just can't help but wonder what Ryoji-kun is doing… Is he alone on Christmas? Or maybe he's spending time with a special someone? I just don't want to think he's spending his time alone and miserable!"

Minato noticed her hands shaking, and placed a hand on her shoulder. It was amazing how Fuuka always worried for all those around her, even if they were to bring the inevitable Fall. She was as kind-hearted as the day he had met her, and that's why everyone cherished her greatly.

A familiar voice was heard nearby, as the culprit took about three gingerbread men cookies from the tray Fuuka was so delicately holding. An arm was placed around her shoulder, also grazing Minato's hand slightly.

"Ah come on Fuuka, knowing Ryoji he'd be spending his last Christmas with any number of pretty ladies! That little black book of his is totally not just for show!" Junpei grinned wide as he stuffed his mouth with one of the cookies.

Now Fuuka was just plain ol' embarrassed, "I, uh, well as long as he's enjoying himself…"

Junpei winked, "Oh, Fuuka, you don't know the half of it. I'm sure he's way into-- Ow!"

"Dammit Stupei, you're such a perv," Yukari rolled her eyes after bonking Junpei over the head.

"Ah, didn't know you were standing there…"

"Whatever. Anyways, don't worry so much Fuuka. I'm sure Junpei's right to a certain extent," Yukari gave Fuuka a small squeeze at the small of her back, making the other girl squeak.

Junpei's eyes widened and pointed an accusing finger in Yukari's direction, "Now that's just wrong! You're doing that on purpose!"

"Doing what? Oh please Junpei, think before you speak."

"Admit it, Yuka-tan, you're just as bad as me," Junpei wriggled his eyebrows, but not before receiving another one of Yukari's infamous foot stomps.

Everyone else in the dormitory chuckled, but Minato had stopped to think over the words that Fuuka expressed with such vigor. She did indeed have a point, and now he couldn't stop thinking about it.

What was Ryoji up to? For the boy that was once a part of him, Minato hoped with all his might for his safety.

----------

The darker blue haired member of S.E.E.S decided to call it a night, since there wasn't much to do anyway. The Christmas celebration only went so far, and the rest of the members followed suit.

Unfortunately calling it a night was not such an easy feat, because Minato continued to toss and turn in bed. He thought about dedicating some time to studying, but he felt that he had about studied enough the passed couple of weeks. It was now time to rest from exams, and attempt to enjoy the winter break.

The minutes continued to go by, and every single sound in the dorm was intensified from his lack of sleep.

Every foot step to every door closing shut, Minato heard it all. It was quite annoying, and making him feel even more uneasy. Although, what put the icing on the proverbial cake was the tapping at the window. He ignored it assuming it was only the wind, and continued to attempt getting some sleep.

It wasn't working.

Tap, tap, tap.

That was it. Minato sat up on his bed, with the beginning of a headache forming, and that's when he realized what was making the noise.

A solemn smile made it's way towards him, and instantly he shot out of bed. It was… But how?

Minato could see the person behind the window move their mouth. Yes, the boy seemed to be skilled at lip-reading as well.

"May I come in?"

Minato rubbed his eyes with his pajama shirt sleeve, and blinked a couple of times to make sure he was fully awake. Then again, he sure as hell didn't feel as if he were sleeping. Oh the irony of it all.

At least he knew he was all right. He made his way to his window, and opened it up.

"Thank you. It was getting a bit chilly outside."

"How long were you waiting there?"

There was that faded smile once more, "It doesn't matter. I'm just glad you saw me this time-- I mean, wait! It's not what you think!"

The other boy smirked, but for Ryoji's sake he let it slide. At least for now. "We were all talking about you earlier."

Ryoji played with the edge of his suspenders nervously after setting foot into the room, "Really?"

"Yeah, we've been worried about you. After you gave us the news, you disappeared. So, it's natural we worry a little."

A bitter chuckle filled the room, "I'm surprised in all honesty. I basically told you guys you're all going to die, no matter what you do, and you're still concerned for me?"

"Ryoji…"

"Please, I'm a waste of your generosity," Ryoji looked grim, and didn't even understand why he was still standing in the room he used to visit so often once before. The one place he knew he could go to, and chat with him. To know he would always be there for Ryoji, a true friend.

"There must be a reason you came here before New Year's, right? Is there something else you needed to tell us about Nyx?" Minato would love to comfort Ryoji, but there was little of ways to comfort an entity known as Death.

Ryoji shook his head, "No. I told you all I had to for the moment. There's no stopping her. That's all there is to it."

"I see."

"Have you already made your decision?"

"Yes, and I believe everyone else has as well."

"Then would you…?"

"-In case, let's wait for New Year's. That's what we agreed on after all."

The darker haired teen smirked, "Right, indeed it was."

The room got quiet real quickly, and Minato was beginning to feel quite awkward once more. It hurt to see someone looking so miserable; if only what Junpei had suggested was true.

To break the silence he nonchalantly reached into Ryoji's pockets, attempting to retrieve said little black book of his. Unfortunately, he pulled his hand back with nothing to show for it, maybe except a beet red Ryoji.

"Wha-!? Whoa, what the?! Hey, what were you trying…?"

Minato shrugged, "I just wanted to take a peek at that infamous little black book of yours. Although, I see you didn't bring it, why is that?"

"I have no use for it anymore, naturally," Ryoji said as he pulled his bright yellow muffler slightly over his reddening face.

"Ah, that's a first. When has Ryoji Mochizuki ever taken time off dating girls? And here I thought you were getting your ass laid tonight or something. Instead, you were freezing outside my window."

Ryoji blushed even more so, "Well, you have no shame do you? I didn't see you as the teasing type, Minato." He walked and made his way over to his bed. A sense of nostalgia made it's presence eminent.

"Remember when we would have our little chats here? Of course, I wasn't in this form then, nor did I use this name. Heh."

Minato sat next to his friend and nodded, "Yes."

"If only… I wish, we could've had more time together. I lived inside you for ten years, yet, that didn't seem enough for me. I've had so much fun with everyone, and I had to go and ruin everything. It's all my fault, and I have no way of stopping it all. I'm such a horrible person--- But wait, that's right, I'm not even a person am I? That just leaves horrible… I'm just horrible, a horrible, horrible…"

"Stop it, Ryoji," Familiar hands cupped either side of his face, and grayish eyes bore into pale blue ones.

Tears were welling up in Ryoji's eyes, tears he wasn't even aware existed within him. He didn't know he was actually capable of crying. Then again, he was in his human form. Yes, the form that he gave him. He did have something to be thankful for after all.

"Thank you, Minato-san," He felt the tears rolling down his cheeks. For all the testosterone filled teenage hormone rampages he had earlier on in the year, he sure was acting like a complete queer right about now.

"What for?" The other boy asked quizzically.

"For giving me the chance to experience emotions, it is the greatest gift I could have ever received. It's all thanks to you. I now know what it's like, to be, human. I felt so lonely before I met you."

It was Minato's turn to blush, because all that Ryoji had finished saying was quite embarrassing. But, he was still very glad to hear those words coming out of his mouth. Regardless of all they've gone through over the passed year, Ryoji still felt he had something to be grateful for.

If things could only be different…

"Do you think that, for just one night, we could forget about everything that's happening around us? Could we pretend, everything's all right? About what I really am…"

Before Ryoji had the chance to spew out anything else, Minato took it upon himself to shut him up. He closed the gap between them, and crushed his lips against his other half.

The light blue eyes widened at the realization of whose lips were touching his own, but he didn't pull back. Ryoji's features softened as he explored a foreign, yet still oddly familiar part of Minato.

Sweet, yes, Minato tasted sweet. Almost like, pineapples… What the? Pineapples? Ryoji pulled away at that moment to catch his breath, "W-Why… do you… taste of… pineapples?"

"Huh? Oh… That…" Minato thought about it for a second, and remembered a scene that took place earlier that day. Without realizing it, a flashback was forming in the not so far off distance of his mind.

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During winter Minato's lips were very sensitive to the weather, and easily chapped. It was incredibly annoying, especially since he had a habit of licking his lips, constantly. He had spotted Yukari, and called out to her, "Hey! Yukari-chan, do you happen to have some lip balm?"

The brunette looked back and shook her head, "Sorry, but I don't have any on me. Maybe Fuuka or Mitsuru have some? Either way, gotta go, Archery club has a meeting."

"On Christmas?"

"Yeah. It's a secret Santa thing. Well, see ya!" Yukari waved goodbye, and went her way.

Suddenly Minato felt a hand on his shoulder, and jumped in surprise. When he looked back he noticed it was only Akihiko-senpai.

"Sorry if I startled you, but I couldn't help but overhear. Do you still need lip balm?"

The other boy nodded in agreement.

"Good, I've got some right here," Akihiko pulled out from his pant pocket a yellow chapstick with pineapple decorations all over.

Minato took it, and couldn't help but arch a brow at his senpai's interesting choice of… "Uh, Senpai, why the pineapples?"

"Well, why not? I like the fruit, especially tropical ones. So there's really nothing to explain," If it were any one else Akihiko was sure to feel a tinge of embarrassment, but Minato was an understanding kind of guy.

"So… you like fruits eh, Akihiko-senpai?" Asked the one and only Junpei Iori of class 2-F.

Which then of course lead to guys such as Iori, who far from excelled in the understanding of anything department. But Akihiko had to admit, it did come off a little odd to have pineapple flavored lip balm in the first place. Ah, to hell with it.

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"Um, it was all there was, and my lips were chapped," Minato put as simply as he could.

Ryoji couldn't stifle a snort, and actually laughed for the first time in what seemed like forever. That alone made Minato smile a dopey kind of smile, which was rare in itself.

"It's nice to see you laugh again. I've always found it rather contagious."

"It'd be nice to be able to laugh like this forever really. I'd rather be completely oblivious to the truth sometimes. The truth hurts too much," Ryoji looked down once more. How much longer would he be able to enjoy his time with him? At that particular moment he felt like a modern Cinderella waiting for the clock to strike midnight, the dark hour…

But if he could forget for just a little while, and spend that time without a care in the world…

He passed a finger slowly over his lip, "I can't believe I kissed a dude. Seriously, I love girls, but you're different. You'd be the only exception, in fact, you are."

A feeling of anxiousness was forming in the pit of Minato's stomach, which he found unusual. It was usually the other way around. The order of events were always to woo the girl, and let themselves be wooed. It was always the same pattern, but it was incredibly different with Ryoji. Although, there was indeed a major difference.

They shared a bond different from everyone else. They were once, one. The blue-haired teen was starting to finally realize how deep that said bond really was.

"Please, make me forget… Kill that loneliness that lies deep inside me…"

With those words Minato couldn't hold back anymore, because he too once knew of that loneliness all too well. Ten years ago when he had no one, there was still one being there for him.

It was Ryoji's turn to take the initiative that time around, and he softly pushed Minato back onto the bed. A gasp escaped him, and that only encouraged Ryoji further. He then crawled on top of the Persona user, whispering into his ear gently, "Do you really want this? Or, would you rather, stop?"

Minato shivered slightly at the tickle of the other's words, "I'll do whatever it takes for you to feel anything other than sorrow. Even if salvation may seem to be ions away… I want to know that whatever memories you do keep with you, that they'll be fond ones. Or, is that too much wishful thinking from my part?"

"It doesn't matter," Ryoji nipped at his earlobe as he straddled the boy underneath him. "But you seem to have forgotten something…"

Gray eyes shut slightly as the one with infinite possibilities blushed a deep crimson, "And, what is that?"

"As I've mentioned before, you're the one person I could never forget. No matter what, Minato-kun. You'll always be here," Ryoji took hold of one of Minato's hands and placed it over his chest. For someone that wasn't even supposed to be human, there was still a faint heartbeat.

"Ryoji," Minato didn't know what else to say, if his face would turn any more shades of red he'd be a tomato. With his hand still over Ryoji's chest, he went to kiss him again. It was a deeper kiss than the last, and much more heated. The exploration of Tartarus couldn't compare to the current ongoing exploration. That's right, Minato's so out of it he must think up of the cheesiest comparisons known to man.

It was obvious they were both very nervous. Sure, they had prior experience with girls, and they were sure it wouldn't be any different with a guy--disregarding the more than obvious-- but they still felt awkward. There was so much fumbling it was becoming ridiculous. In their desperation to undress one another, they delayed any further action.

They both chuckled it off, and attempted to take it slow.

The scarf was the first thing to go, as Minato slowly undid it from around Ryoji's neck. He received a shiver in response at the sudden exposed skin. If he had been a vampire, there would be no doubt about it that Ryoji would've been his first victim. His skin glowed in the moonlight, and it made him even more attractive.

"Did I ever tell you how sexy I find suspenders to be?" Minato purred as he began to undo them as well.

Ryoji realized something. Was he going to end up stark naked first? Well, he was not going to let that happen. Although, this was certainly a side of Minato he never thought existed, not even with all the girls he dated. It was seriously turning him on.

Once the suspenders slipped off, Minato began to untuck the stunned boy's shirt. It amused him far greater to see that expression on Ryoji's face, it was so sincere and had nothing to hide. "What? Are you at a loss for words?"

"I… What happened to the nervousness from before? I mean, I'm still nervous," Ryoji intertwined his hands with the ones that were playing with the buttons of his dress shirt.

Another devious smirk flashed in his direction as Minato basically pounced at Ryoji's neck. He slowly licked up his jaw line, stopping when he heard a quiet moan. When Minato saw those once light blue eyes filled with utter lust, he felt entranced by them.

The buttons all finally became undone, and revealed the palest of skin. It was milky white in comparison to Minato's own. To think that it was he who gave Ryoji that body, from creamy white skin to that distinct beauty mark. It amazed him how much he grew more fond of it with every time Pharos visited. He should've known from the start, the first time he had met Ryoji.

Small delicate kisses were placed upon each inch of bare chest, and Ryoji shuddered each time.

"If… you continue to tease me as so… I don't think I'm going to make it through the foreplay…"

"Oh, you'll make it," Minato got rid of the belt, and unzipped Ryoji's pants next. The fact that he was taking everything agonizingly slow, only made the darker haired teen's anticipation grow ten times fold. He groped the more than visible bulge roughly, and Ryoji bit into his lip without remorse.

"Nngh," Ryoji knew he broke skin, and could taste the metal tang of blood in his mouth. Minato noticed this immediately, and passed a finger over the stray blood on Ryoji's swollen bottom lip. He stuck that same finger into his own mouth, savoring the unique flavor.

The Persona user's tongue dangerously poked out from the side of his mouth, and freed the other boy's aching erection.

Oh all things holy, Ryoji was unaware of what Minato was trying to do--other than drive him absolutely and utterly insane. The demeanor of his actions, it's as if he were doing everything on purpose for that reason. He groaned as he grabbed hold of a chunk of Minato's hair, and brought his face to his throbbing member.

Minato looked up at Ryoji a little surprised at the bold move. It was about time. He was already jumping to the assumption that he was the only one that wanted anything to happen.

None of them exchanged any words, except an awkward silence. But, it was Minato's job to make Ryoji forget about all that was tormenting him. The same tongue that teased Death incarnate just minutes prior was now licking him up, and doing deliciously naughty things. He never thought Minato could use his tongue for such.

There was a hungry devious look in Ryoji's eyes, and it made Minato's anticipation grow even more. To know every single interest to flaw about a person you care for deeply, makes spending time with them all the more special. To see that expression adorning his face, made Minato weak all over his body.

Both of Minato's hands wrapped around Ryoji's cock greedily, taking him into his mouth. Ryoji felt what seemed like a static shock go up his torso, to his throat eliciting a moan of approval.

"Oh God, Minato," Ryoji tried his best not to thrust forward. His hands grabbed random locks of Minato's hair, so soft it was.

Minato hummed almost playfully, as his hand began to make it's way down into his own pajama pants. If he didn't do something about his own little problem soon, it could pose some difficulties.

As lust driven as Ryoji was, he wanted to take action as well. "Stop."

That brought Minato back to Earth, and he stopped sucking all together. Did Ryoji change his mind? Was he going to tell him how disgusting all they were doing was? When did Minato become so self conscious? He never realized how much he was in need of that feeling. To feel that something stir inside him, to know they'd do anything to get that person's attention.

Devotion.

He cared for all his friends, but Ryoji was different from them. He couldn't stress that fact enough.

"I want you to feel good too," Ryoji smiled as their fight for dominance continued. He slowly slid off the boy's pajama pants, and wondered why they had stayed on so long.

Minato shivered from the newfound draft, but soon found himself being as loud as Ryoji had been. After coating his fingers with his own saliva, Ryoji inserted a single digit into him.

Arms were wrapped around Ryoji's neck fervently, and Minato bit down onto his shoulder. Another finger was then inserted as Minato continued to writhe in both pain and pleasure. He wasn't sure which feeling was more evident, but he could care less as long as he had Ryoji to hold onto.

The flushed cheeks, the inevitable erotic panting, how tightly Minato was holding on, it was almost too much for Ryoji. As soon as Minato began to thrust forward, he knew he was more than ready.

"Time for the main course," Ryoji said with a devilish smirk plastered on his face, sweat dripping slightly from his brow.

Blue hair conveniently fell upon Minato's practically crimson hued face, "Must you say it… like that?"

A simple nod sufficed as Ryoji retrieved his fingers, and began to enter Minato slowly. It all felt so surreal. He couldn't understand how they both got into such positions. There might've been a glance in class from time to time, but Ryoji never in his wildest dreams… His brain wasn't processing much else once he was finally inside him. The tightness and heat was enough to send him over the edge at that very moment.

The foreign sensation made Minato squirm and spout out unintelligible gibberish. It only reassured Ryoji further, and continue to thrust into him. He used one hand to pump Minato's neglected erection, and the other to bring him closer to himself for another kiss.

All types of noises were heard across the room; they just hoped it wouldn't wake up anyone. It would be very embarrassing, and hard to explain to all in the dorms what Death was doing in Minato's room. Fucking Minato senseless would be far from the appropriate answer. Regardless of it all, Minato was far from gone and didn't have a care in the world at that particular point in time. He was to make it top priority, afterwards.

"Are… you okay?" Ryoji asked as he realized he hadn't even bothered to ask. No one could blame him really.

Minato in response wrapped his legs around Ryoji's waist, and began to smother his neck with anything he could muster. His flawless skin, Minato wanted to leave marks all over it, before he would lose his chance completely. Even if Nyx was going to end up taking his Ryoji away, right now, he was no one else's but his. As long as he was in his human form, he was Minato's property. A tingle went down his spine at the arrogant thought.

His, and only his.

The sensation was almost too much for Ryoji as Minato pulled himself closer, if it were even possible. "Oh, ugh, Minato… God. You caught me… by surprise," Ryoji smirked as best he could.

"Stay with me, please," The pleading look of desperation in Minato's eyes only reminded Ryoji that this wasn't meant to last forever.

He was so close, and he knew Minato was as well. Why did it all have to end that way? Light blue eyes were fixed into the darker grayish blue ones, "As long as you hold me dear to you… I'll… always be with you."

Minato wasn't sure how he suddenly started to say such--for lack of a better word--estrogen-ridden things. He sounded like a girl, losing her virginity, and afraid of having that person disappear from the face of the planet soon after--which all was close enough. Afraid that it would be the only time they would embrace one another, and that would be that. He knew this all, and yet had hoped for another outcome. What a fool he was…

When the other boy didn't respond, Ryoji questioned his choice of words. Those once passionate eyes had lost that glimmer, and it worried him greatly. They were both at their peak, but Minato had gotten too quiet. Ryoji in a desperate attempt for a response, forced himself onto him almost violently. It was just enough to rouse some sort of emotion back into him.

"Agh, I can't hold-- anymore," Minato's eyes shut closed. His head was thrown back, as he felt himself reach his climax. He looked away from Ryoji's glance, feeling a little shameful.

Ryoji took his soiled hand bringing it to his lips, and passed his tongue slightly over the dripping juices.

Once Minato saw what he was doing he practically squeaked, "W-what are you doing?! That's just--"

"But, it's your taste… how can I-"

Minato was so embarrassed, if he weren't still technically connected to Ryoji, he would- Oh, that's right! Ryoji still hasn't… This only made matters more awkward. He could feel the twitching inside him, and he bit his lip almost anxiously. Before Ryoji could actually continue the blasphemy he was currently saying, he cut him off, "Just finish already."

The pace began to pick up again, "Are you so eager for us to, finish?"

Seriously, Minato had to wonder where all the shy and coy stuff from before had gone to. But then again, the above accusation would apply to him as well. He couldn't believe half the things he did or said. It was pretty embarrassing to admit, but he felt really damn good for the most part. Correction, everything was damn good.

Minato answered Ryoji in the best way he thought of. He smiled and kissed him, but not in a heated frenzy as before. No, this kiss was more warm, friendly, the kind that was always open to possibilities. There was a sense of 'there will be more where that came from' to it. The Persona user was sure of it.

Unlike any of the previous kisses, that one sparked a dormant flame within Ryoji. It somehow gave him a feeling of, hope. For Death incarnate to feel hope was a miracle in itself.

A heated moan followed the kiss, and Ryoji continued the in and out motions. In between hasty breaths and kisses he whispered best he could, words that only felt right said to the person in front of him, "I… love you."

His vision went white as he collapsed onto his other half, that he cared for dearly. Only an oof was heard across the room, before the both closed their eyes and fell into a deep slumber.

----------

Morning came and Minato opened his eyes, the sun was shining as bright as ever. He felt around his bed, and realized there was no one there. Could it all have been a dream? As he looked at himself he noticed his lack of clothing; so the latter assumption was a negative.

But where did he go?

Minato had no time to even think anything through as he heard a knock at the door. He mentally panicked at his disheveled hair, soiled sheets, naked self… This was bad, real bad.

"May I come in?"

The voice sounded all too familiar. It was definitely Mitsuru-senpai's voice. Ah crap. Minato wasn't quite sure if to pretend he was still sleeping, but that would probably not work anyway. A muffled "I'll be right there" reassured the redhead, as he attempted to put his pajama's back on while untangling himself from the evil soiled bed sheets.

What happened next had Minato's eyes go wide, as he stared helplessly at the now opened room door. Of all days Mitsuru decides to be less cordial, she had to choose today.

Mitsuru looked as stern as always when it came to something of importance. She nodded as she began to speak, not noticing a half naked Minato on the horizon, "I just wanted to ask, if everything was all right. A good amount of us heard various noises last night, and they were coming from your room. We were all concerned, but I see-- Oh my!"

There it was, the surprised gasp of utter obliviousness. It had taken her awhile to notice anything, and it had made Minato feel less threatened. Alas, the slight relief only lasted so long.

Mitsuru being Mitsuru looked away, turning a little pink in the process, "Forgive me if I have interrupted any extracurricular activities you've been bestowed upon. At least I could inform the rest of the team that you're all right. Um, well, carry on."

As embarrassed as ever, the President of the Student Council slammed the door behind her. That was almost as mortifying as the time she had called Officer Kurosawa, due to Iori's disaster of a room. She really needed to take serious lessons in being a regular ol' teenager. Maybe Takeba could spare her a couple of lessons, or even Iori…

Junpei was coming out of his room as he saw Mitsuru-senpai pass by. He waved in her direction, but was surprisingly thoroughly ignored. How rude! He shrugged it off, and decided to stop by his buddy's room before going downstairs. Knowing Junpei he was never the type to knock, much less when it was another guy's room, so he just opened Minato's door.

Big mistake.

The junior was immediately blinded by a flash of, well, uncharted territory that should have never been crossed. The kind that would eventually leave you scarred for life, and not being able to see your buddy the same way ever again. The seen cannot be unseen, as Junpei's 'Believe it Or Don't' would've emphasized on.

Minato had finally gotten himself untangled, and at the moment Junpei barged in he was about to put his pajama bottoms back on. They both shared a single glance, and Junpei slammed the door louder than the previous intruder.

Lesson of the day for one Junpei Iori, always remember to knock on someone else's door. Especially if it's in the boy's dormitories. For girls, one knock should suffice, if not completely decent, the second year should not be held accountable for anything he did see. As mentioned before, the seen cannot be unseen. That rule should certainly apply to the ladies as well. So there. Ah, yes Junpei was starting to feel a tad bit better.

As luck would have it, on his way down the hall he encountered Yukari with Koromaru by her side. What made him do a double take was the fact that she was wearing… a maid's uniform? Oh sweetness, this made seeing his best bud's ass much less painful on his poor eyes. Even though, he had a nice one, for a guy-- Okay just no, he did not just think that.

"Um, Junpei, stop staring it's creepy."

"Yuka-tan! Why the outfit? I thought you hated wearing it. I'm starting to think otherwise, seeing as you even wear it in battle from time to time," Junpei said as he scratched his chin pensively.

Yukari scowled, "Hey! First of all, it was for a bet. And secondly, it's not my fault our leader makes me wear it from time to time. Who knows what you'd make us wear if you had been appointed leader."

"Hey, hey, hey! I resent that. I'd only make you girls wear--"

"Ugh, just shut up Stupei, I don't wanna hear it. Besides, I've got laundry duty today since Aigis is still being repaired."

"Ooh, I must get all my dirty underwear and stinky gym socks ready for ya!" Junpei teased as he went to go do just that.

Yukari seriously wanted to cry from frustration. At least Minato was nothing like Junpei. In fact, she was sure he wouldn't give her outfit a second look. She looked down at Koromaru and smiled, "Let's go boy, we have lots of chores to get done."

The dog whimpered and thought to himself what he had done to deserve laundry duty as well. Yukari ignored his pleas, and knocked at Minato's door.

"Hey! I've come to collect your dirty laundry! Is it okay to come in?"

Thankfully, that time around it was. Minato was dressed, and getting ready to go bathe. He practically tore off the dirty sheets, and gathered all the laundry in the hamper.

"Yeah, come in."

Yukari smiled and went straight for the clothes basket. She knew she could count on Minato to make the ordeal as pleasant as possible. Well, as pleasant as doing laundry could possibly get.

Koromaru barked his approval and semi-pounced on Minato. He pet him lovingly in return, which made the dog's tail wag even faster. The maid uniform was something he noticed from the moment Yukari walked in, but he assumed Junpei had already given his share of comments.

The silence was broken as Yukari looked over at Minato with slight concern, "Hey, um, sorry to bring this up but, Mitsuru-senpai and I heard some noises last night. Is everything okay? I wouldn't want something to happen to you, you know? We almost woke Fuuka to check things with Juno, but we decided against it. Besides, I'm sure you can handle a threat by yourself. You're our leader after all."

Minato couldn't help but blush. It wasn't for Yukari's words though; it was the fact that everyone and their Persona heard what him and Ryoji were doing last night. Thankfully, she thought it was due to her words of encouragement.

"Well, I better get going. Lots of chores and such," Another smile graced her face when she set her eyes on a note on Minato's desk. Without giving it much thought, she took the paper and handed to Minato. All she could take in from that one quick glimpse was the name signed at the bottom.

She didn't say another word as she left, but the name still lingered in her head.

Minato still inside skimmed the note, since he had a pretty good idea from who it was from. He sighed before finally exiting the room as well to take a thorough bath, even if in all honesty he would've much preferred to leave any traces of Ryoji on him.

The piece of paper slid off the desk when the door shut closed for the last time that morning.

Every single minute was crucial, and Minato had to make sure each minute--every second-- was spent finding a way to keep his promise. He was going to embrace Ryoji again, again, and again if permitted. No one, not even the Fall itself was going to take him away. He wasn't going to be alone again, Minato Arisato wasn't going to allow it.

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I'll see you again on New Year's. Remember, no matter what, I'll always be with you. That's what friends are for. That's the promise we made, and I whole heartily intend to keep it.

Ryoji