Title: "Last Days"
Summary: When the unthinkable happens, the Investigation team is on high alert. As they prepare for the killer to strike again, Yosuke tries to make sense of what he's feeling towards his partner and something he said.
Pairings: SetaHana, with Chi/Yuki on the side. If you've gotten this far, the only reason you should complain about it is if I do a terrible job.
Disclaimer: You would be able to date guys if I owned Persona 4.
Rating: T-oddly tame for a story based on an "M" rated game.
WARNING!!! If you didn't read the pairings, this story contains shonen-ai and shojo-ai. Also, there may or may not be possible spoilers depending on where you are in the game. (This chapter has spoilers for the "good" ending, so stop if you don't know what will happen.)
Before I begin… WOOT! Last chapter!
Let's see...I'd like to thank my friends for all the support they gave me when I was writhing on the ground suffering from writer's block, my Dad for helping me whenever my computer acted up and I acted like it was the end of the world, my Mom for being tolerant enough to let me keep writing, my big bro for helping me with the romance scenes, and finally-to all you readers out there, whether or not you reviewed, favorited, or put this story on alert. It was thanks to you I was able to keep going even when numerous obstacles came up.
And so, as my own thank you, here is a special epilogue and story notes for all you crazy people. I say crazy because you read through this entire story.
Two Months Later: December 24, 2011
It had been a week since the killer had been caught. Despite the shock of Nanako's kidnapping and near-death, the team had managed to keep from taking the easy way and persisted in their efforts to find the true culprit. His identity came as a surprise-Toru Adachi had been the one to throw Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi into the TV, then convinced Taro Namatame to throw Yukiko Amagi, Kanji Tatsumi, Rise Kujikawa, Naoto Shirogane, Yosuke Hanamura, and Nanako Dojima into it. Namatame, who had made the same connection between the Midnight Channel and the murders and had the same power as the group, had believed the TV was the ideal place to hide a would-be victim from a killer. Since all the people he threw in were saved by the group, this further convinced him.
Once they discovered who was the culprit, the group pressed on more when warned of Inaba's fate at the end of the year. They used every ounce of strength they had to fight him and a mysterious entity named Ame-no Sagiri. The aforementioned entity was apparently the cause of the fog entering Inaba, and at its defeat it cleared up.
With nothing to do but wait for Adachi to be convicted and for Nanako to recover, things were still far from the way they used to be. The case had brought eight strangers together and had formed a bond among them that could never be broken. And in the midst of it, there was also intimacy between four of them.
After the fight Chie, Yukiko, Souji, and Yosuke told the group about their more intimate relationships. Rise, who knew about Yukiko and Chie, was very accepting of the news as was Naoto. Kanji was fine with it, although he made it clear that Yosuke owed him for all the comments he made about the younger male's sexuality. Teddie was a bit confused by it, but decided as long as his Sensei was happy then he was happy with it too.
Christmas Eve had arrived; it was time for some well-deserved rest.
"Did you make this?" Chie asked, staring at the little white cake sitting on the table. She and Yukiko were at her house this night, sitting at opposite ends of the table. Her parents were out tonight, knowing their daughter was having someone over ("We don't want to get in the way. Have fun, but do be careful!").
"No, I bought it..." Yukiko looked away. "I tried to make one, but it didn't turn out too well. So finally my mother handed me the cake before pushing me out of the house." She smiled a little at the memory. "She probably knew I was spending Christmas Eve with someone."
Chie began to cut the cake. "Well, whatever the case we can't let it go to waste!" She handed Yukiko a piece. "Hope you still aren't on a diet."
Yukiko shook her head, taking the slice. "With all the running around we did in the other world, I don't think I'll have to worry about my weight too much." she commented.
Chie giggled. "If you're still worried about your weight, maybe you should train with me." she suggested playfully.
"It sounds like a good idea-but my parents wouldn't be too happy if I came home with bruises." Yukiko pointed out.
"True-I don't want to give them a reason to not let you see me anymore." Chie sighed. Thinking of something to say, she brightened. "Oh! Speaking of coming home, Souji-kun mentioned that Nanako-Chan was going to be released from the hospital for Christmas!"
"She is? We should bake a cake for her!"
"If the guys will let us-Yosuke will probably say something like 'You'll send her back to the hospital!' Sheesh, I've been improving! ...A little.." Chie trailed off. She had been practicing the past week, but so far everything she made had been-at best-unpleasant. At worst, it was simply unedible.
Yukiko suddenly burst into her trademark laughing fit. "Like-like the omlet?" she managed to get out. "It was-was awful!"
Chie pouted. "Well at least it was better than Rise-chan's! Remember? You passed out after taking a bite! Besides, you should improve your own cooking before you criticize mine!"
"S-Sorry, I can't stop laugh-" Yukiko was unable to finish. "Oh! My stomach!"
Knowing her girlfriend, Chie waited until she was done laughing.
"By the way, Chie." Yukiko said. "I told my parents I was staying over with you, so..."
"Ah! Alright, I'll get a place ready for you..." Chie was about to get up when Yukiko stopped her.
"Umm...actually, I was thinking...do you want to..." she paused. "Nothing like that, but..."
"You mean...sleep together?" Chie asked.
"Yes...but just that." Yukiko took a deep breath-she finally said it.
The short-haired girl smiled. "Alright. But you know the futon's not going to be big enough."
"I know..." Yukiko smiled.
Souji opened the door to let the newcomer in. Yosuke, still shivering a bit from the cold stepped gratefully into the house. He was carrying a white box with him. Brown met gray. "Hey..." Yosuke greeted his friend, a bit uncomfortable.
After Nanako's kidnapping, the two of them didn't have much time to go out like they used to. And when she nearly died a gap seemed to have formed between them. For what seemed to be the first time in a long while, they had fought. Yosuke had wanted to throw Namatame in the TV for what he did while Souji, while a part of him wanted the same, realized that there were pieces that made no sense. The two had argued about it until Souji yelled at Yosuke to calm down.
Thankfully they were able to realize that there was another killer, but ever since that arguement they hadn't spent time together as they did when they confessed. When Souji revealed their relationship to the group, it was the only hint to Yosuke that they were still together. Yet even now he wasn't sure.
The two of them entered Souji's room without saying anything. The box was placed on the table and they sat on opposite sides. "Umm...sorry it couldn't be at my place." Yosuke spoke up. "But when we woke up this morning, there were..." he shook his head. "Nevermind. Not something you'd want to hear. Anyways, point is that my place isn't the best to meet at right now."
"You don't need to explain." Souji told him. "Besides, you brought the cake so we're even."
The brunette smiled. "True." He pulled the cake out of the box and started to serve it.
They ate in silence-or rather, Souji ate and Yosuke pushed parts of his share around the plate. When Souji had accepted his proposal to spend Christmas Eve together, he also mentioned there was something important he wanted to talk about with his friend. Friend, because the only important thing that came to the music-loving teen's mind was that he wanted to put an end to their relationship.
He pushed a stray strawberry to the edge of the plate. Honestly, Yosuke wouldn't blame Souji for wanting to break up. This was the first in a long time they spent time together. Counting the fight they had weeks ago, their relationship was anything but stable.
"Hm?" He looked up. Souji looked at him, concerned.
"Cake is normally eaten-not demolished."
Yosuke looked down. His piece didn't even resemble a cake anymore-pieces were strewn randomly over the plate and the icing was spread all over. "Oh...sorry." he murmured.
Souji put his fork down. "Alright, what's wrong?"
Yosuke took a breath. Might as well get it over with. "About the important thing you wanted to talk about...do you want to break up?"
Grey eyes widened. "Break up?"
"I wouldn't blame you if you did." he was doing his best to keep his voice level, but he could still feel tears prickling in the corners of his eyes. "Ever since Nanako-chan was kidnapped we haven't done anything together until tonight. And I would've killed an innocent man if you didn't notice something was off. So I'll be fine whatever you choose." A lie. He waited for Souji's answer, keeping his gaze low.
There was a shifting sound as Souji got up, walked to the other side of the table, and sat down next to his boyfriend. "Do you want to break up?" he asked quietly.
"Like I said before, I'll be fine with whatever you decide."
"That wasn't the question. I asked if you wanted to."
A lump formed in Yosuke's throat. "No..." he croaked out, tears leaking out at last. He felt a pair of arms pull him into a warm embrace. Souji rubbed soothingly on his back while he quietly cried on his shoulder.
Lips brushed against his ear. "I'm not leaving you." Souji whispered. "Not for a long time."
They stayed in the embrace until Yosuke had calmed down. "The things that happened were out of our control. And I had a feeling that you were more worried about Nanako and later catching Adachi than our relationship, so I didn't think it was the right time to do anything." Souji explained. "As for Namatame, not everyone is able to keep calm-especially when someone close to them died."
"Then...what was the important thing you wanted to tell me?" Yosuke asked, confused.
"I wanted to apologize...for brushing you off the past few weeks." Souji confessed. "It was a cruel thing to do and I should've said something to you before."
"But...Dude, you were the one who figured I would be worried about Nanako-chan!" Yosuke pointed out. "So weren't you, too?"
Souji smiled wryly. "I was." he admitted. "And I wanted to bring Adachi to justice, too. But...it still doesn't excuse my actions."
"...Souji..." Yosuke allowed a small smile. "We really fail at communicating these sorts of things."
"We do." the silver haired teen said bluntly.
"That was quick!"
They laughed and chatted more comfortably for a few minutes until Yosuke spoke up again. "I guess I never really got over Senpai's death, huh?" he asked quietly. He hesitated to bring it up, figuring that it was something Souji wouldn't want to talk about.
"She was close to you-I don't think anyone can completely get over the death of someone they knew." Souji pointed out. "Nothing to be ashamed of."
"True..." Silence. "Hey, Souji. I just realized something."
"What is it?"
"You're leaving in March, right?"
Souji sighed. "Yeah...I am. We spent so much time on the case I completely forgot about it." He rested his head on Yosuke's shoulder. "We'll have to make the next few months really count. And I got to convince my parents to let me come back here every now and then."
"Right. Like its our last days. So..." The brunette trailed off. "Speaking of which, my mom wanted me to stay over at a friend's house since ours is still airing out-she doesn't want me getting sick. Anyways, what I'm asking is; could I stay over here?"
The silver haired teen smiled, pressing his lips against Yosuke's temple before answering. "Sure. My uncle won't mind."
Ryotaro Dojima was met with an odd sight when he went to check on his nephew.
Curled up on his futon was not one but two teenage boys. They were snuggled against each other, sharing warmth in the cold of winter. A closer inspection revealed, much to Dojima's relief, that they both still had their clothes on.
"Might as well let them sleep in." he muttered to himself, smiling. It was a holiday, so there was no need to wake them up. Besides, as long as Souji wasn't getting into trouble, he was fine with whatever he did in Inaba.
Dojima left the room, making sure not to let the two occupants wake up.
*Sighs* I can't really do romance unless their's a plot, so sorry if it was crappy.
BTW, I thought I should add a few notes about the symbolism used in this fanfic before leaving:
Fog-Naturally, it played a big part in P4, so I had it play a big part in the nightmares. In them, it represents the uncertainty of the future and how no one knows what's coming.
Souji-In the nightmares, Souji represented one of the possible futures. He kept disappearing into the fog to show that Yosuke had to make a choice before it was too late.
Saki-For a minor character, I was surprised by how much she affected the storyline by her death. If you think about it, if she didn't die the MC and Yosuke wouldn't have gone into the TV a second time-not to mention that her death was also a driving force behind Yosuke's determination. So in the nightmares, I had her represent the past. Because he kept focusing so much on what had happened, he wasn't able to move forward.
Shadow-If I was going to have a nightmare representing an inner struggle, then it became obvious to me that a Shadow might play a bigger part. BTW, it wasn't really S!Yosuke in the nightmare; it was Yosuke's sub-concious using the image of his Shadow. In the nightmares, his Shadow is just what it is-the part of him that doesn't want to move on. So he "kills" Souji in the nightmare so that he won't have to worry about his own future.
Bridge-I think a place only forms when you enter a specific TV the first time. So since Yosuke was thrown into a TV that wasn't at Junes, a place was created. I didn't want to use a dungeon since it would add too much of a panic, so I opted for a smaller area. The bridge represents his life-the area ahead of him is the future covered in fog while the area behind him is the past-clear and visible.
And that's about it.
Oh! The song I listened to for this chapter is "STILL" by Itou Kanako. Very beautiful!
Also, one of my friends suggested that-for the story requests-I should have a more detailed summary here for you to vote on. So here they are!
Option A: "You Belong With Me"
Based on the song by Taylor Swift. Souji is dating a new student at school. None of his friends think that she's good enough for him-especially one who has a huge crush on him. SoujiXYosuke, Implied SoujiXOC. One-shot SongFic.
Option B: "Repetitive Mistakes"
Despite the numerous times he's seen what happens when a person denies a part of themself, Souji has made the same mistake they did. And this time, it will be someone else who pays the price. SoujiXYosuke, S!SoujiXYosuke. Very small lemons.
Please vote on the poll so I can get writing. It will close after Halloween. Remember-the one that has the most votes will be written first.
Thank you, and I'll see you later!