Disclaimer: I do not own Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES.

The Journey's last step

Burn my dread

01/31/2010- Dark Hour

There he was. After countless battles and many hardships, he was standing alone against the true enemy. If someone had told him that the true Nyx looked like a big, yellow egg with some webs sprouting from the sides, he wouldn't believe it. Humans had a bad habit of judging things by their appearance. But the moment he putted his feet on the "ground", he hear the goddess' whisper. The one thing that awaits humans in the end of their life.

"Death" It was a single whisper, but the force of it was very strong. The goddess that brought death to this world had made its judgment. A red blast that is able to shatter the soul and the willpower of living beings engulfed the entire room.

It was a miracle that he was still standing up. He was with an inch of his life. But he couldn't give up now. He was the only one there. If he failed, then everyone would soon follow him. He attacked the deity, but it didn't do any good. Her whisper came yet again, stronger this time.

"Death" The blow was enough to knock him on the ground. He still believed. He still had hold on to his life.

"Why dost thou still struggle? What could be gained by enduring such pain?" The goddess questioned, with a curious tone in her voice.

"Spare the small talk. Your "son" already tried to convince me to give up. Besides I've never been good at talking. I'll just defeat you and go back… They're waiting for me." Replied the student, with a determined look.

"It was the mortals own will that have awakened me. The end is unavoidable, but they are seeking it much more early than I had anticipated." Said Nyx.

"And who the hell do you think you are to say such a thing? You're a goddess; you don't know how our head work. You should go back to sleep and leave us alone. And you should stop with "I'm only doing what you wish" crap 'cause no one asked you to come and end everything!" Yelled the blue-headed boy.

"Mortals…Dost thou still not understand? Dost thou can not hear it? The voices of thy brethren are summoning me. They wish for peace and serenity… They are tired of their suffering. Or dost thou deny it? Look behind thee." With that, the boy turned, only to be shocked by the sight.

Standing behind him, there was an enormous mass of darkness that resembles the Shadows. It had two heads that connected in the middle. The atmosphere became very heavy. Negative feelings suddenly took his body. He still wanted to believe. Believe that it was worthy fighting for the life of everyone. To keep on believing no matter what. After all, what he had said to Yukari back at Yakushima wasn't a lie.

"That is Erebus. He is the personification of the darkness in the mortals' souls. Once it became too much to bear, he would summon me to bring the end of everything. I had believed that some more eons would be needed for him to summon me…But it seems the mortals wish to end everything sooner…" Explained the goddess.

That thing in front of him defies everything that he was defending. Those negative feelings started to overwhelm him. Grief, anger, pain, sadness, hopeless, dread, despair…loneliness. The feeling that no matter what you do, nothing will ever change. That death is the great answer to all the problems. There's no reason to fight a battle that you're fated to lose, anyway. Everything is going to disappear one day, and every living being is going to died someday. There's no reason to run away, deny it or fight against it. It won't change a thing. We're better off accepting than suffering until the end.

"Dost thou comprehend now? It is the wish of everyone to escape their suffering, is it not? Or that is incorrect? Wilt thou sayest that thou dost not feel the same? Especially thee, the one who harbored death?" Calmly spoke the old deity.

It is true. There was a time where nothing made sense to him. He saw the world as an empty sphere, and his life as some kind of burden. There was nothing interesting or good to do. He could care less if he was alive or not. If Death were to pass in front of him, he would gladly accept it, without second thoughts or regrets. He had nothing to lose, after all.

But now was different. There were things that he treasured in this world. There were things that he was afraid to lose now. He would stand and fight Death and even challenge the gods if he had to. He would do anything to protect them. That's when he heard. Their voices.

"Is there nothing we can do!?" Spoke a childish voice, filled with worry.

"Ken-kun… If I were at your side, I would punch you. After everything we've been through, after all the hardships we've endured, you still can say that? You're still just a kid, with a whole life ahead of you. You can't lose hope now."

"No, don't give up! We have to believe him!" Said a voice filled with hope.

"Akihiko-senpai… You're right. Don't worry. No matter what, I'll stand strong and fight. I will not let everything end like this. I will not let you down. So, keep things under control down there."

"Give him strength. Take my life if you must!" Shouted a voice that sounded a little desperate.

"Mitsuro-senpai… You don't have to worry. I don't need to take your life to become stronger. You can give me more strength just being alive. Knowing you're well is good enough. I'm sure you still remember… how much strength you can get with only the desire to protect someone. There would be no reason to fight if any of you were dead."

With that, he felt a power growing stronger inside of him. He was able to stand up. He turned to face Nyx. But he was still weak.

"Dost thou still desirest to hold thy life dear? To treasure something so ephemeral… Everything is fated to disappear. Ending now will stop the suffering. Canst thou not understand?"

"Death." Said the goddess, with a calm and disappointment tone in her voice.

I promise to protect them from anything, even a god …

But the attack missed.

"Haven't you noticed yet? It's not my life that I hold dear." The student said.

"Yeah, I'm willing to risk mine too!" Spoke a girly voice, with a determined tone.

"Yukari-san…Love can make you do such stupid things. People should be willing to live, despite the hardship, not willing to throw their life away. You can annoy me sometimes, being snobby and selfish, but you can be gentle and kind. I know that. Don't throw your life like that."

"He's going to face it all by himself!" Another girly voice echoed inside the place, speaking the concern of the owner.

"Fuuka-san… You don't have to worry. I wouldn't want all of you here with me physically, anyway. You've changed, from that shy and frail girl to a strong and determined one. Don't ever forget how strong and precious you are. I'm sure the ones around you would be glad to remind you."

"No, he's not alone! I won't let him die!" Shouted a boy's voice, with a strong conviction in his word.

"Junpei… I thought you hated me. Well, I'm sure as hell hated you. After all, I've never been too found of those stupid people who are desperate to get everyone's attention. But you've proven to be more than that. Never forget that someone gave her own life so you could enjoy yours. Live, my friend. For yourself and for her."

And not until my death…

He felt his strength rising again. He fixated his eyes on Nyx.

"I won't deny the fact that I once thought about this. That death is better than the burden that is living. But not anymore. There are things that I've come to value over time." Calmly said the boy.

"Death" was the only reply of the goddess. But to her surprise, he was able to block it. A mere mortal was able to nullify death. The fateful end of anything that lives.

"*Bark* *Bark*" The barks of a dog echoed through that room.

"Koromaru… The loyal dog that would never betray his masters. Even you're worried about me. I might start to get a little cocky if things keep up like that. The silent determination in those red eyes always impressed me. Sometimes, I caught myself think that you're smarter than Junpei. Maybe you are. Who knows? Take care of the others for me."

"I will not allow this world to be destroyed!" A feminine voice echoed, full of emotions.

"Aigis…You were always there, watching over me. And now, I know that those blues eyes will watch over this world, protecting it. I know I can trust you. Don't lose those emotions you're feeling now. There are bad ones, just as there are good ones. But never give up on them. Those around you will always help."

"I am astonished…A mere mortal being able to nullify Death. But there is only one way to halt the Fall. Thou wilt have to become a shield to the entire humanity, and endure all their pain and suffering so Erebus doest not reach me. Thou wouldst sacrifice everything and humanity would be oblivion of thy own end." Calmly spoke the goddess.

But until is necessary…

"Alright, let's do this." A familiar voice spoke. One that the boy hasn't heard in a long time.

"Senpai… So even you have been watching… Don't worry. I know what I have to do."

Even if does take an eternity or two.

With that, the boy had made his decision.

"It's too early to mankind to fade away. I will not let the Fall happen. I will be the proof that humanity's true wish is not the end of everything."

"Why? Why wouldst thou deny the peace for everyone? Death is what they truly desire." Spoke the ancient goddess, with a voice that sounded confused.

"You're wrong. Death will only bring a momentary peace. It won't bring happiness for anyone. If they are able to grief, it's because they can love someone. If they feel sadness, it's because they can feel happiness. What they truly desire is already inside of them. They just need a little help from someone to realize that. But people tend to look for others to put the blame for their problems. This makes people distant themselves from one another, making hard to trust others, and making those problems harder to solve." Said the boy with a sad tone, dropping his weapon.

"But that's why there is this annoying thing called "friend". They're going to annoy you, make you get pissed, and sometimes even laugh at you. But whenever you ask for help, they'll gladly lend their hand for you. Even in the worst possible situation, they will always be at your side. It's true that life is a frail thing, and that we will have to say goodbye someday. But it's exactly because of life's fragility that we can truly appreciate every second we spent with them. A true bond cannot be broken, no matter what. Of course, an immortal being that have eons to live and is unable to feel anything for others cannot understand how much can be significant spending some time with the ones you care, even if is a minute, an hour, a day…or a year." Said the boy, as he lifts his hand.

"I would rather have only one year of life and be with them than having an eternity to live but without even meeting them. But that's just an opinion of a fool." He whispered, while the place was engulfed in strong light.

"Very well, child. If thou desirest to prolong their suffering by enduring all of their darkness, I will not halt thee. I shall go back to my sleep and wait until thy soul and power shatters and their pleas reach me." With that, the presence of the goddess slowly faded away.

The light slowly turned to darkness and he could feel his power taking shape. It became a giant door. When he opened his eyes, he saw Ryoji. He had a smile in his face as he slowly approached him.

"Congratulations. You were able to do the impossible, all alone. You really are something." Said the pale boy, with a happy tone.

"I wasn't alone, you know. There were other with me. Nyx can be a goddess, but she still only one, and I'm not alone." Said the blue-headed boy.

"Heh heh…That old motto, huh? Anyway, you gave your life essence to support all of the humanity's negative emotions…Aren't you scared that your soul might brake apart?" Spoke Ryoji.

"I'm not worried. The memories of my time with them still are inside of me. These memories will be the chains that will hold the seal. There is no amount of negative feeling that can break that. As long I hold these memories, my soul will never shatter." Replied the student.

Suddenly, there is a voice calling him.

"You're there, aren't you?! I know you are! I refuse to believe that you're gone! Answer me! I know you can hear me!" Said a desperate, but familiar voice.

"We're here! Please let us hear your voice!" Said yet another shaken and familiar voice.

"You're always were good with the ladies… You should answer them. You wouldn't want to make Yukari-san or Aigis-san mad again, would you? " Said Ryoji.

At that commentary, the boy let a small chuckle. The memory of the school trip was still in his mind, like any other that had his friends.

"It's alright…." Spoke the boy, calmly. Then, he turned and faced Ryoji.

"*sigh* You never were one to talk, were you? Oh well, whatever. Makes me wonder how you got all those girls to like you." Said Ryoji. His only answer was a smirk.

"…Don't worry. I will sleep once again. Normal days will return to this universe. As for him…he found the answer to life's greatest question. It just happened a bit sooner than it will for the rest of you." Explained Ryoji to the SEES members.

"Life's greatest question…" A female voice whispered.

"Aigis… You will find the answer one day as well. You, too, are a precious living thing. You just need to realize how the bonds of the friendship had changed you… The Dark Hour will soon vanish from this world. All will be relinquished from its dominion, and the legacy of the life will continue. Congratulations. You have the miracle you sought. We shall meet again someday…" With that, the team was back to the front of the Tartarus.

"And what about you? You gave your life essence, but you're aware that there is no need to go that far just to hold Erebus now, don't you?" Spoke the pale young, looking at the direction of their leader.

"That's true… But if I let the seal without my life essence to protect it, there's a high chance that Erebus will be able to break it in some months. That's why I'll have to stay in front of the door. This way, Erebus will have to pass through me first before trying to break the seal. And that it's not going o happen. I can stay with everyone for some time, though it won't be much. There is still one thing that I have to do." Answered the other young.

"They won't remember you. With the Dark Hour gone, everything will be nothing but some short of forgotten dream… There won't be any thanks from any of them for being saved by the Fall, and no one will remember those hardships you all fought. And they also won't remember the promise…" Said Ryoji, with a sad tone from his voice.

"Doesn't matter. I never did this to hear thanks or to be called a hero. I did this because I wanted to. And I'm going there because I promised. I know that they will be there when the time comes." Said the leader of the SEES, with a confident voice.

"You're really trust them, don't you? Well, I know they would never betray you. Just don't get mad at them if they don't remember. It's not their fault." Said a concerned Ryoji. The other boy simply nodded.

"By the way…Trading you life so they all could live. You won't be able to be with them thanks to the fact that your soul will be supporting all the negative emotions of the world. Until the end of everything or at least humanity's will to call the Fall, you will be trapped there. Don't forget it. You can't stay too much with them." Said the personification of death, while going away to somewhere.

"I'll always be with them. Even if they don't notice or forget about me. Because…that's where I belong." Replied the messiah of mankind.

The tower of Demise was slowing breaking and its parts going to the moon. All the SEES members smiled at the sight, save for one. She started to cry, even though she was a robot. The clock bell tolled, announcing midnight. He was inside of the tower. Along with the sound, another voice was heard by the boy. The Death spoke.

"You have exchange your chance to find peace so they live on. Yet, they will stay oblivion to your sacrifice. Was it worthy?"

A/N: Probably done a million times already, but I wanted to write my own version of the ending. I know it didn't changed too much, though. The last part will be mostly a description of the last scenes of the S. Links. By the way, I really would appreciate if you take your time to tell me if the English I used with Nyx is right. I'm not used to write like that.