A/N: Well, here we are people. Chapter 2. Oh joy.
Kisdota-The Freak Gamer
As soon as everyone had settled down in their seats, they looked at one another and gathered their thoughts together. Naoto took advantage of the silence and spoke.
"Alright, I'm assuming everyone knows what we're here for, but before we start, I'd like to know how Rise got here so fast," she said, looking towards the idol. She sputtered and opened her mouth several times before closing it. She tried to say something, and when they all saw how much she was stuttering, a collective sense of unease entered the room.
She had hoped that Naoto would have forgotten her question from earlier.
Rise chuckled nervously. "Um, I know you're not going to like this, but I set up an experiment with Teddie." Yosuke raised an eyebrow while everyone else gave her questioning looks.
She took a breath, mentally preparing herself. "I called and told him to go to the TV World and see if we could meet up if we went in from different TVs." She cowered under Yosuke's and Naoto's angry stares before meekly continuing. "I know it was stupid and dangerous, but I needed to get here quickly! Senpai and Yukiko-senpai are suffering every second in their existence, and I couldn't wait to get a second shot at helping them! Besides, the Shadows were supposed to be gone…" Chie was drinking water when she heard the last sentence. She did a spit take.
"WHAT?! What do you mean by supposed to be?" Yosuke bellowed, blowing everyone's eardrums out. Rise gulped and continued with her story.
"Heh, well, let's just say that I landed in a particularly dangerous spot. I didn't know where I was since it was raining really hard. I couldn't see anything! It was even worse than the fog since I was getting dragged down in my wet clothes. I sensed where Teddie was and tried to get there, but it was starting to flood pretty badly. I got swept by the current, and luckily, it was heading towards Teddie's general direction. I grabbed onto what seemed like a log, and floated for a while. When I was really close to Teddie's position, I hit something hard and climbed onto it. Then, the rain suddenly turned to a light drizzle and I could see! And guess what I saw?" she explained. Teddie perked up at the last part and spoke up.
"Rise-chan saw Teddie fighting a big shadow! I didn't know what it was, but it looked like one of Sensei's persona! I was battling it right outside the platform Rise-chan was on and it was so hard to see in the rain! I was losing beary badly, so I retreated back onto the platform. I turned around to get ready to fight it again, but something strange happened. It couldn't come into the light rain!" he exclaimed, sounding slightly serious for once. Rise continued.
"Yeah, I arrived just when he retreated onto the platform. Oh! And guess which platform this was though!" she asked, sounding excited.
"No. Way. Are you talking about the one we always went to from the TV at Junes?" Yosuke asked, bewildered. Rise giggled at his reaction.
"Yeah, I was surprised. I thought it disappeared when the TV World changed into that beautiful forest. Guess it came back though. It also seems like the only safe place where the shadows can't get us, just like last time," she remarked. The group turned silent, slowly digesting the information.
Naoto broke the silence. "Rise, despite getting here quickly for us and finding out this valuable information, please don't go in alone again. That goes for all of us." She looked at everyone and received nods of agreement.
"Yeah, you lucked out big time. No telling what might happen next," Chie said, voicing her concern.
Rise apologized. "I'm sorry. It was kinda dumb for me to do that."
Teddie tried cheering her up by saying, "It's okay! You had me with you!"
Yosuke twitched. "You idiot bear, that's the point. You were the one who helped her with the idea, and you were only with her once she got to the platform!" They collectively sighed.
"Anyways, let's continue. Kanji, do you have something to say? You've been strangely quiet," Naoto commented while staring at the white-haired teen.
He blinked. "Oh, um, I was just wondering why Rise's not wet, 'cause she's strangely dry and her clothes don't even look like they've ever been wet."
All pairs of eyes turned towards Rise's attire. The singer squirmed uncomfortably in her seat.
"I don't know. Once we got out of the TV, it was like neither of us had been in the storm," she stated. Realizing that someone needed to record the information, Naoto took out a notebook and started scribbling.
Rise went into TV World. Got caught in huge storm. Swept away in current. Held onto a log?
Teddie went in too. Fought shadow (looked like Souji's Persona?).
Platform is back. Only safe place.
Came out of TV dry. No trace of being in storm.
She reviewed the little bit of info she had and thought about something they were missing. There was definitely something they were overlooking.
Wait a minute…
"Teddie, you said you were losing badly. How come you're not scratched up?" Naoto pointed out. Teddie jumped out of his seat and started inspecting his body and his suit.
"Huh, I guess you're right Nao-chan, I'm not hurt at all!" he exclaimed.
Yosuke scrunched his eyebrows together in confusion. "Did you heal yourself?"
Naoto thought hard. She went through all the possibilities through her head. What could have healed them? Did they even get hurt at all? She decided that the last question was foolish, considering the fact that Teddie had been losing to the shadow, which meant that he would have been considerably injured. Maybe…. "Did either of you get hurt in the rain?"
"What do you mean? We didn't get hurt by the rain, if that's what you meant. Hold on… You're not saying that… Oh my gosh. Now that I think about it, Teddie didn't look injured at all when he entered the platform and stepped into the light rain!" Rise figured out, completely shocked by the revelation. Naoto nodded.
She didn't think the absurd idea would have been true, but hadn't she said the same thing about Personas 2 years ago? That it wasn't possible that they existed?
"Hey, the rest of us are kinda in the dark here!" Kanji grunted, sounding pissed at not being able to figure things out on his own. It seemed that everyone in the room figured it out, except for Kanji and Teddie.
Naoto stepped up again, her natural detective instincts kicking in. "It seems that whatever effects that occurred to Rise and Teddie outside the platform were negated once they stepped into the safe haven inside the light rain."
The bear and tall teenager stared at her.
"What she means is that the platform and the light rain in it got rid of the injuries and wet clothiness of the two dimwits that went in to the TV," Yosuke elaborated, dumbing it down for the two.
"Oh. I get it."
"That's interesting. Since we are without a healer and a leader, we would be in serious trouble if we went in to the TV. If we ever have to in the future, then we know that we at least have a place to heal ourselves."
"But I'm a healer!" Teddie pointed out. He looked kinda depressed for being seemingly forgotten.
Naoto nodded. "Yes, but one healer is not sufficient enough to keep healing our large group. We needed all three of you who had abilities to heal, as proven by previous experiences. With only one this time, we have to be very careful when we go in."
"Yeah, but let's hope that we don't EVER need to."
"As important as the TV World is, I think for now, we should concentrate on our Yukiko and Souji problem," Chie spoke up, trying to suppress her urge to run all the way to the Amagi Inn and demand to be let inside.
Yosuke looked over at her. "I agree with Chie. It's what our main objective is right now."
Naoto frowned, her eyebrows scrunching together. "I suppose. But we shouldn't forget about this new information. Who knows? It might turn out to be important later on."
Rise clapped her hands together and stood on the table. Chie glared at the girl currently standing on her $300 dollar table.
"Alright! First things first! We gotta find a way to talk to Yukiko-senpai and Souji-senpai! All our efforts would go to waste if we couldn't even speak to them!" Rise declared in a somewhat sing-song voice.
Clearing the anger out of her mind, Chie nodded. "Yeah, I noticed that was our failure last time we tried to cheer them up. We couldn't get a hold of them! The Inn people wouldn't let me in, no matter how much I insisted that I was Yukiko's friend."
Yosuke nodded as well. "Same with me. Went to the city a few times and tried Souji's door but nobody answered. I'm pretty sure his mother was looking at me through the peephole but didn't want to let me in."
Rise deflated. "Ugh! There's gotta be someway to reach them…"
All heads turned toward the manager-to-be.
"You have a plan?" Naoto bluntly questioned.
Yosuke looked sheepish. "Well, it's not the best of ideas…"
"Stop stalling! Just tell us already, sheesh!" Chie wanted to do something NOW.
"Maybe this wasn't such a good idea."
They all glared at him.
"Umm, well… I'm still thinking of a way to get into Souji's house. Yukiko on the other hand…"
"Yosuke. If you keep stalling, I'm afraid you're going to be on the receiving end of my revolver."
Even Naoto was getting aggravated.
"N-No need to be so hasty! I just had to get my thoughts together. Okay, so you know how Yukiko lives in an Inn?"
They stared at him. What kind of question was that?
"Well, if we booked a room there, we could get to Yukiko somehow, right?"
They blinked. Chie sighed in frustration.
"Yosuke, those rooms are expensive. Plus, they would recognize us and keep us away at all costs."
It was Yosuke's turn to glare at them.
"Hey, give me some credit here! I know that. That's why I've come up with some possible disguises we could wear and some jobs we could get for the money."
Chie was shocked. Yosuke actually had a decent plan. The others seemed to share that thought as well.
Naoto was slightly apprehensive. "What kind of disguises and jobs are we going to do?" She had a bad feeling about this…
"Kanji and Naoto can pretend to be a couple on vacation! They'll never recognize you, Naoto, if you wear dresses and girly stuff."
The detective stammered and blushed, trying to find her voice in order to object the idea.
"Kanji, all we have to do is un-gel your hair and fix it up a bit."
He reached over and ruffled the guy's hair.
"Ta-daa! See! You can't recognize him at all."
He did look different. Less like a punk and more like a porcupine with the way Yosuke had messed it up. He glowered at his senpai.
"Rise, you're an idol, but you must've done some acting before right? You can find some way to disguise yourself and maybe hold a concert beforehand to make some cash."
Rise thought about it and nodded. It didn't seem like a bad idea.
"Chie, all I can say is this: Get a wig. No WAY will anyone recognize you then. And maybe some more feminine clothes as well."
The girl looked ready to kill.
"Teddie and I will be back up. We're way too recognizable to disguise ourselves successfully. We'll get some security mics from Junes and give some to each of you in order for you to contact us. Since there's no place to stay that's within radio range, we've decided to camp out in the forest nearby!"
Naoto thought it over. It wasn't a bad plan. There were a few things that could go wrong, but she supposed it was better than hers. "How did you come up with this?"
His eyes fell. "After going to Souji's house a few times, I've been thinking hard about ways to help him and Yukiko. They don't deserve the pain they're going through. This plan's been on my mind for a while now…"
Kanji patted down his hair and tried fixing it to the best of his abilities. "Enough o' that. We gotta get those jobs as fast as we can. Even though Rise can probably get all the money herself with a concert, it'll draw too much attention to ourselves, right? I mean, her manager doesn't even know where she is!"
Chie nodded. "Good point. Maybe we can do some of those part-time jobs Souji did while he was here."
Kanji shook his head. "You mean you guys will. I'm gonna try and sell some specialty stuffed animals and stuff. It'll make more money 'n be easier too."
"I will also attempt a different way of making the money. Perhaps I will find a case that will pay well," the detective hoped.
"Hmm, guess me and Teddie and Yosuke-senpai will have to work those part time jobs with you, Chie. I'll also do some extra work around Marukyu, see if my Grandma can give some money," Rise thought out loud.
Yosuke grinned and looked around the group. They were all going to try their best, and he hoped that his plan would work.
Because if it didn't, more than just the feeling in his privates would be at risk.
What was the point in life? That was the question he had been asking himself for a while now.
Where was could he find the desire to live? Another question going through his head.
How could he bear to live without them? Without her? Stop. Don't think. Numb yourself.
Pathetic. When would he swallow the bitter truth? He already had. It had clogged his throat with silence, kept food from entering, and made it hard to breathe.
Who could save him? It was impossible to save him. He was too far gone without a purpose.
He had no answer to that. The questioner knew the answer as well as he did.
He walked. Trudged along the city streets. Probably not the best idea near midnight, where the punks, druggies, gangs, and "who knows what else" came out. He shrugged that thought aside.
It didn't matter. He would show them not to mess with him again, especially after their last failed attempt.
A hand tempting him into a dark alleyway. Was he going to answer the beckoning of the stranger in the shadows?
Why not? He had nothing better to do. Nothing could kill him. None of the criminals in this part of the city knew how to use a gun properly, not even knives at the very best.
He shuffled over. A mysterious blue-haired man in an overcoat leaned against the brick wall of the apartment building. He did nothing but breathe silently, in and out. In and out. And in and out.
"Did you need something?" He started the conversation. It didn't seem like the stranger would initiate it.
The man did nothing. His eyes and upper part of his face were covered in the shadow of a hat, his chin covered by the collar of the long overcoat.
"If you're going to waste my time, then I'm going to leave."
The stranger tilted his head up, and he saw his eyes. He held back a gasp.
The blue-grey eyes shook him to the core; the hollowness and emptiness inside made the man seem like a dead soul.
"Your eyes are like mine." The words startled him. Like his?
"Grey. Such a bland and depressing color. Yet, yours hold the power mine once had. The power that I lost when I left this world. Igor helped you with it, no?"
Souji backed away, trembling. This man knew his secret. Unbidden memories of his year in Inaba came back, the murders and his heartbreak flashing before his eyes. He clutched his head.
He knows what you are! What are you going to do about it? What is HE going to do about it? He didn't know.
"So your past has come to haunt, as it had done to me. But being dead has only given me time to regret. You story seems similar to mine, yet your power isn't fully utilized. I can help you with your power. Allow you to use it here in this world. Would you like that?"
Souji didn't know what to say.
You want it. Accept it. With that power, you can help the people. Find another purpose in life. Do you wish for that destiny?
"What do I have to do?"
"Ever heard of Russian Roulette?"
He stared. He wasn't serious, was he?
What does it matter? Life was meaningless anyways.
"Alright. Let's play."
The stranger reached inside his coat and pulled out a handgun.
"That's not a revolver."
"So? My version is different. Are you willing to take the chance that I have not loaded it?"
He glared. He wouldn't back down from this challenge.
He grabbed the silver gun with his left hand and pointed it at the side of his head, elbow sticking out.
He breathed. In and out. And in and out.
Pulled the trigger.
And the sound of shattering glass filled the air.
A sudden feeling erupted through him.
Was he dying?
No. This feeling… it was power. Unbelievable power.
He felt a presence and turned behind him.
The figure in his impressive black coat loomed over him.
But where was Izanagi-no-Okami?
"You are not strong enough for a being like Izanagi-no-Okami yet. Summoning here is different from over there. You don't just fight your shadow once. You fight your fears and doubts every time you pull the trigger. It drains you much more than if you were over there, but you will find that your Persona is ten times more powerful than if you just summoned it the normal way. So use the gun in the other world as well."
Souji stared at him. Who was he?
"Who I am is not important. Just know this: you are starting a new adventure, one that has more risks than the last. You will need another contract with Igor, and reestablish your Social Links. Those will be your most powerful asset. Oh, and keep the gun. It's my old one."
What did he mean by 'his old one'?
The blue-haired man seemed to be sucked in by the shadows of the wall he was leaning against.
He was gone.
A/N: Now before you ask, NO this will NOT be a full crossover. I'm only taking a little bit from P3. So I'm sorry if you were like "OMG Co426e, now your story is turning into one of those crossovers, you copycat!"
No. It's not. I'm not even going to bring any other P3 character into this story.
Oh, and btw, who do you think the blue-haired man was? If you didn't know, then either you've never played P3, or you just fail. So epically fail.