AUTHOR'S NOTES & INFORMATION: This is the prologue to P4: EVA that involves Chie, Yosuke, and their developing relationship. The events in this story take place between December and March of the game's timeline. The first two chapters in particular take place in January. You can read this story without reading P4: EVA, but I wrote it specifically so that I could have some background information to go off of for that story in relation to Yosuke and Chie.
Disclaimer: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 belongs to ATLUS. This game is made of pure awesome.
PART I: Love Lost
It happened on the day she discovered Souji liked someone else.
Chie Satonaka had it bad for Souji Seta ever since he came to town. What wasn't there to like about him? He was handsome, intelligent, a charming fellow, and overall if a girl rejected the guy, they'd be the stupidest person on Earth. Because Souji Seta was essentially the closest thing to a perfect boyfriend in her head.
They had spent a lot of time together, training and saving a little kid from a gang of bullies. And when Chie had indirectly asked him out, he shrugged it off saying 'we're the best of friends'. It hurt, but it wasn't a 'no'. Chie knew it would take more time than that.
It was January, after the capture of Toru Adachi. Chie had tried to call him on Christmas Eve to see if he was busy. He never did pick up the phone that night, so she assumed he was having a party with the boys or something like that. She had a feeling it resulted in Teddie doing something crazy, and Kanji and Yosuke just playing along and trying to enjoy each other's company while Souji laughed all the while. They were a silly group.
It was snowing on January 15th when Chie decided she would go to Aiya to eat. She was in the mood for a good Chinese meal, and she debated in her head over which Kung-Fu movie to watch afterward. But as she trudged through the light sheet of snow, she saw a familiar girl in the distance. Rise Kujikawa was nearby her family's tofu shop, her head in her hands. She was crying. Chie, confused and concerned, raced over to Rise.
"Rise-chan, what's the matter?" Chie asked, immediately hovering over her shoulder. Rise jumped at the sudden voice, but as she saw it to be Chie, she calmed down and grabbed the older girl in a tight hug.
"Chie-senpai, i-it's horrible!" Rise whined, her face drowned with tears. Chie pat her back slowly.
"There, there. Do you want to get some food with me?" Chie tried to cheer her up. Rise nodded quickly.
"I don't care if I get fat anymore..." Rise mumbled. Chie didn't ask, though she assumed whatever she was crying over, it was no big deal and even she, tomboy Chie, could clear up her problems quickly.
So Chie walked Rise to Aiya and she ordered her some food. Rise was silent until their steaming bowls of delicious food arrived, where she finally looked up at Chie and wiped away the final tears from her eyes.
"I-it's about Senpai." Rise referred to Souji.
"Souji-kun?" Chie asked, her face stuffed with noodles. She swallowed, wiping the broth off of her face with a nearby napkin. "What's wrong with Souji?"
Rise shook her head.
"Everything's wrong with him." Rise said, her voice laced with just a touch of irritation.
'What does that mean?' Chie thought, raising an eyebrow. She decided to continue.
"What do you mean?" Chie asked.
"H-h-he..." Rise's voice shuddered. Tears were on the verge once again.
"He what?" Chie tried to prompt her. Chie wasn't the most sensitive of individuals.
"He's dating Yukiko-senpai!" Rise shouted. The entire restaurant turned around at hearing her volume, suddenly falling silent. Though after a few minutes, they continued their conversation without a care.
Chie froze. Yukiko?
"I went to go to his house on Christmas Day, you know, to give him a present. But when I got to his house...I saw him and Yukiko together..." she sobbed.
'That can't be...' Chie tried to reason with herself. No, Souji and Yukiko? She couldn't think of two better people she could trust. Certainly, if there was something between them, Chie would be the first one to know, right? Yukiko was like her sister. There wasn't anything about Yukiko she didn't know. And Souji, well, Souji and Chie were close too.
"Are you sure you're not misunderstanding? Just because they were together..." Chie explained, but Rise stopped her.
"They were kissing." Rise hissed before bawling once again, her tears running into her untouched meal. Chie felt sick. Her appetite dissolved. Was what she was saying true?
An hour passed in little discussion. Chie took Rise back home and bid goodnight. Chie walked in the snow to nowhere, unsure of where to go, where to turn. Her hand reached into her pocket, where she felt her phone. She accessed the speed dial of Yukiko Amagi by pressing a single digit on the pad.
"Hello?" Yukiko's voice came through the receiving end.
"Did I wake you up?" Chie wasn't sure how to feel. She tried to be polite.
"U-um, yeah, but that's okay. What's up, Chie-chan?" Yukiko asked, her tired voice still happy to hear from her friend.
Chie bit her lip. What should she say? What could she say? She gripped the phone. She had to be herself and be honest.
"Are you and Souji dating?" Chie asked, unable to hide the little bits of anger in her voice.
There was a long pause. Chie's breath was visible as she slowly inhaled and exhaled. She was anxious for an answer. She was nervous for the truth.
'Please say Rise was lying. Please say it's not true.'
"Um...yeah. We are." Yukiko was Yukiko. She was blunt and unable to hide what she knew and what she didn't.
Chie understood completely what Rise had meant by 'everything is wrong' with Souji. But at the same time, it made perfect sense. Yukiko was perfect. Souji was perfect. They were perfect together.
"O-oh. That's wonderful to hear. W-why didn't you tell me?" Chie tried to sound happy, though her voice shook.
"I, um...it's because of Rise-chan...and Naoto-kun..." Yukiko tried to explain. "We don't want them to feel jealous or unhappy. We were going to tell you guys eventually. I..." Yukiko seemed to have trouble coming up with an answer.
"That's okay." Chie forced herself. "I mean, I'm really happy for you two. Really."
'No. No I'm not.'
"Really? Chie-chan, that's so nice of you." Yukiko's sleepy voice perked up. "I'm so happy that you're happy for us. We should tell everyone else too." Yukiko sounded like she was smiling.
"Yeah! Don't worry about Rise-chan and Naoto-kun. They can deal with it." Chie answered.
'Don't cry. Not while you're talking to Yukiko.'
"You think so? I don't want to hurt their feelings." Yukiko still sounded unsure.
"Pshaw. Naoto-kun's got Kanji hanging over her shoulder. If Naoto-kun's disappointed, Kanji'll sweep her off of her feet before long. And Rise-chan, well, Rise-chan can have anyone she wants. She's an idol." Chie tried to make Yukiko feel better.
'But I can't have anyone. Souji-kun was the only guy who saw me for me.'
"You're right. Thanks so much, Chie-chan. You're always there for me. I'll repay you somehow." Yukiko gave her gratitude.
"Oh please, d-don't worry." her voice shook again. Water formed in her eyes.
'Dammit, dammit, dammit.'
"Are you okay, Chie-chan?" Yukiko asked, catching her voice change.
"No! I'm...just out in the snow. It's cold, you know?" Chie tried to excuse herself.
"Well, try not to spend so much time out there. You'll get sick. I'd better go to bed. We have school tomorrow. I'll see you later, Chie-chan." Yukiko bid her goodbye.
"Yeah, goodbye, Yukiko-chan." Chie said, her voice low. Yukiko hung up, and Chie did too.
Chie felt betrayed.
How long had they dated? Chie didn't want to think about it, but it was there in her head. It wouldn't leave.
'How long? It couldn't have been that long.' she tried to think of other things, but the image of Yukiko professing her love for Souji wouldn't go away. She kept imagining it. Yukiko, the beautiful daughter of the inn manager was swept off her feet by the gallant Souji Seta, the greatest man they'd ever known.
She trudged through the snow. She didn't feel like going home to her empty house. But where else was she supposed to go? Yukiko was asleep. Rise was asleep. She'd be sketchy if she showed up at Naoto or Kanji's place. It was just be plain awkward to show up at Souji's place at this hour.
'Don't think 'it'll give Yukiko the wrong idea'.' she sighed. Where else was there to go? As she continued through the snow, she realized how far she had wandered. She had already made it to Junes. None of the lights in the department store were lit. The place was closed. No one in their right mind would go to Junes at this hour. She kept walking.
Walking, thinking, and unable to guide herself to the right place.
She eventually came to a street lined with large houses, and only one had lit windows.
"Stupid bear! Close your window!" Chie heard a familiar voice from an open window on the second story.
'Yosuke?' Chie looked up to see the figure of Teddie glancing out the open window.
"But it's snow, Yosuke!" Teddie whined, wanting to keep his window open. "Snow! It's the stuff that makes Topsicles~!"
"No it's not! Gah, it's way too cold!"
Chie chuckled. At least they were having fun. Chie turned around. Perhaps it was best to go home.
"Oh, hey! Is that Chie-chan? CHIEEEE!" Chie turned around as Teddie called out her name.
"Don't just call out her name! It's probably not her--" Yosuke tried to stop him, but Chie turned back around.
"Hey guys." Chie replied. She realized how flat her greeting was. It was a bit unlike her.
"What are you doing out at this hour?" Yosuke asked through the window. He had to speak up, so he practically yelled it.
"I...well..." Chie hesitated. "Can I come in?"
"Huh?" Yosuke asked, very confused.
"Sure, Chie-chan!" Teddie answered, immediately slamming the window on Yosuke, nearly smashing his fingers and racing down the stairs to open the front door for Chie. He gave Chie a massive hug as she approached the doorway, his face glowing at her presence.
"Are you here to give me a goodnight kiss?" Teddie asked.
"No." Chie stated bluntly, though she chuckled.
"Awww." Teddie whined, sitting on a nearby couch after shutting the door behind Chie as she entered the house. Chie looked around. She realized for the first time that she had never been to Yosuke's house. It was...really nice.
"Why are you here?" Yosuke asked, coming down the stairs. "We have school tomorrow, don't we?"
"So unlike you to care about school." Chie spat. Yosuke doubled back.
"Did you just come here to complain? Look, I've gotta get to bed! You should go home..."
"To do what?" Chie asked, unable to repress herself for much longer. "Sulk and cry my brain out?"
"Huh?" Yosuke was lost, and so was Teddie. Scared at her sudden behavior change, Teddie snuck out of the room and back to Yosuke's, leaving the two alone.
"Oh, don't act like you don't know! You're his freaking best friend, aren't you? You know about Souji and Yukiko, right?" Chie practically screamed in his face.
Yosuke's face was pale. Chie had argued with him before, but she was scarier than usual tonight. What had happened?
"H-hey, calm down. What are you talking about?" Yosuke tried to reason with her.
Chie wiped her face roughly with her green coat sleeve, tears finally coming out.
"Souji and Yukiko are together. Dating! And they didn't tell us...they didn't tell me..." Chie sobbed, turning herself away from Yosuke.
"Chie-chan, you..." Yosuke was at a bit of a loss. Suddenly she was bawling her eyes out in front of her. What was he supposed to do? And why was she even at his place at this hour? He was just so confused.
"It's not fair." Chie complained, trudging to Yosuke's couch and planting herself on the cushion.
"What? What's not fair?" Yosuke dared to sit next to her. He would have otherwise kept a very large distance from her, as she had powerful legs and he had a very weak groin area. And when the two collided it resulted in massive amounts of pain.
"Why am I the last one to know?" Chie asked, wiping away more tears.
"H-hey! Even I didn't know!" Yosuke justified. "Souji and Yukiko? Whoa! I never saw that coming! And I totally thought he had the hots for you."
That didn't help much. Chie began to sob again. Yosuke gulped.
"Whoops." Yosuke muttered.
"I...I did like him." Chie admitted. Yosuke's eyes widened.
"Dude, all the girls did." Yosuke folded his arms.
"But I wasn't the one for him. Yukiko's so beautiful and graceful and...perfect." Chie leaned back against the couch cushions, staring up at the ceiling. Her tears rolled down the side of her cheeks, unable to control them much longer.
"She is." Yosuke agreed. 'I liked Yukiko once.' he recalled. 'She has her charms.'
"Glad you love her so much." Chie turned to glare at him.
"O-oy." Yosuke backed up on the couch, now at the end near the couch's arm. "Don't hurt me. You came here."
Chie sighed, turning away from him again.
"I don't even know why my legs took me here." Chie said. "I didn't want to go home and think about the two of them for the rest of the night. I don't even think I can look them in the eye tomorrow." Chie said, sitting back up.
"That bad, huh?" Yosuke asked, feeling just a tinge of sympathy for her.
"Yeah." Chie answered, staring down at the floor.
They sat in silence for what seemed like the longest time. Chie stared at the floor. Yosuke took glances between her and the surrounding furniture. But after what seemed like forever, he spoke.
"You can stay the night." Yosuke said quietly.
"Huh?" Chie asked.
"If you don't want to go home, you can sleep here. On the couch. You're wearing your uniform under your coat, right? So you won't have to change or anything like that?"
"Really?" Chie felt somewhat relieved, though a bit uncomfortable. Staying at Yosuke's house? She didn't feel much like walking through the snow back home, and her dog could wait until tomorrow for a walk or meal.
"Y-yeah." he replied. Chie wasn't so sure, but she thought she caught a tinge of red on Yosuke's face as he averted his eyes from hers.
"Okay, that's fine." Chie wasn't sure whether or not she blushed as well. But despite his idiocy, Yosuke had a kind heart.
"Can I have some blankets?" Chie asked, laying herself down on the couch. Yosuke stood up.
"That costs extra." he replied, walking toward the stairs.
"Shut up." Chie chuckled and turned herself over as she heard Yosuke climbing up the stairs. Moments later, he came back with a couple of sheets and a pillow.
"Make yourself cozy but come up with a good excuse if you're seen here in the morning. I don't wanna lose any allowance if my parents think of anything that didn't happen." Yosuke instructed, glaring at her.
"Oh yeah. You have parents." Chie muttered. "Right, right." she muttered as she yawned.
"Good night, then." Yosuke said, walking up the stairs and shutting off the lights.
"Good night." Chie said, closing her eyes and drifting off to dreamland.
It happened on the day she discovered Souji liked someone else.
She dreamed that she was at Yukiko and Souji's wedding, and she stood as Yukiko's bridesmaid. In a beautiful green dress, she watched Yukiko in pure white say her eternal vows to Souji and watched them share a fairytale kiss. Her heart shattered.
She dreamed of the reception, where everyone began to dance. That's where a clumsy boy in orange asked her to dance.
"It's tough dealing with loss." dream-Yosuke told her.
"How would you know?" Chie demanded an answer.
"I lost someone too. Not in the same way, but it still hurts." dream-Yosuke explained.
They danced like they were the only ones doing so. He was clumsy, and she didn't know how, but it was the perfect rhythm for them both.
And it was then she realized that his kindness was what started this whole mess.
PART I: FIN