Scarlette Shizuru: You shall be one chapter closer to knowing! And thanks for reviewing!

The Forever Young One/ SilverMoon888: I'm sorry for not updating quick enough! / So sorry! And I hope he gets better soon, too! Thank you so much!

Kirly: Thanks! It's also nice to know you like my story!

Wonderful: Thank you so much for the compliments! And tips! I'm a very visual person, so that's probably why, because I'm more of an artist. A lot better than a writer… Heh? And Yosuke is my second favorite character next to Souji. And finally, yes, I'm going to say screw the review thing, it's not panning out, cause it means I have to write faster if they do come in.


Shadows

Part Seven

Souji came down a few moments later, stumbling everywhere. Yosuke bolted up toward Souji, his hands fumbling for something to help support his partner. He settled on walking behind the other, fingering his pocket of his school pants, which he realized he had yet to change out of. He looked disgustedly down at them, turning his fingering to plucking distastefully at the fabric.

Dark grayed eyes stared at him, though the brown eyed one felt like he was being stared through. "Partner, are you feeling better?" Yosuke asked, helping the other settle down on the couch, after a reluctant flinch from said other.

"Here, Souji-senpai, eat this." Naoto offered the bowl of soup, slowly pushing it closer to the silver-haired senpai. Shifting his body so his feet were dangling off of the couch, his sniffed it then turned toward Yosuke.

Yosuke looked down at the soup, then over at the blue-haired detective, and back down at Souji, who was leaning over the bowl, staring at the red-head. "I made it, if that's what you were wondering." Yosuke pointed a finger at himself. Souji still stared, the other boy finally realizing Souji doesn't have X-ray vision, and therefore can't look through him. "Um… Do you need help eating it?" Souji managed a weak nod, then turned down toward the liquid broth once more. Yosuke sighed and sat down, lazily crossing his legs. He put his head on his hand and pulled the spoon from its cradle in the bowl, holding it toward his friend, and saying, "Open up, Partner."

Souji opened his mouth, barely wide enough to fit the first part of the spoon in. Yosuke pulled the spoon back, the silver glinting before disappearing back into the dark brown liquid once more. Souji drank down the broth, wholly swallowing the chicken and noodles with it, then realized dully he had soup dribbling down his chin. He wiped it with his wrist, then licked the limb.

Yosuke couldn't help but feel sorry for his friend, in the back of his mind. He sighed thinking about the physical pain, then thinking about how much it must've been to have Souji's mind muddled. Yosuke brought the spoon back up to Souji's parted mouth. He was honestly confused as to why Souji had suddenly come down with a fever. He personally thought it had something to do with Negative Souji, but the last he saw of him was nearly three months ago, and even Negative Souji thought he would disappear for quite a while. The orange-haired boy furiously rubbed his temple with his knuckles, trying to block out the headache. Maybe it didn't have to do with Negative Souji being there but rather from not being there. Tears started forming in his eyes from the pain in his head.

He had also forgotten Naoto was there and currently giving him a strange look. A look as if to say, My senpai is the sick one and you're acting stranger?

Yosuke finally dropped the spoon, effectively startling Souji into a jump. He brought his hands to his head, and shook it to get rid of his headache and the offending thoughts. Naoto gave him a questioning glance, "… Yosuke-sempai?"

Yosuke glanced up at Naoto, who had stood in concern, and asked her, "Can you get me a pen and paper?" Then he realized he had left his bag at his school with Chie and the others. He hung his head, until a fancy fine-line pen and some lined paper were shoved into his line of sight. He grabbed the pen in his left hand and the spoon in his right. The music-lover smiled in victory as he proceeded to multitask feeding Souji and write his thoughts at the same time. Naoto watched in confusion. Why was Yosuke writing? He hated it with a passion, and the fact it was important enough to have to be done at the same time as feeding his best friend, who was sick. Naoto sat beside Yosuke, watching him write, and attempt to read the other's chicken scratch.

By the time the bowl of broth was finished, he had two pages, front and back, filled with notes and thoughts. And despite the fact Yosuke had chicken scratch, he wrote small.

Naoto was actually semi-frightened albeit her demeanor remaining calm.

"Finished!" Yosuke grabbed the papers and shoved them in Naoto's face. He glanced at Souji's bowl. "And finished? When did that happen?" He asked, more to himself than anyone else.

Naoto grabbed the papers quietly. She glanced over it, restarting when halfway through she saw 'Souji,' 'Sickness,' and 'Negative' in the same sentence. Yosuke had started toward the kitchen, spoon and bowl in one hand, and washcloth in the other. She glanced up as Yosuke returned when she had finished reading a few minutes later. He carried a new washcloth and a few pieces of unbuttered toast. He gave Souji the toast, and placed the washcloth on his head, as he was currently sitting upright. The orange-haired turned, his light caramel-coffee eyes flashing. "So, what do you think?"

"It's entirely possible if you phrase it like this…" Naoto sighed. "So there was a brain under those headphones of yours."

"I had to write it down because the whole thing hurt my head." Yosuke scratched his head. "Yeah… um… the TV's right there."

Naoto flicked on the TV, not bothering with finding the remote, pleased it was already on the News channel.

They spent the next few hours like this; Naoto watching the news, and Yosuke getting up occasionally to get something to eat for either him or Souji, or replacing the water on the washcloth.

When the sun was nearing the horizon, the doorbell rang, and Yosuke jumped up and walked quickly to the door, because whoever was at the door seemed to love that stupid doorbell. He pushed the door open, half-heartedly hoping it was their friends, because, God, he needed to change.

Rise immediately ran through the door, heading straight for Souji who, in his mind-state only saw a pink blur running at him. Yosuke almost laughed at Souji's wide-eyed "Oh-crap-I'm-gonna-die" face… until Chie kicked him. "Don't laugh at Souji! What's wrong with you! He's sick for the first time in his life and you're laughing!"

Yukiko tapped her bottom lip, "So does that mean he's never had chicken pox either?"

Yosuke looked up, still cringing and holding… that spot. "I haven't either." He grunted and leaned his head on the floor once more. "God Chie, critical hit to the nads. Again. I'm not going to be able to have kids ever."

"Well, if it helps the world keep from harvesting another generation of idiots, I'll do it consistently."

"You already do it constantly." Yosuke moaned, pushing himself up with one hand, the other refusing to leave his pants.

Chie pushed passed him to Souji, who was still on the couch, with Rise still wrapped around him, squealing loudly. Naoto was, once again, attempting to get Rise off of her senpai. Kanji watched from one of the cushions on the floor, hand cradling his head.

Yukiko had walked over to Souji, putting her hand on his forehead. She dropped the bags gently on the floor and Yosuke crawled over to her after a moment, tears still in his eyes. "H-He's been way out of it." The redhead moved to the couch, the said item squeaking in pain.

"Yosuke take care of Souji-senpai. I need to show Yukiko-senpai the papers."

"Okay." Yosuke nodded. He leaned his head on his knees, which were pulled up in a failed attempt to lessen the pain. Souji turned toward him, trying to pose himself the same way. He was able to pull his legs up a bit before he started to balance on the balls of his feet. Souji patted Yosuke's head, murmuring, "It's okay, it's okay."

Yosuke huffed before returning to his former emo-state.

Yukiko and Chie, who had followed the former out of sheer curiosity, turned to Yosuke and stared, wide-eyed. Chie was the first to say something. "Yosuke, I didn't understand a word of this, but Naoto and Yukiko are both surprised, so I'm thinking you probably did something smart."

"If you phrase it like this, it makes sense, actually." Yukiko looked at the papers in her hand again. Chie still stared, her lips in a fine line, as if she couldn't believe it.

And really, she couldn't. Not with 'Yosuke' and 'genius' in the same sentence and without 'not' interfering in there, somewhere.

Yosuke looked up, than over at Souji. He turned his head and his face boomed red, attempting to hold in laughter. Souji had been sitting on the couch, his feet elevated and his head just tipping over the edge of the couch. He had the same stoic face on, but there was a thin trail of drool from the corner of his half-parted lips to the bridge of his nose.

Chie turned her head at muffled giggles, looking at Souji, too. She tilted her head sideways first, then to the other side. Prodding Yukiko to get her attention, and unintentionally getting Naoto's, too, she pointed at the upside down, silver-headed teen.

Naoto merely gave Chie a "why-should-I-care?" look and went back to trying to explain Yosuke's earlier notes. Yukiko giggled at first, turned to Naoto and calmed down, then starting laughing completely behind her hands. Chie and Yosuke rolled their eyes.

The redheaded male then proceeded to poke Souji, whose silver eyebrows furrowed in frustration and pain. "Hey, partner. Fall asleep like that and you'll hurt yourself." He then paused and added, "More."

Souji's eyelashes fluttered before he turned and waved weakly at the offending hand. Yosuke poked him once more between his eyes to get his attention, then sighed and gave up, his hands finally straying from their location.

"Lemme help, Yosuke-senpai." Kanji got up from his place on the cushion and quickly rolled Souji up, and pulled down his legs from the top of the sofa. Souji grumbled once then slowly curled into himself. "It seems like Senpai is really uncomfortable."

"Maybe some of us should leave, so it's not so crowded. And make sure Nanako-chan and Dojima-san make it to the inn." Naoto looked over at Yukiko for the moment. Yukiko looked up, caught the glance, and nodded. "Okay. Come on, Chie." She grabbed hold of Chie's hand and walked out of the house, waving and quietly saying good bye. Chie waved more energetically, and started bouncing on her toes the moment she landed beyond the step. Kanji looked around and sighed, running his hands through his hair. "Where'd Teddy and Rise-senpai go?" Naoto looked around, too. So that's why it had been so quiet.

Apparently when the door has shut behind the brunette and the black-haired girls, it was a silent cue for Rise and Teddy to come bolting down the stairs. Rise pouted and Teddy turned on his heel and attempted to go back up the stairs. Kanji's hand prevented the escape though, and Teddy was now fighting to breathe.

"What were ya doin upstairs, ya damn bear?" Kanji stared at Teddy, blue-gray eyes narrowed.

"We… We wanted to stay with Sensei, so we went upstairs and hid in Sensei's room!" Teddy wailed, flailing his limbs.

"But… We love Senpai! We simply can't let him sleep in this house by himself!" Rise cried equally as loud. Naoto nodded in the corner, glancing at Yosuke, who was now dozing beside the sofa. She narrowed her eyes in contemplation. Kanji's yelling, and Rise and Teddy's crying weren't helping any, either. "Why doesn't Yosuke-senpai stay here and watch over Souji-senpai? He's shown himself at least decently capable of taking care of Souji-senpai. If Rise and Teddy were to stay here, they'd make too much noise. Kanji and I don't know Senpai enough to do anything fairly productive."

Kanji let go of Teddy, certain that Naoto's conclusion will keep Rise and Teddy down in the living room, and when they left, to their respective homes. Sure enough, Rise and Teddy hung their heads, stomping over to the front door, and sitting on the step. "Fine, be mean to me." Rise pouted.

Teddy mumbled a bit into his arms, and finally Kanji picked him up, threw him over his shoulder, and left. The blonde turned to the red head. "Come on, Rise-senpai."

Said person dragged her polished shoes to the outside, away from her beloved Senpai.

Naoto turned, the last person besides Yosuke, and shook the strawberry blonde awake. "Yosuke-senpai, wake up."

"Mm?" Yosuke hummed, raising one eyelid to show that, maybe, he was listening to her.

"We're leaving, and we decided you could stay here and take care of Souji-senpai for us. If you need anything, call Yukiko-senpai or myself. I will take my leave." And with that, the blue-haired detective left, quickly and quietly pulling on her shoes.

It took a moment before Yosuke raised both eyelids to half-mast, and stared upwards. Turning his head he realized two things; one, Souji was still sleeping, but almost looking ready to wake up, and two, there was a terrible kink in his neck that was probably not going to leave anytime soon.

He groaned, silently cursing Souji's ability to really sleep when he wanted to.

In fact, the silver-haired boy could be both a light sleeper and a heavy one at the same time, and he knew that from trying to wake him up before noon once on a Sunday after they went to the TV world the day before. He slept lightly on the camping trip though; the moment Kanji went bolting by around dawn, Souji bolted upright, went to the zipper and locked it with a small number lock.

Yosuke didn't know that when the tent almost fell over.

Said redhead looked dazedly over at the kitchen then the clock hanging on the wall. Maybe he should make something for himself…

After the bathroom, though. The last time he had used it was a little bit before the rest of the gang came here, and that was about eight hours ago.

By the time he realized he probably should go, he was already done and looking down at his hands in the sink. He faintly heard a humming sound and looked up.

He gasped, his once half-mast eyes wide, and flailing. "But…! I thought you said…! What's happening?

"Well, I heard something was happening with the Shadow man, so I had to check it out." The dark-coated, gritty voice growled. He moved his black hair to the side. The same dark eyes gazed back at him. "And if you're wondering why I'm in a mirror, it's because of certain reasons. I'm sure you figured it out, though, haven't you?"

Yosuke nodded shakily, his headphones clacking on their place around his neck. He took a shaky breath before splashing the cold water on his face. This time he turned it off.

"I was thinking that Partner became sick so suddenly, so it had to do with the Negative Monochrome World. You said he was a Shadow, so naturally he was honest with himself, but he was also a cross with a human, too. So that means he's not as terribly blunt as most Shadows would be. But since you're his Negative self, you're like his Shadow.

"So what's going on? What's this Golden Heart and Silver Soul you were talking about last time? How do we fit in there?"

The other one sighed, running his hands through his hair again, before turning to the side. The mirrored boy did some quick wrist flicks before turning to Yosuke once more. "The Golden Heart, as I have said last time, Princess, is you. The Silver Soul is the other Princess. Before I go any further, I will say this: there is a very small difference between a Shadow and a Negative. In fact, there are very few people that have a Negative. A "Shadow" is the true self, the real person, but only if they lie to themselves, but they always run on instinct or commands. Frankly, they don't have a personality, a soul, or anything else. A "Negative" is basically just the opposite of a Persona-user. Just because someone's Shadow turned into a Persona, doesn't mean it keeps its human consciousness. Very rarely do Personas keep it.

"The personality of the Persona is transferred into the darkness of the human, and takes its own form in the Negative Monochrome World. Get it?"

Yosuke nodded, wondering just the faintest if he was crazy or if this was really happening. He probably shouldn't have offered to try Yukiko's food yesterday. "But there's one thing that's bothering me…"

The other turned, locking his eyes. "Go on, Princess. Unless you want me to try to read your fucking mind, see if I can keep you the hassle of saying anything?"

Yosuke blushed in anger before calming himself. He thought faintly of just saying 'Sure, why not' and sit there, waiting.

"Personas are connected to their user, right? Like, if they get hurt, we do, too?"

"Quite obviously. I was there when Chie's Shadow gave a 'critical hit to the nads' at the beginning, remember? Fucking funniest shit I've ever seen."

This time Yosuke colored in embarrassment. "Anyway… So would you say that Negatives and Persona-users are connected, too?"

The gray man smiled, flashing his black straight teeth, which struck Yosuke as odd until he remembered when he first went to the Negative Monochrome World. "Don't do it!"

Too late. He was already curling in a ball, whimpering.

"Does it hurt, Sunshine? Take your answer apply it to your question and voila! You have your answer."

"Thanks… anyway… man…" Yosuke whined, and crawled out, nearly tripping downstairs. He curled into a ball; one of the pillows on the sofa pulled off and pushed underneath Yosuke's head. The redhead fell asleep after a while, the last thought crossing his mind, Negative Souji still didn't answer my question about the Golden Heart and Silver Soul…


Thank Izanagi! It's FINISHED! Anyway, if you actually want to hear my excuses, here they are! 1: I had school, and come on, school interferes with everything. 2: I had finals at said school. 3: I've been dealing with my Dad, and though I know this sounds selfish (it kind of is) I liked him better when he was emo-y because he was quiet and didn't think I was an emo. 4: I forgot the plot, but I was able to make up something when I was listening to an episode of Ghost Whisperer. I was doing my homework thank you, not watching that stuff. Otherwise, thank you for reading, and give me complaints, compliments, thoughts, feelings, etc. etc. If you're still confused, say so in a comment, and I'll help clear it up.