Time never waits.

It delivers all equally to the same end.

You, who wish to safeguard the future,

However limited it may be…

You will be given one year;

go forth without falter,

with your heart as your guide…

Minato jerked awake and felt the stiff bones in his neck crack out of their slumber. Music was blaring in his head and he briefly wondered where it was coming from before he remembered that his headphones were still on. Sitting up in his uncomfortable train seat, he checked the time on his MP3 player before he shut it off. 11:45 PM. As soon as the music stopped and his headphones were off, the sounds of the train assaulted his ears: the buzzing of the lights, the grinding of the train as it turned a corner, and the jingling of the handles as the train rocked.

"Finally! It's our stop next! If you had been alone, you would have missed it!"

Looking up, he shrugged his headphones back on. "If I was alone, I'd pay attention," he answered, looking over his shoulder at the night outside the window.

Beside him, fixing her hairclips, Minako mulled it over. "What do you think the dorm will be like? We've never been in one before. I hope we meet some nice people."

Minato grunted, turning his music back on as the train pulled into the station. Picking up his bag, he stood up and walked out, Minako following close behind him. Almost as soon as they stepped off the train, the lights suddenly turned a sickly shade of green. Minato normally wouldn't have noticed something like that, but his MP3 player shut off at the same time. He took a quick look at it, thinking he had accidentally hit something, but none of the buttons responded.

"Something about this feels wrong," Minako muttered, looking around. "This isn't a good place to be, Minato."

He nodded. "Let's get to the dorm, then."

They walked through the streets, following the map they had been given. Minako led the way, as Minato was useless when it came to maps, but it gave him a chance to look around. The streets were lined with coffins, each one reflecting the gooey red surface beneath them.

"Think it's blood?" he asked.

Minako shook her head quickly. "I'm not looking. I'm not looking!~"

After about an hour of walking and a few wrong turns, they finally arrived at the dorm. The front door was unlocked and, much to their surprise, the lights were on. Sharing a shrug, they entered together.

"You're late," a voice said, and they looked to find a young boy in strange clothes standing behind the counter. "I've been waiting a long time for you." He snapped his fingers, and a folder appeared in his hand. He placed it on the counter. "Now, if you want to proceed, please sign your name there. It's a contract," he explained, flipping it open, "Don't worry; all it says is that you'll accept full responsibility for your actions. You know, the usual stuff…"

There were two lines on the contract, and Minato picked up the pen off the counter and signed it. He handed the pen to Minako, and she signed it as well. "I, Arisato Minato & Arisato Minako, agree to accept the consequences of my actions henceforth, and deal with them appropriately with a decent level of maturity and ability."

When they finished, the boy closed the folder and held it to his head. "No one can escape time. It delivers us all to the same end. You can't plug your ears and cover your eyes…" He turned the folder sideways, and it vanished. The lights in the room started shutting off, one by one, until he was covered in shadows. "And so… it begins…" Suddenly, he was gone.

"That… was strange…" Minako muttered, looking around nervously.

"Who's there!" another voice, female and frantic, interrupted. Looking into another part of the entrance, they saw a girl in a pink sweater. She reached down to her thigh, keeping her eyes on them, and Minato noticed she had a gun. Minako realized it as well, clinging to his arm. Breathing heavily, the girl grabbed for the gun and was beginning to draw it when another person interrupted.

"Takeba, wait!"

Everyone spun in the direction of the voice, 'Takeba' practically jumping out of her skin. As Minato squinted to get a better look at their new company, the lights turned back on and music started blaring in his ears again. Internally startled, he switched it off and slid his headphones onto the collar of his uniform jacket. Their company was an older girl with long curly reddish-brown hair, and she had a gun as well, strapped to the belt of her skirt.

"I didn't think you'd arrive so late," she said, walking over, her boots clicking on the floor. "My name is Mitsuru Kirijo. I'm one of the students who live in this dorm."

'Takeba' still looked suspicious. "Who are they?"

"They're transfer students. It was a last minute decision to assign them here. They'll eventually be moved into the other dorms."

"Is it okay for them to be here?"

"I guess we'll see..." Mitsuru smiled. "This is Yukari Takeba. She'll be a junior this spring, just like the two of you."

Yukari seemed to be warming up. "Hey."

"It's nice to meet you, Takeba-san. I'm Minako Arisato, and this is my brother, Minato," Minako introduced, getting over her initial hesitation.

Yukari and Mitsuru gave them a strange look, glancing them over. Minato was used to it. Despite the fact that they were twins, there was almost nothing about them that was alike. Minako had red hair and red eyes, and her personality was cheerful and outgoing. On the other hand, Minato had blue hair and blue eyes, and was often lethargic and introverted. The only thing they shared in common was their love of music, though Minako had ordered a pair of custom red headphones, in contrast to Minato's default silver ones.

After a minute, Mitsuru recomposed herself. "It's getting late, so you should all get some rest. Your rooms are on the upper floors at the end of the hallways. Your things should already be there."

Yukari spoke up. "I'll show you the way. Follow me."

Together, the three of them bid Mitsuru good night and headed upstairs. They stopped on the second floor and Yukari led them to the end of the hall.

At the last door, Yukari turned to Minato. "This is it. Pretty easy to remember, huh? …Since it's right at the end of the hall. Oh yeah, make sure you don't lose your key, or you'll never hear the end of it…So, any questions?"

Minato mulled it over in his head. Did he have questions? Yes. The coffins, the blood, the creepy power outage no one seemed to have paid any attention to, the boy with the contract… "No."

"Me neither," Minako added, though he could tell from the tone of her voice that she wanted to ask the same thing.

Yukari nodded, but paused, looking uncomfortable. "Um… Can I ask you something? On your way here from the station, was everything okay?"

Again, the questions came to mind, but he shook his head.

She looked relieved. "Well, I better get going. I'm sure you have other questions, but let's save them for later, okay? Come on, Arisato-san," she turned to Minako, "I'll show you to your room."

The two girls headed off together, Minako giving him a broad smile and a wave over her shoulder, and Minato was left alone. Looking at the key for a long moment, he unlocked the door and headed inside. The inside of the room was plain, with a desk, bed, television, and some shelves for things. His suitcase was sitting on the floor next to the bed. Sitting at the desk, he unpacked his laptop and was finished setting it up when there was a knock on the door. He didn't even bother opening the door; he already knew who it was.

Minako, in her pajamas, sat down on his bed. "So, what do you think? Isn't it great to be home?"

He shrugged. "I guess."

"It's never any fun talking to you. You're a two-dimensional brick wall."

"That's what you always say."

"Because it's true…"

He glanced at her. "And never once have I complained."

"Well, I guess we're going to meet lots of new people tomorrow, right? Make all kinds of new friends…" She gave him a smile. "Try to make friends, okay, Minato?"

"I will."

The next morning, Yukari knocked on Minato's door, having received no answer from Minako and assuming she was already downstairs or in the bathroom. There was no answer, so she knocked again. "It's Yukari. Are you awake?" After another few minutes without response, she went inside. "Good morning. Did you sleep okay?"

At the sound of the door opening, Minato sat up in bed, knowing his hair would be a messy mop in front of his face. Beside him, her hair falling around her shoulders and in a tangled knot, Minako yawned and sat up, stretching her arms. Yukari let out a loud gasp and dashed out of the room. With a roll of his eyes, Minato got up and proceeded to change, Minako leaving to return to her room.

When he was dressed, he met Yukari outside. She looked pale, breathing in heavy gasps. "It's not what you think."

She turned on him. "What do you mean, 'it's not what I think'? What else could it be?"

"I don't sleep well by myself," Minako explained, repining her hair, "I've been like that for ten years. I've always shared a bed with Minato. It's the only way I get sleep at all."

Yukari didn't look completely convinced, but she took their word for it. "Mitsuru-senpai asked me to take you two to school. It's getting late, so… Are you ready to go?"

Minato shrugged. Minako nodded.

"Okay. Then, let's go."

As the train rounded a turn, one Minato vaguely recognized from the previous night, Yukari pointed it out. "See, there it is." The train continued its turn, past the expanse of ocean, and headed towards the island. When it stopped and most of the people on the train got off, Minako bounded away from Yukari and instantly took a running head start. Minato hung back. Yukari laughed. "Energetic, isn't she?"

They followed the crowd of students, Minato keeping his eyes on his sister until they caught up with her, standing in front of the building.

"Well, this is it," Yukari gestured, "We're here! Welcome to Gekkoukan High School. Hope you like it!"

When they got inside the school, Yukari turned to them. "You're okay from here, right? You should go see your homeroom teacher first." She turned around and pointed to a hallway. "The Faculty Office is right there to the left. And that concludes the tour. Any questions?"


She nodded, and then shifted to a more hesitant expression. "Hey… About last night… Don't tell anyone what you saw, okay? See you later." That said, she walked off, leaving them alone.

"Ready? The classroom assignments are probably over there," Minako said, pointing out a crowd of people standing at a bulletin board. "Let's go check."

Grabbing Minato by the wrist, she dragged him off towards it. When they got there, she scanned the lists for their names, but found nothing. "We're not here?"

"Found it," Minato muttered, tapping her shoulder. He pointed at a less-formal looking sheet of paper tacked to one side. 'Minaso and Misato Arisoto - Class F'.

Minako pouted. "They could have at least spelled our names right. Well, come on. We should head to the Faculty Office now."

The Faculty Office was exactly where Yukari had mentioned, on the left side of the hall. Together, they went in. A few of the teachers looked up, but only one paid much attention, a young woman in a pink suit.

"Oh, are you the new students?" she asked. When they nodded, she looked at her notes, "Minato Arisato and Minako Arisato… 11th grade, correct? Wow, you've lived in a lot of different places."

That much was true. Since they had last been here, their hometown, Minato couldn't count the number of times they had moved. They had been shuffled around from relatives to relatives for a while, changing schools more often than Minako changed her hairstyle, before they had finally settled in Tokyo. After living with their relatives there for a time, they had finally decided to return home to continue school.

The teacher continued. "Let's see… In 1999… That was what, ten years ago? Your parents were-" She gasped, her eyes widening as she stared at the page. "I'm sorry… I've been so busy; I didn't have time to read this beforehand."

Beside him, Minako shuffled her feet. Minato shoved his hands in his pockets. Yes, their parents had died, and that was the reason for their constant moves. It bothered him, though, that Minako took it so much to heart every time someone mentioned it. He'd gotten over the pain of it years ago, when he realized that he had to carry the responsibilities for the two of them.

"I'm Ms. Toriumi," she introduced herself, "I teach Composition. Welcome to our school."

Minato gave her a normal response of "Thank you", while Minako opted for a more enthusiastic "Nice to meet you!"

Ms. Toriumi chuckled. "Have you seen the classroom assignments? You're in 2-F: that's my class. But first, we need to go to the auditorium. The Welcoming Ceremony will be starting soon. Follow me."

The assembly was, as Minato had expected, a snooze fest. The moment the principal started talking, he closed his eyes and started to drift off. Suddenly, someone sitting behind him tapped him on the shoulder.

"Hey…You came to school with Yukari this morning, right? I saw you two walking together. I have a question. Do you know if she has a boyfriend?"

Minato gave him the dignity of the only reply the situation deserved: he raised an eyebrow and returned to his nap.

After a long day of introductions by various teachers, the school day finally ended. Minato felt stiff, having been leaning against his desk the entire day. He stood up, wincing as his shoulders protested, and looked around. Minako, in her desk by the window, was packing up her notebooks, which he assumed she had been doodling in. He decided to wait for her by the door, but was stopped by another student, a guy in a hat.

"'Sup dude! How's it goin'?"

Minato blinked. "Who are you?"

"Me? I'm Junpei Iori. Nice to meet ya," he said, "I transferred here when I was in 8th grade. I know how tough it is bein' the new kid…So I wanted to say, 'hey'. See what a nice guy I am?"

Minato blinked again. If he was looking for popularity points, then he was doing it in the wrong place. He introduction made him sound like a jerk. While Junpei was laughing, Minako and Yukari walked over.

"Made a friend?" Minako asked.

Minato shrugged.

Junpei was too distracted to notice. "Hey, it's Yuka-tan! I didn't think we'd be in the same class again."

"At it again, huh?" Yukari sighed, "I swear, you'll talk to anyone if they'll listen. Did you ever think that you might be bothering someone?"

"What? But, I was just bein' friendly."

Yukari rolled her eyes. "If you say so…" she turned her conversation to include everyone, "Looks like all of us are in the same homeroom…"

Junpei was surprised. "All of…" he turned and, for the first time, seemed to notice Minako. "Oh, hey there!"

"Hello. Nice to meet you," Minako replied with a bright smile.

Junpei blushed, chuckling sheepishly, and then seemed to remember something. He turned back to Yukari. "By the way, I heard you two came to school together this morning. What's up with that? C'mon, gimme the dirt!"

"Wh-what are you talking about!" Yukari mumbled, "We live in the same dorm. There's nothing going on, okay? Besides, Minako was with us too."

"That's not what I heard…" Junpei said in a suspicious voice.

"Why are people even talking about it! Now you have me worried…" Brushing Junpei off, Yukari walked closer to Minato and Minako. "Hey… You didn't say anything to anyone about… you know what, did you?"

Minato shook his head. Minako looked confused. "What?"

"Seriously… Don't say anything about last night, alright?"

Minato felt like slapping his hand against his forehead. Minako giggled. Junpei instantly caught on. "L-last night…?"

Yukari realized her mistake. "W-wait a minute! Don't get the wrong idea!" Junpei's expression made him look like he was scheming something. "Listen! We just met yesterday, and there's absolutely nothing between us! Geez… I`ve gotta go. I`ve got something to take care of for the archery team. But, you better not start any rumors!" She turned and stormed off.

Junpei shrugged. "Ah, who cares? No one takes rumors seriously, anyway. She's so paranoid… But, hey! It's your first day here, and already people are talkin' about you! Believe it or not, she's actually pretty popular. You da man!"

Minako laughed. "My brother; ever the popular one."

Junpei joined her. "This is gonna be a fun year. I can feel it! Come on, you two, let's go!"

The three of them spent the rest of the afternoon together, until finally they parted ways and headed back to the dorm.

"Today was interesting," Minako said cheerfully, "We found our class, made some friends… I think we're going to enjoy it here!"

Minato shrugged. "When we get back, I'm going to bed."

"Alright. It's been a long day, so I think we deserve it."

Before anyone asks, this is supposed to be a combination of the two gender-related storylines from Persona 3 Portable. Though I don't actually have the game yet, I have played FES, though not much. Really, I love Persona 3, but it's really hard to play.

A couple things I have to point out. First, yes they share a bed. No, they don't do anything inappropriate. This is to create loopholes for certain events. Second, this chapter, and the first half of the next, will be utterly boring. Nothing interesting happens in the first few hours of Persona 3, so this isn't much different. Third, please don't give me comments of "oh that's not how it works" or "you shouldn't be doing things like this". People, it's fanfiction. I can do as I please. Not to be sure, but I love SMT, and the last thing I wrote got one comment which was basically bitching about all the things I did wrong. Be nice, okay? I'm trying. And, again, it's fanfiction. If you don't like it, no one's forcing you to read it.

Enjoy the next chapter, when I feel like posting it.