Anon is sorry if this isn't exactly what you wanted

Yosuke had thought that it was a bad idea to go into the Secret Base with just Souji and him.

Souji's dying body in front of him was proof enough.

He'd protested, tried to be the responsible one, said that it was a horrible, awful idea to go in to the TV alone, but Souji had just cast him a smug smile, and said, "relax, I know what I'm getting in to."

Well, that was a bad joke now.

The two had gone to the Secret Base to train- nobody else could make it. Chie was busy, hell knows what with, Yukiko had to help out at the inn, some sort of very important guest, Kanji was filling a big order for the textiles shop, Naoto was still out sick, Teddie was drug off by a Junes employee for something about feeling up his coworkers, and Rise had some sort of social obligation.

Everything had gone fine- they had taken care of the Shadows fine, and they had fought until they were drained.

And then came the damned tanks.

Souji and Yosuke walked back around the corner, discussing the girls in their group, when Souji fell flat on his face from the brunt of a cannon blast. The shadow had come from behind, what they deserved for letting their guard down, he thought bitterly. The two were too drained to beat the tanks, and by the time they'd escaped, Souji had been horribly wounded, bleeding profusely from the side.

Yosuke tried to muster up the power to summon Jiraiya for healing, but to no avail. Where should he- He didn't- couldn't think straight- Souji dying in his arms- think straight, dammit!

Yosuke picked Souji up, trying to keep himself together- Souji dying in his arms- goddammit, think straight!

A faint stirring alerted Youske to the fact that Souji was barely conscious.

"Partner!" Yosuke gasped, Souji's eyes barely open, but at least they were open- think straight, dammit!

"Yosuke..." Souji breathed, "Maybe I should have... Waited until tomorrow."

"Souji, stay with me!" Dammit, why didn't Souji spring for the Goho-M- nothing made any- Keep him awake!

"Heh..." Souji breathed. "I didn't even... Look cool going out..."

Why was he- Only three floors and they'd be fine- He couldn't let this-

"Partner, uh... How about Rise?" asked Yosuke, trying to resume the old conversation like nothing had happened.

Souji grinned, a manic edge to it. "I don't want her to think... I was a chump going out..."

"Dammit Souji, you are not going to die!" Yosuke growled through gritted teeth. Only two floors, Yosuke had evaded the Shadows, they were so close to the fox!

"Look around us, Yosuke..." Souji breathed, "We're miles from the fox..."

"And you'll live for those miles!" Yosuke answered, verging on hysteria.

Souji smiled, his eyes inching shut. "Say... Say I went saving you..."

Yosuke ignored him, now running through the next floor. "Say there were... Ten of them..."

"Dammit Souji, you are not going to die!" Yosuke answered fiercely.

"Ever... The optimist, huh?"

"Souji, you can't die! We need you!" Yosuke paused, "I need you."

"You need me?" Souji asked, each word separated by a gasp for breath.

"I need you… I was jealous of you, but… I need to be even with you. On the same level…"

"I'm dying right now," Souji said with a smirk. "You're able to die too… We're equal now…"

"I…" Yosuke mumbled, "I think I get it…"

"Huh…" mumbled Souji, "Magician up… Heh..." Souji chuckled breathlessly, as his eyes inched shut. Yosuke checked his pulse- still there, but slow. They had one floor, just one floor and he would live- he's dying in your arms- best friend- slowly drifting away- how would they react- They wouldn't react, dammit! Souji needed to live!

Yosuke rushed past the false forest and ran to the base lot, giving the fox his entire wallet and swallowing two leaves whole, slashing at the card with all his might. Jiraiya appeared once, twice, three times, five times, Souji not looking better every time.

No- he can't die- how will we go on- how will I go on- what is there to go on for...?

Yosuke felt like dying then too.