so this is the new year
and I don't feel any different

so this is the new year
and I have no resolutions

01. the new year

"I can't believe you actually watch this!" Yukari teased, watching Minako feverishly dial the number displayed on the TV screen. The theme music started up again, signalling Tanaka was all out of stock. Minako huffed, dropping her cell on her desk in outrage.

"I missed out last week as well," she sighed, sitting on her swivelling study chair and propping her stocking-clad feet on the desk. "I really wanted that Yawn-Be-Gone package..."

Yukari just shook her head. No way she was going to admit she had nearly cried when she hadn't been able to get an All-Purpose-Apron a few months back. She was lying on her back atop Minako's bed, staring at her alarm clock waiting for noon to come by. This felt like the first 'proper' Sunday they'd had in a long time, though Yukari couldn't really recall why. Even though the year had just started, a weight seemed to have been lifted from her shoulders. It was disconcerting. Instead, she focused on Minako's cheery clock, how dusty her lamp was, the elaborate music box...

"Hey, this is really cute. When'd you get it?" Yukari lifted it up over her head, noticing how light it was. There were multiple compartments, obviously for jewellery, but all that was there at the moment were bobby pins and some movie ticket stubs. A mirror graced the inside of the lid, and the tune the music box itself played made her feel sentimental. Minako had started painting her fingernails, and only glanced over when the music began to play.

"Oh, Akihiko-senpai gave it to me for Christmas."

Cue beat panel. For a moment, neither of them spoke. Yukari gently placed the music box back next to the clock, then jumped up on Minako's bed, looking as though she was struggling to breathe.

"THAT Akihiko-senpai?"

"Well, do you know any others?" Minako retorted sharply, feeling her face heat up. Okay, so now that she thought about it, it was a bit strange. A lot strange. It had just felt so natural, seeing it there every morning. She hadn't considered how it had come to be hers or why someone like Akihiko Sanada would give it to her.

"Oh my God. Oh. My. God." Yukari fell back down on the bed, laughing to the point of tears. "I mean, oh my God! Does anyone else know? Does his fan club know? Oh my God, does Mitsuru-senpai know?"

"There's nothing TO know, Yukari." Minako replied, distress bleeding into her voice. Her face felt hot and flushed and her hands were shaking. She set aside the small tube of nail polish, even though she'd only managed to paint the first three fingernails on her left hand. The other girl was still laughing, and Minako was praying for something, anything... Her phone rang. The brunette sighed in relief; she could totally kiss whoever had decided to call at that moment. Oh, Junpei. Alright, maybe not.

"Junpei! What's up?" Minako ignored Yukari's exaggerated eye roll, straining to smile as he asked her if she had any plans. "Well, me and Yukari are going to lunch, do you wanna come with? I was thinking Hagakure."

"Wait, what? Forget it, it's way too fattening. We should go to Wakatsu," Yukari interjected loudly, rolling over on Minako's bed to lie on her stomach and glaring at the phone as if Junpei could actually see her. Well, at least now maybe she'd leave the whole 'music box' thing alone.

"Sushi? No way! What about the beef bowl place?" Junpei replied, the grin evident in his tone. It was no surprise he could hear Yukari's shrill voice over the phone. Then again, it was possible he'd heard it through the ceiling. This was going to take a while, and Minako had the feeling the two would continue to disagree just to spite each other.

"Junpei, I'm putting you on speaker," Minako set her cell down on the edge of the bed closer to Yukari. "Junpei says Beef Bowl - any objections?"

"What? That's even worse than Hagakure! Why does he have to come anyway?" The two argued for a while, Yukari becoming increasingly incensed and Junpei going out of his way to get on her nerves. Finally, Minako cut in.

"We are going to compromise. Compromise means... HAGAKURE. Come on, Yukari, you can always have tuna." Yukari sighed, then finally relented, and Junpei suggested Wild Duck Burger but quickly clammed up when Minako threatened to stab him in the eye with a hot french fry should they be forced to eat there.

"Alright, Hagakure it is! I'll meet you guys downstairs." Junpei sounded excited. Minako picked up her phone and ended the call before slipping it into the pocket of her skirt. She fumbled through her desk drawers, panicking briefly when she couldn't find her MP3 player, then realising it was probably still entangled in her school uniform. Grabbing her scarf and her headphones from the closet, she headed for the bedroom door.

"Well, let's get going." Yukari nodded in response and pulled herself up off Minako's bed, glancing at the music box next to her alarm clock once more. Definitely weird. She'd have to bring it up again another time, when Minako wasn't so on edge. Really, it wasn't even that big a deal. Okay, so it was, but she couldn't really say that, could she? The pair met Junpei in the second floor hallway, who was bouncing on the balls of his feet with impatience. The instant he met Minako's gaze, his face split into a bright smile, which faltered ever so slightly when Yukari spoke.

"Jeez, Junpei, do you ever not wear that dumb hat? I'm starting to wonder if you even have hair under there." She flicked her hair back, coolly brushing past him and walking down the stairs. Minako threw him an apologetic glance to which Junpei shrugged before following Yukari down to the lounge.

"C'mon, Yuka-tan, this hat gives me plus two defence against girls!" Junpei replied loudly as he and Minako exchanged a quick smirk.

Minako knew, given the choice, both of them would have preferred to have spent the day alone with her. Yukari was nowhere near as much of a... drama queen when she and Minako were alone, and Junpei dropped all of his pretensions and they always genuinely had a good time. Together, she got less of both of them. Minako shook the thought from her mind. It was a bit conceited, after all.

"Ugh, whatever, Stupei. If you're so obsessed with that Online Sin gam-"

"Innocent Sin Online." Both Minako and Junpei corrected in unison, and Yukari pulled the most offended expression the two had ever seen. It was Minako who started snickering first, Junpei joining in obnoxiously, and Yukari rolled her eyes once before letting her features relax into a dainty smile. Which, they noticed a bit too late, was not directed at them.

"Oh, Senpai. I didn't realise you were here." Yukari spoke liltingly, glancing back at Minako and raising her eyebrows suggestively. Minako cringed, trying to telepathically communicate with the other girl in some small measure - 'shut up shut up shut up shut up...'

"Hey," Akihiko replied, nonplussed. He looked up and smiled half-heartedly, then went back to stitching up his boxing gloves. How the things had managed to get so damaged in training, he just couldn't figure out. "I'm waiting for Mitsuru, we have a friend in the hospital we're going to visit."

"Oh, yeah, Shinjiro-senpai, right? I hope he recovers soon." Yukari replied awkwardly. Akihiko nodded, but didn't even bother to look up. Yukari coughed. Akihiko kept sewing. "Okay. You know what would be great? Changing the subject!" The girl stared at Minako with a blatant 'help me' expression on her face, and Minako just grinned back triumphantly.

"Uh, that's a cool scarf, senpai," Junpei interjected, and Yukari had the good grace to look both surprised and thankful. The scarf itself was nice, Minako agreed. She had made it, after all. The wool was dark red, close in colour to the sweater vest Akihiko wore with his uniform. Big stars were knitted throughout in a slightly lighter red. The trim on either end was cream coloured to match his casual blazer and slacks.

"Ha. Thanks. Minako-chan made it."

Silence. Minako could feel both Junpei and Yukari's eyes on her, and she was fairly certain she looked like she was having an aneurysm. Akihiko seemed even more fascinated by his boxing gloves, but Minako could see his stitches becoming uneven. He looked up tentatively, his cheeks dusted pink, and she felt something warm and familiar flare up in her chest. But when their eyes met, she felt little else but confusion, as if she had forgotten something very important.

"Cool. Heh. Anyway. We should get going," Junpei cut in, and Minako really could have kissed him right there. He nudged her over to the front door, opening it and lightly pushing Minako out in front of him. "C'mon, Yuka-tan, hurry up!"

"R-right!" Yukari tore her eyes from her senpai, rushing out after Junpei and closing the door behind her. She felt Akihiko's eyes upon them as they passed the window. The walk to the strip mall was undertaken in silence, Junpei at Minako's right hand and Yukari walking a few paces ahead of them. Eventually, Junpei, her saviour, her best friend, broke the ice between them.

"I can't believe you're actually getting tuna at Hagakure." Yukari stopped, waiting the two seconds it took for them to catch up to her, and fell in step with Minako.

"...Forget the tuna, Stupei. We're getting the special."

"Can I get appetisers as well?" Minako asked with a grin. Yukari snorted, Junpei burst out laughing. It was the best sound she'd heard all year.

Disclaimer: I don't own P3P, it owns me.

A/N: The original plan was put iTunes on shuffle, then write something small for each song. This was before I realised how much garbage I have in my iTunes. Then it became, "Okay, I'll do it for P3P, but I'll just put all my Death Cab for Cutie albums on shuffle". And eventually, it came down to Transatlanticism, my favourite of the lot. I know right now it's all about the POWER OF JUNPE... I MEAN, FRIENDSHIP, but hopefully you'll enjoy it...
Set mostly in February 2010 (not in chronological order, there will probably be flashbacks/forwards), S.E.E.S. have lost their memory of Persona, the Dark Hour, and social links (kind of).

Track 02 is 'lightness' and it's on the way.