I hadn't written a one-shot in awhile, so I figured I'd flex my muscles and do something fun and WAFF-tastic. This story is based off an RP between me and Lady Starwing and I think it came out pretty damn well. Personally, I find this fic to be a nice little bridge for the Priestess Social Link between Ranks 9 and MAX. I hope you enjoy! Also, this site needs more Souji/Yukiko! :D
In the quiet town of Inaba, summer vacation is beginning to wind down. At the Samegawa River, a young mat sat on the stone dock with fishing pole in hand, looking for the legendary Samegawa Guardian.
"This is so boring..." Souji Seta let out a long sigh. "Ever since we caught that bastard Mitsuo, there's been nothing to do. Not even beating that big Shadow that appeared afterward helped. Eh, at least I got a badass sword of out it," he jerked the line a couple of times. "The fish aren't biting today. What a waste."
"Oh, here you are Souji-kun!"
The sound of his name being called out got Souji's attention and he whipped around to see a young lady with long, black hair, a red headband in her hair, a plain black t-shirt, white knee-length skirt, and a pair of silver sandals. "Oh! Yukiko-chan! What are you doing here? I thought you'd be busy at the inn with a last rush for vacations before September."
Yukiko shook her head. "It's been quiet for this past week; Mother sent me outside to get some sun," she settled down next to Souji, letting out a happy sigh.
"Well, you do have a tendency to look as pale as a vampire, no offense," said Souji. "At least you've gotten a healthier glow to you since we started fighting Shadows."
"Its okay," Yukiko nodded. "Chie always did say I needed a bit more tan. I do wonder how that happened though…" she furrowed her eyebrows, seriously thinking it over. "The Midnight Channel doesn't seem to have sunlight."
"Most likely that damnable sauna," Souji let out a shudder. "That was one awful place.
Yukiko nodded in agreement, having equally bad memories about it. "So ... what are you doing here, Souji-kun? The river's not the best place to be by yourself."
"I'm fishing," Souji brought attention to the rod in his hands. "I've heard rumors about a 'Samegawa Guardian' here."
"The Samegawa Guardian?" Yukiko gasped. "That's a legendary fish! No one's caught him in fifty years."
"So I've heard," Souji looked back out to the river. "I wanted to see if I could catch it for the old man who hangs out around here, but it's been boring, like everything else around here recently," he then looked over to his companion. "What are you doing here, by the way? From the way you called out to me, it seemed that you were looking for me."
I just wanted to spend time with you," Yukiko gave him a gentle, shy smile. "I've been working so much recently that I haven't been able to spend much time with you."
"Thanks," Souji smiled back. "Say, since you're now here, how about we go do something? I just have to gather my gear and drop it off at home first. After that, I'm yours for the day."
"If you want," Yukiko agreed as a flash of movement caught her eye. "Uhhh… Souji-kun?" she pointed out to the river. "Is the floater supposed to do that?"
Souji looked over to the river, where he saw his floater bobbing up and down. "Whoa!" he took a tight grip on his rod. "DAMN! This is a huge one!" he pulled back hard, trying to reign the fish in. "I got a fighter here!"
"Get it Souji-kun!" Yukiko cheered her leader on.
"Augh..." Souji kept pulling on the fishing rod, trying hard not to fall into the river. "Yukiko, get ready to catch it! There's a net right behind you!"
"What? Where?" Yukiko quickly looked around before spotting a fishing net near by. "Found it! I'm ready, Souji-kun!"
"Gotcha! Get ready! Here... we... GO!" Souji yanked really hard on the line, causing a giant fish to fly into the air. "Holy… Yukiko! Go for it!"
Yukiko lunged forward with same grace she uses in battle with the Shadows, managing catching the fish. "Did I get… Ah!"
"Yukiko!" He made an attempt to grab her, but he missed, and Yukiko fell into the river. "Yukiko! Are you okay?"
"I… I'm okay," Yukiko replied. "Is… Is it still in there?" she held up the net.
Souji's eyes nearly fell out of his head at the sight of what's in the net; in the net was a giant golden fish that was as large as he was! "HOLY SHIT, that's a huge fish! You think this is the Guardian?"
"I ... it might be…" Yukiko brushed the wet hair out of face, allowing her to look at the fish in the net. "WOW! It's certainly huge; no wonder I fell in the river when I tried to catch it."
"Here, let me help you up," Souji held out his hand to Yukiko.
"Thank you Souji-kun," she took his hand and, with his assistance, managed to stand up. "This fish is heavy…"
"Here, let me take care of it," Souji took the net from her and swung it over his shoulder before leading Yukiko out of the water.
"Aeeehhh… I'm completely soaked…" Yukiko frowned as she tugged at her shirt, which was clinging to her like a layer of skin.
"So am I…" Souji was fighting the urge to start at Yukiko's chest, easily enhanced by the soaked black shirt. "How about we head back to my house? I can give Nanako the fish to prep for dinner and we can get dried off. My house is a lot closer than your house, anyways."
"Alright," Yukiko gave him a small smile. "Thank you, Souji-kun. How is Nanako-chan, anyway?"
"She's doing fine; She's so happy her homework's done," Souji happily replied. "She's one big ball of joy. She's so happy that she's rivaling Rise-chan right now."
"That's good," Yukiko let out a couple of giggles. "It's always nice to see that there's some honest happiness in the world right now."
"I agree. So how about we head out before you catch a cold?" Souji asked, looking concerned about Yukiko's health.
"Yes, lets," Yukiko replied, taking Souji's free hand.
"Big bro! Yukiko-nee-chan!" Nanako greeted Souji and Yukiko. "Oh my! You're both soaked!"
"Yeah. We had a bit of trouble with this guy," Souji showed Nanako the Guardian they managed to catch.
"Ooo! That's a huge fish, big bro!" Nanako gazed in amazement at the fish. "Where did you get it?"
"From the Samegawa River; we believe it to be the Guardian," Yukiko informed her.
"What?" Nanako gasped. "THAT'S the Guardian? Wow…"
"Yeah, and it's our dinner, Nanako. You think you can do something with it?" Souji asked.
"Of course!" Nanako chirped. "I've love to! Thanks! Would you put it on the counter for me then go get yourselves dried off?"
"Sure thing, little sis," Souji nodded.
After leaving the fish with Nanako, Souji made a beeline for the upstairs bathroom to dry off while Yukiko took the downstairs bathroom. After drying off, throwing on a black bathrobe that Nanako gave her on Souji's behalf, and hung her clothes outside to dry, she headed upstairs to Souji's room and knocked on the door.
"Come on in, the door's open," Souji called out to her.
Walking inside of Souji's room, Yukiko couldn't help but feel nervous. She found Souji sitting on the couch, drying off his hair, opting for a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt.
"Hey there, Yukiko-chan," he greeted her. "It'll be awhile before your clothes dry out, I assume. You mind staying for dinner? I'll lend you some of my clothes in the meantime."
"Oh, that's fine," Yukiko gave him a small bow. "I told Mother that I would be spending time with friends. And then I told Chie that I'd try and find you. She offered to cover for us if Mother started calling for us."
"Really now?" Souji looked at her suspiciously. "You'd lie to your mother just to see me?"
"Well, I…" Yukiko couldn't help but blush. "I… I just really wanted to see you today, Souji-kun."
"That's fine," Souji smiled at her. "I was hoping I'd see you at some point before school stared as well. Do you think your mother would mind you staying here for dinner, Yukiko-chan?"
"I don't think she'd mind me staying for dinner…" Yukiko thought about it for a moment. "Let me call her."
"Sure. Let me step out for a moment so you can change as well. I left you a change of clothes on the table," Souji opened the door and stepped out of the room.
Yukiko reached into the bathrobe and pulled out her phone, dialing a number. "Hello, Mother? Yes, I'm at my friend Seta-san's place. He's asked if I can stay for dinner. …No, I'm not alone, Mother. His cousin and uncle will be here as well. …It's being cooked right now. …Uh-huh, uh-huh oh! Okay, I'll make certain to be back before then. Goodnight Mother."
"You changed yet?" Souji called out from the other side of the door.
"Oh! Sorry! Not yet!" Yukiko called out as she looked over to the table; Souji had left her a large t-shirt and a pair of jeans. She peeled the bathrobe off her body, leaving her in nothing but her black undergarments before sliding the t-shirt over her head before pulling on the jeans. "You're a lot taller than me, Souji-kun…" Yukiko frowned, the pants being several inches too long for her. Fortunately, Souji had anticipated this and had left a belt for her. Looping it through the pants and around her waist, it held up on her slender frame, making her feel at ease, no longer worrying about tripping or the pants dropping.
"Poor Souji-kun; I must've kept him waiting," Yukiko frowned as she opened the door. "Sorry I took so long," she greeted him as she tied her hair into a ponytail.
"It's okay, Yukiko-chan," Souji brushed off her concerns. "Would your rather hang out downstairs or up here? And what did your mother say?"
"Either or," Yukiko replied. "I just have to be home before noon tomorrow, and Mother doesn't want me wandering outside after dark…"
"Oh? In that case, would you like to stay overnight?" Souji offered.
"If… If that's not a trouble to you, Souji-kun," a faint blush grazed Yukiko's cheeks.
"No, it's not a trouble at all," Souji shook his head, confirming his answer.
"Ah, all right," Yukiko smiled, her face still lit up with a blush. "Thank you Souji-kun."
"Of course. How about we go back into my room? When Nanako starts cooking, hoo boy, she becomes a general in the kitchen," Souji let out a laugh.
"The two of you must do most of the cooking in the house," Yukiko walked back inside the room, Souji right behind her.
"That we do," Souji shut the door behind him. She's a much better cook than I, though."
"But you cook so well yourself, Souji-kun!" Yukiko protested, a bit surprised at what he told her. "You'd make a wonderful cook if you wanted to do that for a profession!"
"Yes, I suppose so," Souji sat down on the couch. "Would your mother hire me to work at the inn to cook?"
"I believe so," Yukiko sat down next to him. "I took a little of the bento you made for me home, and had her try it."
"What?" Souji gasped, surprised she had done such a thing. "You did? Why?"
"I wanted to show her how good you were, Souji-kun," Yukiko looked away, embarrassed. She was so amazed when I said that one of my friends made it; she knows Chie and I cannot cook to save our lives."
"Mystery Food X…" Souji uttered the first thing that came to mind, his face actually turning green from recalling that gastrointestinal nightmare.
"Oh, do you still taste that, Souji-kun?" Yukiko frowned, saddened that she brought up horrible memories for him.
Souji shook his head, the green fading from his face. "I know Yosuke does in his nightmares. As for me, I just try to forget it."
"I… I'm sorry that we asked you to try it…" Yukiko looked at lap, embarrassed at her and Chie's infamous creation.
Souji wrapped an arm around Yukiko's shoulders to comfort her. "Don't worry about it so much, Yukiko-chan; you're learning."
"…Slowly…" Yukiko leaned into Souji's hold, taking in his scent.
"I missed hanging out with you; it's been quite boring the last few days without you around," Souji let out a sigh.
Yukiko nodded as she too let out a sigh. "School should be starting up again soon…"
"Yeah. Second semester. I wonder what it'll be like?" Souji wondered aloud.
"I honestly don't know ... I just hope that with Kubo in prison, the murders stop for good now…" Yukiko clenched her shirt in her fists.
"Even though we got Mitsuo, I still can't help but feel a little cautions. If they let him near a TV, he could just escape again, but we'll be ready if that happens. I just hope we can finally get some peace," Souji let out a deep sigh, wanting that peace more than anything.
"Who knows…" Yukiko snuggled in closer to Souji. "Hey… did you notice that Kubo's Shadow didn't turn into a Persona after it was beaten?"
"I did. Normally, a person either accepts their true self and they gain a Persona or they reject it and are killed. But why was Mitsuo's different? Why didn't his Shadow become a Persona or consume him?" Souji wondered aloud.
"I don't know," Yukiko shook her head. "I'm not worried about it, however."
"Neither am I," Souji agreed with her. "And even if something comes out of it, we can handle it, right?"
"As long as I'm with you, I can handle anything," Yukiko promised her friend.
"You're very capable, Yukiko-chan; you don't need me so much," Souji assured her. "But I'm glad to help."
"Mmhm…" Yukiko closed her eyes and nestled her head against Souji's shoulder, feeling very relaxed in his hold.
Souji let out a happy-sounding sigh as his smile changed from gentle to nervous. "Hey… Yukiko-chan…"
"Hmmm?" Yukiko opened her eyes and stared right into Souji's eyes. "What is it, Souji-kun?"
"Listen… I…" beads of sweat began rolling down his forehead as he rubbed the back of his head with his free hand. "Can… can I tell you something?"
"Yes?" Yukiko looked on curiously."I… I enjoy being with you," he sheepishly admitted.
"I enjoy being with you too, Souji-kun," Yukiko gave him a cheerful smile.
"I'm glad. I…" Souji trailed off, unsure if he wanted to continue.
"Souji-kun?" Yukiko sat up and looked at him with a curious expression. "Are you feeling well? Is something wrong?"
"I'm fine," Souji gave her a wry smile. "Just… I'm just a bit nervous."
"Nervous about what?" Yukiko asked, concerned for her friend.
"I…" Souji took a couple of deep breaths; whatever was bothering him really had him rattled. "I've wanted to tell you something for awhile now."
"Yeah," Souji took a few more deep breaths. "Ever since I met you… I've found myself happy."
"You've made me happy too," Yukiko took his hand and gently squeezed it. "You've done so much for me and the others these last few months."
"Thank you, Yukiko-chan…" Souji's smile and posture relaxed, his nerves easing off a little. "I… over the last few months, I…"
"You what, Souji-kun?" Yukiko tilted her head to one side, waiting what Souji was about to tell her.
"I… I found myself falling for you…" Souji confessed his feelings to the girl in his arms, a blush creeping up his face.
"Souji-kun…?" Yukiko fought back a blush, her face showing a myriad of expressions: shock, bashfulness, elation, and joy.
"I… I found myself in love with you, Yukiko-chan; you're just too amazing in my eyes," Souji put all his cards down on the table, admitting the true feelings he held for this girl.
"So… Souji-kun…" Yukiko twiddled her fingers and stared at her lap, blushing just as red as her famous sweater and headband.
"…Yes?" Souji tensed up, waiting for Yukiko's response with baited anticipation.
"I… ah, I…" She looked up and made eye contact with Souji, a serious expression on her face. "I… I love you… I love you too. It just felt so weird when I first figured out what it was I felt for you…" She then looked away, her tone saddening. "But I… I was so worried about what you would think… you saw my darkness before you knew me as a whole…"
"We all have darkness, Yukiko; it's how we deal with it that decides who we are," Souji assured her, forgetting about the love confession for the moment.
"Souji…?" Yukiko bit her lower lip, not really sure what to say.
"I have my own darkness as well, Yukiko-chan," Souji let out a bitter sigh. "However, unlike the rest of you, I haven't had it exposed. I'm not sure how you guys would handle that if it did…"
"You're so open about what you think, Souji-kun…" said Yukiko. "I don't think that we'll have to fight it. Although…" She took a moment to ponder something over. "How did you gain a Persona, since you didn't have to fight your Shadow?"
"Honestly? I don't know," Souji gave her a weak shrug, knowing his answer wasn't a good one.
"Hmmm…" she moved in closer to Souji, but… "RAWR!" her stomach crided out. "Oh…" she felt so embarrassed for making such a sound.
"Hehe. Hungry much?" Souji couldn't help but smirk at her.
"Yes…" Yukiko's face lit up with a pink blush. "I'm sorry. I really haven't eaten all day and I was more worried about seeing you and…"
"It's okay," Souji cut her off before she could say more. "I imagine that Nanako's about done with dinner. And if not, we can raid the fridge."
"All right…" Yukiko reluctantly got up.
Souji stood up as well, a small smile on his face. "Hey, Yukiko-chan?"
"Ye…. Whoa!" Yukiko was suddenly wrapped into a bear hug by her companion, his head resting on top of hers.
"I love you," he smiled into her hair.
"I love you too," Yukiko snuggled into his chest, taking in his scent, his warmth, and his heartbeat.
"Yukiko…" Souij pulled back and stared right into her coal eyes.
"Souji…" Yukiko pushed herself up, inching closer to him.
Their lips met together in a tender kiss that was chaste, yet loving. Yukiko wrapped her arms around his neck while Souji took hold of her by the waist. Their lips remained locked for about a minute before they separated, Yukiko snuggling back into her new boyfriend's chest.
"So, you still hungry?" Souji gave her a light-hearted smirk.
"Yeah, I kinda am…" Yukiko murmured.
"That's not what I meant," he chuckled.
"Oh!" Yukiko realized what he had been talking about. "Hehehe…" she fell into one of her famous giggle fits.
"Yukiko…" Souji could only shake his head.
"S-sorry…" Yukiko managed to calm herself down. "No, I'm no longer hungry, Souji-kun. I… I've been waiting a long time for this."
"You… You have?" Souji looked at her, feeling disappointed. "How long have I kept you waiting?"
"Not too long, Souji-kun," Yukiko shook her head. "Just since when were at the shrine the last time. When… when you told me you liked me…"
"That was right after we took care of Mitsuo and that was about three weeks ago…" Souji looked down. "I'm sorry for making you wait like that."
"Like I said, its okay, Souji-kun. We're together now and that's all that matters," Yukiko just couldn't stop smiling.
"Yeah… you're right…" Souji copied Yukiko's contagious smile.
"Um… Souji-kun…" Yukiko decided to switch topics. "Do you… have a spare room here?"
"Actually, this IS the spare room," he gestured to the room they were in.
"I see…" her face lost its color. "Uh… And you still don't mind me staying here tonight?"
"Of course not," Souji assured her. "I'll take the couch. You can have my futon."
"But the couch looks uncomfortable to sleep on!" Yukiko protested the decision. "You're so much taller than I am; I should take the couch."
"I insist you take the futon," Souji argued. "It's not right to make you take the couch."
"I can sleep on the couch, Souji-kun," Yukiko argued back. "I can sleep anywhere; I don't want you to be uncomfortable."
"Big bro! Yukiko-san! Dinner's ready!" Nanako called out from the kitchen downstairs.
"I guess it's time for dinner. And to solve our problem, why don't we both take the futon?" Souji offered a solution to their dilemma.
"…Sounds fine with me," Yukiko gave a small nod, blushing scarlet at the possible implications.
"Good. We should probably get going; Nanako gets snappy when dinner's not eaten right away," Souji warned her.
"I can't say I blame her," Yukiko let out a couple of giggles as she walked towards the door. "Well, let's go then."
"Sure. I'll let you have first dibs," Souji offered.
"Thank you, Souji-kun," Yukiko opened the door so they could leave.
"Big bro! Hurry up!" Nanako shouted at them from downstairs.
"We're coming! Be right there!" Souji shouted back before holding his hand. "Let's go, Yukiko."
"Yes. Let's go, Souji," Yukiko took hold of his hand, reveling in his gentle grip.