It's ISTF with a new idea. If you're here, there's a few things I have to warn you of. Some justifiable angst - a Persona trait - and some homosexual relations. Not slash. Not yaoi. Legit guys dating. It will only be fluffy where appropriate, both males will have testosterone and gender roles are out the window. This one pairing will be Kanji/MC. The others are all het. What are they? Not telling. I just figured I would be up front about there being that since there are people who dislike that sort of thing, and not everyone has the pleasure of being raised as open-mindedly as other people. Enjoy the Prologue.

Prologue: Makotsu-hen (Sonzai shite wa naranai kioku)

Makotsu was beginning to think there was a reason that humans didn't remember their past lives. He didn't believe in reincarnation, to be honest, but apparently it believed in him.

Or maybe it was the sadistic twat with the oversized nose that did. He hadn't remembered the first several times that he had been brought back. Now he did, and remembered the losses he had suffered. He'd failed Yukiko first. Then the second time, it had been Kanji. Then Rise. Then Naoto. He managed to save the detective, but then Nanako fell into the world within the TV. He'd failed her, and the world had been engulfed in fog… and now he was once more on the train to…

"We have arrived at Inaba station. Please prepare to disembark."

Makotsu looked up at the roof of the train and sighed. Igor hadn't contacted him this time. He wondered what awaited him. Had it changed? Would it change?

The brunette with dark eyes put his iPod in, and closed his eyes as he stepped off of the train. There was a loud click, and he opened them.

"Welcome, my dear young man, to the Velvet Room."

Makotsu stared at the ancient Shinto shrine around him, and at the implike proprietor who sat on its steps, for once not smiling.

"Igor. It's changed."

Igor smiled sadly and nodded. "Your change in circumstance is what changed it. You wanted to be able to save them all, and whatever was out there heard you. This time… you remember. But it comes with a price."

"I know. There's no going back this time – it's all or nothing. Especially since they're dead."

Igor nodded. "Yes. That was the price. Your parents' lives were not in vain, I assure you. You may wonder why this place looks as it does…"

Makotsu snickered. "Not really. I know exactly why." He felt cold and tired. "How's Margaret?"

Igor waved a hand. "Tending the cotton." True to his word, she was raking a bed of cotton with a hoe that had tags upon it. He smiled. "It's a new sort of compendium, my young friend. And now you can access it. That, along with your memories, is your opponent's one boon."

Makotsu sighed. "I'm going to have a Shadow this time, no matter what. Last time Izanagi came because I was a blank slate. This time…"

Igor shrugged. "We'll see. For now, take this… I'll contact you only as needed herein."

Makotsu felt the familiar weight of the Velvet Key settle in his pocket. "See you around Igor, Margaret."

"Indeed you shall, Hiranya Makotsu. I look forward to it."

Margaret gave a wan smile as azure cotton spores flooded the air and clouded Makotsu's vision.

Makotsu opened his eyes and kept walking, smirking as he listened to the song his iPod had turned to. It was oddly appropriate.

Kono yubi tomare watashi no yubi ni

Sono yubi goto tsuretette ageru

Higurashi ga naku akazu no mori e

Ato modori wa mou dekinai.

He paused as he saw the approaching figures of his uncle and cousin, and sighed as he felt a new yet familiar weight settle. "You took away my old life. It's time to claim a new one, you fog-wielding creep. Game on." He grinned and raised a hand in greeting as Dojima and Nanako walked forward.

This time, he was taking everything back.

Each day for your treachery, I shall claim one thousand souls!

Then each day shall one thousand five hundred more be born.

And if I should claim these souls?

Then I shall claim knowledge and memory.

Very well. We'll see if he can survive the breaking.

He isn't me. There are those who will support him.

Who can protect him from the burden you've placed?

We'll see if your assumption holds merit, dear wife. He isn't me. Not anymore.

Alright, explanation time. Makotsu is the MC. Souji is straight. He doesn't do angst save in big situations (which admittedly, are occuring - death of parents is big, and will play a more visible role past this one page or so). These are canon. Makotsu is more malleable as an OC, but will retain Souji's strength, which will be under considerable strain from the beginning. In short, a more burdened protagonist with more flexible sexuality. Not an ideal Fool, but I can add a secondary Arcana further along in the Tarot as was done in Persona 3. (Hint: This is going to happen.)

The idea of a Groundhog Day Loop/Alternate Timeline with one person remembering put me in mind of Higurashi, hence the title. I will split the story into -hen chapters for each character depending on whose shadow is showing up. Then I'll put a subtitle in horribly butchered Japanese courtesy of Google Translate to indicate the theme. Makotsu-hen, Yosuke-hen, and Chie-hen will be short, one to two or three chapters each covering a number of days. The others will be a bit longer. Translation of this one's is "Memories that should not exist."

This will not be a fluid story. It will be a series of snapshots into Social Links and Events. The only Quests shown will be those for the Hermit Link. Empress will take on a new meaning since a fairly complete compendium is available. And the only fights will be boss battles - mini and Greater Shadow bosses. If I had to write all of the normal battles, I would flip.

I'm going to go to the script for inspiration, but this is not Souji we have here. Different people interact differently. This is a guy who has lost his parents and home, and is now heading into what he knows full well will be a fight for his life and will have to meet with people he's known before and will not remember him. Party links will occur, but some links (Temperance, cough cough) will be relocated to other characters.

And as for Izanagi's little quip at the end? Makotsu will start with Izanagi. But he'll end with a hell of a lot more. This will have some twists, but I don't plan to deviate from the main shell of the plot. And there will be craziness. Much, much craziness. After all, this is Persona no Naku Koro Ni.

Let the fucked-up times roll.