AUTHOR'S ANALYSIS/COMMENTARY/NOTES GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

They're in order of where the excerpt of interest appears in the story.

Love or hate; both a sin.

Choose to lose or choose to win.

I made up this little poem after writing and copy-pasting the whole thing onto docmanager on fanfictionnet. It's supposed to contribute to the title "Choices" and the lines refer to Naoya. If you choose to love him [in the physical sense, as he does later in this story], it's a sin because that, at its core, is incest. Hate him, and you're also committing a sin.

You can choose to lose, that is, lose yourself in the game where he's written the rules and wants you to go onto his path no matter what, or choose to win, which really, I can't explain. I think that's up to the reader to determine what they consider "winning," because honestly, none of the endings in Devil Survivor are complete victories.

There's a soothing voice, the voice of God, maybe?

No.

It's a voice you know too well to be God's.

This is definitely a recurring theme that I'm trying to establish. You haven't heard the voice of God. You've only really been hearing the voice of Naoya. That's the way he wants it to be.

"Wake up."

"Wake up."

"Wake up!"

"Brother."

This is the only time Naoya/Cain ever refers to you as his brother. That's because as the beginning of the game approaches, he never really wants you to know your true relationship. In fact, even if you take his route and other characters consistently refer to you as Abel, you'll never get any information out of him as to why. You can even ask him, at one point, "What's an Abel?" He won't tell you. After this point in the story, he doesn't really want you to know. I think. Lol.

"A dream about me? How flattering." He walks to a window that has never been opened in his time living here, a few years, and parts the off-white curtains casually. Golden sunlight pours in, filling the room. Naoya squints a bit and winces. "The rain stopped."

The light hurts his eyes. [That's a line from one of my Dissidia fanfictions, actually. Teehee.] But yeah. He doesn't much like the golden rays of illumination coming from the heavens. I wonder why.

Your parents are fine with the nights you spend at your cousin's place and when they aren't, they will be. Naoya has ways with persuasion.

This is the first indication that Naoya has some special magical warrior of love and justice powers. In case the outerworldly sex scene earlier didn't tip you off, I mean.

And you wake up and you're so close, so close and you run to the washroom and that's embarrassing because you pass by Naoya's room to get there and his door is always open.

And you're not quite sure if he knows or not.

He totally knows. Naoya is like a first-class creeper. I bet he learned from Loki. [Or vice-versa, irdk]

"What're you working on?"

"Hmm?" Naoya barely spares you a glance, fingers flying and tap-tap-tap-taptaptap-tap-tap noises making a rhythmic beat in the silence of the apartment. "Programming again, of course. I was commissioned recently to do something interesting for some eccentric group. It's nothing significant."

Apart from being the most vague and unhelpful explanation ever, this is where I establish a timeline. You don't know it, of course, but Naoya is working on the program he was commissioned to create by the Shomonkai. You know. That one.

You get up and admire his defined cheekbones and alluring red eyes and wow, he really is handsome and what are you doing? "Do you want a cup of coffee?"

This goes with the part in the game where the narrator pitches in with the informed attribute that Naoya = handsome. It's never mentioned again. But don't worry, Naoya. I'd let you reprogram my server any day.

And you were cast aside, all the ecstasy and heat gone and you shivered because you were naked and this had never happened before and there, there was someone else in your beautiful dream!

Are you taking the serpent of Eden route, then?

Well, imo the serpent of Eden was a bit of the temptress/tempter type. Maybe Naoya actually is taking a page out of that book.

"His generosity? The generosity of God?"

Beautiful laughter, laughter like lethal poison and blades of ice.

We will find and punish you, Cain. Make no mistake. This is a grave transgression.

"All bark and no bite."

Recurring theme and huge part of Naoya's character. He just- well- …yeah, he's not so friendly with the heavenly beings. Or the earthly ones for that matter.

And when you woke up the apartment was empty and a document open on a laptop screen informed you that Naoya had been called out to a business meeting, he would be gone a few weeks, a spare key was under the futon, please lock up before you leave, sorry for the short notice and there was fresh bread and fruit in the kitchen.

Ah, this one's a subtle one. There's fresh bread and fruit in the kitchen, but not meat. No bacon or sausage patties for you, main character- you were the shepherd. Cain was a farmer.

"What do you think of this world, cousin?"

The question is extremely open-ended and takes you by complete surprise.

"I like it," you say cautiously.

"Really? I think you just haven't seen enough of it then." He turns to you and stops walking. "But soon enough, cousin. Soon enough. Sooner than you'd expect, actually. I wonder… will you change your mind then?"

Careful, your answer may not be the one he wants to hear. He makes a reference to the upcoming events that begin the game, so this establishes timeline again.

She looks like an office worker and she's out awfully late and you feel a bit sorry for her because she looks at you, extremely distraught. But she doesn't apologize for running into you. She turns to Naoya and suddenly the wind picks up and her hair is flying everywhere and now she's radiating some painful light, what is this?

"Sariel." Naoya knows her? You feel some strange feeling in your heart because he's smiling at her, wider than ever and he seems more delighted than anything else and for some reason that makes you hate her.

On Atsuro's route you recruit Naoya to help modify the demon summoning program if you can beat him in an annoying battle of HI I HAVE DEVIL'S SPEED AND I'M GONNA RUNALL OVER THIS MAP UNTIL YOU CATCH UP TO ME ALSO HEY LOOK I CAN FLY ISN'T MY BATTLE SPRITE PRETTY? I seem to recall that after that fight an angel is sent to escort Naoya to the Shomonkai facilities. She has the appearance of the brown-haired, green shirt-wearing office lady you sometimes save in battles and stuff. Naoya recognizes her and identifies her by the name "Sariel." It's clear he doesn't like her much.

Naoya. Heed my words. I have been sent by Him to give you this warning. Should you continue to manipulate the boy with your power-

"Did Remiel tell you all about it?" Naoya slithers in front of you, that charming grin still plastered to his face. He shields you from the woman's view and reaches backwards, grabbing your lower arm soothingly. "Your lot certainly took a while to figure out what I was doing, which I can't say is unexpected."

Remiel reference! I actually quite like his character, he's pretty fun to talk to when he's residing inside Amane during the latter half of the game, and he wears some sort of awkward pink ascot scarf thing in his demon design. I was shocked that he was GREEN when I fused him.

And then a higher voice, sounding you'll run, then, with the child? The Lord is not pleased, Cain unforgiving and cold and inhuman.

"Oh, what a travesty. I've displeased his Holiness."

Cain!

Oh Naoya. You are such a snarky little reincarnation. Also now we know a little more about him as this story defines his character; his superpowers are a result of, imo, an oversight by God. He may be human but he's got something extra. Whether it's his own attributes or he's borrowing these magic from demons, we're not sure yet.

What? What's going on? Whose blood is this? It isn't yours, is it? You don't feel hurt. You try to lean forward but Naoya places a hand directly on your chest and pushes you back. You realise that with him above you, straddling you on his bed- it must be his bed, you're in his room, it's a softer mattress than you thought it would be, you've never slept in it- it looks like some twisted parody of a sexual position and with the blood splatter all over you-

This is a very very vague allusion to the first murder that the main character of a mystery novel no one knows encounters. I think it was called "The Deep End" or "The Dark of the Deep" or "The Dark Deep" or something like that. I so can't remember. All I remember is that the author of that book was an ex-FBI agent who wrote a main character with the same age, gender, social status, ex-profession, body type, personality, and ethnic background as his. Yeahhh. [coughtheessentialscough] It's easy to write what's familiar to you, but really? THAT familiar? Anyway, the self-insert of that mystery novel investigated a double murder and commented that the two bodies were placed as though in some sick re-enactment of a sex act.

Naoya is covered in blood too and you grab him- his clothing is stained red, the contrast stark against his light blue T-shirt, but the fabric is unmarred; there are, most importantly, no wounds. On either one of you, it seems. You run your hands down his body, frantic; disbelieving. He hisses through his teeth.

"So hasty," he whispers, and grabs both your hands. "You're realized the blood has no apparent origin. But that's not true; it's actually yours. So tell me, what were you thinking, running in front of that car like that?"

Two things here: one, we now know what Naoya's after- "So hasty"- and two, another mindscrew. Naoya really has some magical warrior of love and justice powers.

"It was going to hit you," you mutter, because you remember that for sure, it was definitely aiming for- no, the car was definitely moving in your direction and your cousin was right in front of you-

"So it was." He smiles. "And I live because of you. Well done."

There is something bitter in his soft, deep voice but you don't really know what, and besides, that doesn't matter anyways-

Yeah. Cain lives on, unable to die peacefully, because of Abel. Well, more accurately, because of what he did to Abel. Naoya's not referring to the fake car crash at all.

"Why- Why are there no injuries?"

"There were." Naoya ducks his head down as he tosses your shirt over a towel rack and you can't see his face as he says, "I healed you."

It's so bizarre and so truthful-sounding that you just accept it, the sweetness of the words that leave his mouth. "Okay."

He probably healed you using a demon. Or Dia or something, idk. This would also explain, possibly, his other creepy powers. Demon usage/magic usage.

The sliding glass doors of the shower are cold and you realize you're shaking as you clutch at the surface. The sweatiness of your palms holds you there and when Naoya turns the water on you wonder briefly why it's immediately hot and doesn't need time to warm up. Ever.

This one is tricky. The water is immediately hot. It doesn't take time to get that way. This is an allusion to my other DeSu fic, "Vis-à-vis," which mentioned that you've noticed Naoya goes from placid to murderous in no time at all. Going even further back, I got that idea from ChibiShiva's words in her fanfic "Perfection," where Cecil of FFIV worries about Golbez being able to go from "zero to murder" in no time at all. Her version is cooler and more concise. Ahaha.

"Come to me."

You take the half-step closer to him and he touches you on the shoulder, nudging. "Turn around."

On the night before the last day, Naoya's email says "[Player Name]. Come to me. Now." I'm pretty sure I fainted from the implications of that all. Seriously. Would YOUR cousin say that to you? Even a cousin as controlling and power-hungry as Naoya? Hmm. Now, would a dominatrix bananahead say that to you late at night while wearing all leather and holding a whip? YES. YES. YES. ["dominatrix bananahead" is a reference to a Persona 4 comic written by hiimdaisy]

You place a hand on the wall in front of you to hold you steady as he positions himself behind you. It takes conscious effort to not thrust back onto his body what is this this feeling, it's so sinful-

A Persona 3 reference. If you play as the female main character in Persona 3 Portable there is an opportunity to have sex with the npc Theodore. He'll say that line about sinful feelings before he… teaches you things.

And his fingers are removed and you feel a nostalgic empty feeling and he kisses you, forces you to twist awkwardly to compensate for his position behind you and he says-

Nostalgic empty feeling is, imo, the feeling Abel had when Cain murdered him. He forces you to twist awkwardly to compensate for his position behind you- that is, in the game, he forces you to do certain things for his benefit. Like, idk, FORSAKING YOUR HUMANITY.

What did he say?

"I said scream." Naoya touches you tenderly with soft palms and short, well-trimmed nails and calloused fingertips. "Scream out for me so loud that God Himself hears."

He thrusts into you and you comply.

And God facepalmed [but still loved all his children all the same.]

You fall asleep as he turns off the shower and you hear the sudden end to the rain-like sounds of the drops onto the tile.

Nearing the end now, the end to the rain-like sounds ties back to the beginning of the story, when Naoya winces as he opens the curtains and mentions that the rain has ended. But now the reader knows a new truth- you ain't seen nothin' yet. The rain may be gone but there's a new storm coming: the events of DeSu.

You are aware of his weight pressing down on you but it's alright, even if he's heavier than you are the weight seems nothing, nothing yet, nothing yet-

The weight he places on you isn't just his body. It's the weight of the burden he's gonna place on you if/when you take his route- and you're right, it's nothing yet, but in a few days it sure will be.

He wakes you up when he kisses you and your state of dreamy half-awareness is broken. You kiss him back weakly and he chuckles into your mouth.

There's one last wide smile, one more and things will never be the same and

"In the days to come, much will strain the relationship between you and me. You may want to betray me. You will question my actions. So tell me, cousin, will I have your love and trust when I most need them?"

-"Yes. I promise."

-"You will."

-"Of course, Naoya. Always."

Right, so, the ending. One last wide smile and things will never be the same, because DeSu is gonna happen. The three non-italics lines at the end represent dialogue choices, you know, the ones you get to make in-game whenever you/your party members Just Don't Get It. ["What's an Abel?"] Note that all three are positive responses. Naoya's got you. For him, it's a mission complete. The fact that Thou Must choose one of these three dialogue branches means that's he's totally won- you, the main character, will be devoted to him throughout the events of Devil Survivor no matter what, and will ultimately aid him in the war against Heaven. Derp.

That's it!

Thank you very much for reading!