This story is pretty much a re-imagining of Persona 4 in a Final Fantasy universe. Everyone has a first name only, and every important character has his or her own class. I tried to stick to each characters' personalities, but I apologize if they get OOC every once in a while. Three characters' names have been changed to add to the FF air: Ryotaro Dojima is Cid, Kou is Wedge, and Daisuke is Biggs. I also made Teddie a robot, because I thought that would work best. Everyone is 5-6 years older in this story, placing most of them in their early 20s. I don't think there's anything else to add...If you have questions, just e-mail me or something. I'll try to update every week or so; we'll see.
I don't own Persona 4, Persona 3, or Final Fantasy.
Yasogami, Amagi: Castle Throne Room
The princess of Amagi gazed out the window and heaved a bored sigh. She would be meeting with the emperor soon, perhaps within the next week, in order to discuss diplomacy. The emperor had been expanding his land recently, and Amagians did not want their kingdom to be the next to come under his rule. The king and queen had asked their daughter to be their diplomat, hoping that that would appear to be a show of goodwill and trust toward their powerful ally. Princess Yukiko had been told that she would be allowed two bodyguards of her own choosing, and Yukiko had yet to decide on whom to bring.
"Ahem," someone coughed, snapping Yukiko out of her bored stupor. A rugged man was standing in the doorway to the throne room, his arms crossed. He had graying hair despite being quite young, and careless stubble speckled his chin.
"Yes?" Yukiko asked hesitantly. It was rare that anyone came to speak with her when they knew the king and queen weren't around. Her parents were visiting Port Island to discuss important affairs with Lady Mitsuru.
"Pardon the intrusion, Yer Highness," the man rumbled, scratching his chin lazily, "But I thought I oughtta ask ya about yer mode of transportation for yer meetin' with the emperor."
"I will be going by airship, of course," Yukiko replied. What else would she do, ride a chocobo? "And are you not the best pilot we have, Cid?"
"Pshaw," he chuckled, "I'm only an engineer. I do have an idea fer a pilot though, if yer still lookin'."
Yukiko raised an eyebrow in interest. Cid was rarely one to praise another's skill, much less recommend them for something he could easily do on his own.
"My apprentice could use some experience," Cid began, "An' I was hopin' you wouldn't mind lettin' 'im take ya."
"Your apprentice…?" Yukiko searched the annals of her memory rapidly, trying to recall the young man's name.
"Naoto, Yer Grace," the man supplied. "He's a good kid, an' I'm sure he'll get ya there in one piece."
"I have no objection," she declared. The pilot mattered little, really. As far as the princess was concerned, all that was important was that she get to Adachi in one piece.
Cid grunted and bowed, leaving Yukiko to her own thoughts once again. She looked out the window, but this time she turned her attention to the courtyard. Two knights were sparring heatedly and Yukiko watched, intrigued, as a new figure joined them. The newcomer was a familiar-looking girl who couldn't have been much older than Yukiko, and her gait as she approached the combatants suggested an air of confidence. Where have I seen her before? the princess wondered, arching an elegant brow in contemplation.
Yasogami, Amagi: Castle Courtyard
"I said," the girl growled, brushing light brown hair from her eyes, "I bet I can take both of you on. You're trained knights, aren't you?"
"Listen, lady, you don't look like you know the first thing about swordplay," one of the men said.
"Who said I would be using a sword?" she demanded. She began to hop from one foot to the other and raised her fists, her eyes burning with a fighter's spirit. Her heart was pounding with excitement and she was itching for a fight with these misogynist assholes.
"Both of us at the same time? That's not very sportsmanlike," the second man said. "Why don't you take her on, Biggs? You're a better fighter than me."
"Damn straight," Biggs snorted. He unsheathed his sword and let the light play off the blade for a moment. "Watch carefully, Wedge. Try to learn something from my technique."
Wedge smirked; he was willing to bet money on the girl winning this fight, because he had seen her around town before. She was the sort of person who liked to leave town to go fight monsters for fun. There was no way his buddy could touch her.
"Oh?" the girl asked, "Are we starting, then?"
It was over before Biggs could settle into a fighting stance. The girl sent a flying kick to his stomach and he doubled over and fell to his knees, wheezing. There was a definite dent in his armor where the girl had kicked him and the air had been completely knocked out of his lungs from the impact.
"Dammit," he swore, taking off his helmet to increase oxygen intake.
"What was that?" the girl demanded. "I've fought cockatrices that were tougher than that. What about you?" She turned to Wedge, waiting to see what his reaction would be.
"I'm not much of a fighter, miss," Wedge protested, backing away. "Biggs and I'll just be on our way, if you don't mind." He nodded curtly and went to assist his friend, who was still panting from the blow.
"Sheesh," she muttered, blowing a strand of hair out of her eyes. The young woman glanced up at the castle and was surprised to see someone watching her. The other woman had long black hair and a silver tiara that glinted in the sunlight. Realizing that she had been discovered, the other woman leaned further out the window.
"Excuse me," she called, "But would you mind coming inside? I wish to speak with you."
"Is that…?" the woman murmured, squinting up at the window. There was no way to tell for sure from this distance, so she jogged round to the front of the castle. Noting with distaste that the gate wasn't even guarded, she pushed it open and strutted inside. The woman who had observed her was walking toward her as quickly as her dress would allow, which really wasn't very quickly at all.
"Erm," she said, unsure of how to proceed. Was she supposed to curtsey or something? Her current attire wouldn't work well for that, and bowing would just seem weird…
"It is you!" the woman cried, "Chie, it's been ages!"
How does she…? Wait a sec. Chie thought back, trying to chase a memory that nagged at the back of her mind. She remembered a girl with long dark hair…they were friends, once. Good friends.
"…Yukiko?" she asked, peering at the woman before her, "I didn't know that you were a—well, um, a-"
"A princess?" Yukiko guessed, giggling, "I probably should have told you that sooner, huh?"
"Oh my God!" Chie cried, wrapping her old friend in a tight embrace, "It's been, like, three years!"
"I knew it was you when I saw you kick that guy," Yukiko said, dragging Chie into the palace, "There's no mistaking a girl who can kick like that. You're a legend, Chie!"
"Wh-What do you mean by that?" Chie squawked, "Just because I can be violent sometimes doesn't mean that I'm the only girl who runs around kicking people!"
Both women collapsed into fits of laughter, earning them glares from anyone who happened to wander by.
"Whoops," the princess giggled, "I forgot. I need to keep up appearances in public. Come on, let's go to the throne room; no one will go there since my parents are on vacation."
"Oh yeah, I heard about that. Port Island, right?"
"Uh huh. I mean, yes. It seems like being with you again is bringing out all my old bad habits."
"I have that effect on people," Chie quipped cheerfully. "So, how are you doing? Last time I saw you, you were running around and pretending to be the inn-keeper's daughter."
"Well," the princess said, laughing nervously, "I guess I wasn't sure how you'd react if you knew I was really the princess. I-" she paused, wondering if she ought to tell the truth: that back then she had wanted to know if she could make a true friend that wouldn't just be nice to her because of her status. "Does it change anything?" she asked.
"Of course not," the other woman scoffed, "Why should it? You're still you."
"Yes, you're right. Thanks, Chie."
"Psh," Chie said, grinning sheepishly, "How did you manage so long without me to talk sense in to you all the time?"
"I honestly don't know," Yukiko admitted, grinning. "Say, Chie," she began when an idea dawned on her.
"What is it?"
"Would you mind helping me out with something? I think you'd be perfect for the job."
"Sure! I definitely can't turn down the Amagian princess!"
"Chie…" Yukiko groaned.
"I'm kidding! Now come on, tell me what you want me to do."
Yasogami, Amagi: Outer City
Yosuke meandered through the streets of Yasogami, whistling an invented tune. It seemed like no matter what he was doing, some song or another was running through his head, and Yosuke always felt like he had to let it out. The thief's head began to bob in time to the music, his feathery brown hair swaying as he did so. He was so engrossed in his aimless wandering and in his music that he failed to notice the shadow of someone sneaking up on him.
"Yosuke!" a voice near his ears yelled, making him shriek.
"What the hell, Chie?" he yelped, hoping no one had heard his unmanly outburst.
"Come on!" she laughed, "You can be mad at me later." She grabbed his arm and dragged him back up the street, despite his attempts to extricate himself from her grip.
"What's going on? Let me go! I haven't done anything wrong today!"
"I got us a job," Chie explained as they rushed through various crowds, earning them plenty of dirty looks from passersby.
"What?" Yosuke spluttered, "Where? Is it one of those hunts again? Because I swear-"
"Actually, we've been employed by the princess. Move it, would you? I'll explain as we walk but you'll have to pick up the pace a little!"
Yasogami, Amagi: Inner City
As they continued their brisk jog (Yosuke wondered how Chie could refer to it as 'walking'), Chie explained how she had managed to find employment. It turned out that Chie had made a friend a long time ago who turned out to be the princess of Amagi. They had run into one another after what Chie called an "unfortunate run-in with some guys who really deserved an ass-kicking", and her old friend had been so impressed with Chie's fighting ability that she had offered her a job. She had stressed that it was technically a job for two people, and that she would accept any other fighter Chie wanted to bring along.
"So," Chie concluded, "That's why I'm bringing you to her. Try to act less like a thief and more like a good citizen, or at least a decent fighter, would you?"
"What kinda idiot do you think I am?" Yosuke snapped. "I'm not gonna try and steal anything while the princess is watching! Honestly…"
"Don't yell at me!" Chie retorted, "I' m the one who got us a job!"
"Say," Yosuke murmured, changing subjects, "Is she really as hot as everyone says she is?"
"Ugh," Chie moaned. "You are unbelievable."
They continued to bicker back and forth, even as they walked up to the castle gates. Two young men, dressed in commoners' clothes, stood by the entrance. One had short blue hair and a laidback expression, and the other had close-cropped brown hair, and he looked angry. There was a small bandage on his nose and he was ranting about something to his friend, though Chie and Yosuke couldn't make out his words. When the blue-haired boy noticed the pair, his face paled and he took a couple steps back. The angry boy whirled to find the source of disturbance, and his eyes narrowed at Chie.
"What?" Chie demanded, returned the glare.
"Come on, Biggs," the blue-haired man hissed, "Don't start another fight."
"I didn't start the last one," Biggs growled.
"Are you Biggs and Wedge?" Chie asked. She had forgotten that she didn't know what they actually looked like.
"What's it to you?" Biggs snarled, but Wedge grabbed his shoulder and steered him away.
"It was nice to see you again!" he called over his shoulder.
"…And who were they?" Yosuke asked.
"Those are the guys I ran into earlier. The burly one was the one I fought, I think."
"I see." Yosuke watched the pair depart, and he found it hard to pity them. Anyone who agreed to fight Chie got exactly what they deserved; Yosuke had learned that years ago.
Yasogami, Amagi: Castle Throne Room
"Ah! You've returned," the princess cried with relief when Chie and Yosuke entered the throne room.
"Jesus," Yosuke breathed, gazing around the room in awe. His fingers itched to swipe the number of gold-plated items that dotted the room, but he controlled his thief's instinct. They were here on a different kind of business.
"This is Yosuke, Your Majesty," Chie announced, shoving Yosuke forward.
"M-my pleasure, Your Highness," Yosuke stuttered. "She's cuter than I thought she would be!" he hissed to Chie with a grin.
"I think you'll find that sound carries in this room better than one would think," the princess said coolly. Yosuke flushed with embarrassment and looked away.
"Despite his stupidity, he is a good fighter," Chie assured her. "We've been fighting the monsters outside ever since we were kids."
"I would greatly appreciate your assistance," Princess Yukiko said. "Normally I would bring knights along with me, but we don't have many to spare at the moment. Therefore, I've had to rely on…mercenary assistance."
"Leave it to us, My Lady," Yosuke avowed, saluting smartly. "When do we leave?"
Yasogami, Amagi: Hangar Bay
Naoto sat in her study, poring once again over the new airship's blueprint. Cid had ordered her to go home a few hours ago, but Naoto wasn't the sort of person to leave a job unfinished. She rubbed her eyes to keep herself awake, though a clock chime in the distance informed her that it was well past midnight.
"Mister Naoto?" a quiet voice chirped. The young engineer glared at the door, where a small moogle had appeared.
"Why are you still here, kuma?"
The robotic moogle was Cid's invention, though he had been unable to make a perfect replica of a real moogle. The robot said 'kuma' instead of 'kupo' and took an odd pleasure in making asinine—or, rather, ursine—puns. He was immense help, though, so Cid refused to scrap him.
"Why aren't you on standby, Teddie?" Naoto asked. Her thick Imperial accent was one of the few reminders of her past that Naoto held on to. She had once lived in Inaba, the capitol of the Adachi Empire, but had fled the country after her parents' death at the hands of sky pirates. The incident had happened a few years ago, and Naoto had been living in Amagi ever since. The kingdom was known to be less friendly with pirates than the empire, and Naoto had hoped to find a job as a bounty hunter one day so as to get her revenge on the people who had murdered her mother and father. Her grandfather still lived in the empire, but he had gone into hiding shortly after Naoto fled, and no one had heard or seen him since. Upon crossing the border into the kingdom, Naoto had disguised herself as a man in order to elude the pirates, and everything had worked out well so far. She had landed a job as an engineer's apprentice and was put to work in the castle, learning everything there was to know about airships, all in hopes of one day taking to the skies to find the murderers who had ruined her life in the span of one terrible night.
"I saw the light on," the robot moogle explained, "And I came to see if there was a bear burglar, kuma."
"The correct term is 'cat burglar', Teddie." Naoto massaged her temple; Teddie was not making her impending headache any better.
"Whatever," Teddie muttered, "Cid told you to leave hours ago, didn't he?"
"I'm just double-checking the blueprints," Naoto said, "If I am to commandeer the ship taking the princess to the empire, I can't leave anything to chance."
The robot performed a realistic yawn and swiveled around on its wheels, making a squeaking sound. The fuzzy red pom-pom bounced wildly on an antenna, nearly hitting the small machine in the face.
"Have a beary good night, Mister Naoto," it called as it wheeled away, still squeaking.
"I must acquire some oil soon," Naoto murmured, staring after the moogle. The airship's plans still appeared to be flawless, so Naoto turned out the lights and made one last scan of the area before locking everything up.
The engineer felt the handle of her revolver fondly as she walked home, wondering when she would get the chance to use it. Cid didn't know she was armed because Naoto always kept the weapon out of sight, and she wasn't sure how he would react if he knew. He wasn't the sort of person who liked weapons anyway, and he was completely averse to war, so odds were that he would not look favorably on Naoto's choice to carry the gun. If he ever did find out about it, Naoto planned to just say it was for self-defense and hope the subject would drop.
Inaba, Adachi: Palace Throne Room
"You there," Emperor Tohru demanded, pointing to a servant, "Get me paper and a quill. And don't run off after you've delivered them to me; I'll need you to run it to the Chocobo Express." The servant bowed and hurried off to do his lord's bidding.
"That was rather brief of you," the emperor's right-hand man observed with a chuckle.
"I've decided that the Amagian princess has waited long enough. I'm scheduling a meeting with her to occur in three days' time."
"Yes, and I want you to be there to greet them. You tend to make a good impression on people."
"As you wish, sir. Shall I bring the red carpet with me?"
"Very funny. Just be your polite self and I'm sure she'll be taken with you. Every other woman is."
"Is that….jealousy, sir?" The other man raised an eyebrow mockingly.
Tohru snorted. The idea of being envious of that fool was absolutely preposterous. Granted, he was managing to date two high-class women simultaneously, without either of them being the wiser. But— jealous? Tohru would sooner be jealous of that moron, Taro, than of the man next to him.
"I take it by your silence that the answer is yes?"
"Go to hell," the emperor snapped. By that time the servant had returned with the stationery, so Tohru scribbled out a quick letter that requested Princess Yukiko's presence in three days. He sent the letter off with the servant and sat back on his solid-gold throne, thinking. He pressed his fingertips together lightly and rested his forehead against them.
"What now, sir?"
Sky, Aboard the Marukyu
Hi Grandma! This is Rise again! Sorry I haven't written in awhile. Kanji and I have been pretty busy lately, because ever since we got famous people won't stop leaving us alone. They think they need to 'compete' with us or stupid stuff like that. It's so stupid! Sometimes I wish that
"Rise! Get your ass down here right now!"
Rise winced at the incredible volume that man was capable of reaching. She slid the letter off to the side of the desk and wandered over to the trapdoor on the other side of the room. She jerked it open and slid down the ladder below, landing in front of her childhood friend, Kanji.
"When I tell you to come here, I don't mean at your nearest convenience, dammit!" he snarled. "We got company!"
Rise grabbed the airship's wheel, rolling her eyes as Kanji ran upstairs to the deck to combat their latest batch of flying monsters. She wasn't good when it came to violence, but luckily Kanji was a good enough fighter to make up for that. He could use any solid object as a weapon, regardless of its size or density, and when he could not find anything to use, Kanji could just as easily use his fists. As soon as he clobbered a monster with all his might, it stayed down.
What made them such a good team was Rise's magic paired with Kanji's insane power. Rise was a blue mage, meaning that she could scan enemies and learn their abilities after fighting them. She also had a sixth sense when it came to finding treasure, which was what brought them to where they were today. Kanji and Rise were considered the world's top up-and-coming treasure-hunting duo, and it seemed that nothing could stop them from becoming the best in the land.
Kanji returned moments later, only slightly out of breath. He grinned at Rise and took the wheel back from her, twirling it expertly.
"It was dragons again," he said, though he knew Rise already knew that. Kanji just felt like bragging. It wasn't an ordinary man who could take on multiple dragons at once and emerge victorious.
"You're amazing, Kanji," Rise giggled. A touch of red appeared on Kanji's cheeks and he turned away.
"Jus' doin' what I can," he muttered. The skull-and-crossed-bones tattoo on Kanji's shoulder twitched as he unconsciously flexed his muscles.
"And you do it so well, too," Rise cooed. She laughed and jumped up onto the ladder that led up to her room.
"You sure the treasure's this way?" Kanji called. They were heading into a dense cloudbank, but Rise nodded adamantly.
"All right," he grumbled. Rise had promised that this treasure would be well worth the effort, and she had yet to let him down.
"Call me if you need me!" she sang before slamming the hatch.
"Wish this thing came with autopilot," Kanji mumbled, leaning against the wheel.
Sometimes I wish that we could just take break from it, you know? Just call it quits for a while. We're just doing this for ourselves, after all, and we probably have enough treasure to live well for the rest of our lives. Heck, we probably have enough to live well in the afterlife, too. Uh oh, I sense more monsters coming, which means he's going to start yelling at me again. Don't get me wrong, I love Kanji to death, but sometimes he just…I don't know…
Rise stared at the letter. This wasn't at all what she had intended to write, yet somehow it had all come out that way. Her grandmother would want to hear about how great everything was, not about how much Rise wanted to be done with it. She crumpled up the paper and tossed it into her trash can, taking a new piece of paper from her stack.
It's Rise again! Everything is going great, and I can't wait to see you again!
As they whizzed through the clouds, Kanji began to wonder how his mother was doing. They had left her, along with Rise's grandmother, back in Amagi in order to answer the call of the expansive skies. Both women had made the pair promise to write to them every month, which Rise and Kanji had done their best to keep. They had begun diligently, taking time out every now and then to send out a letter, but they were beginning to slip. After nearly a year in the sky, time started to lose its meaning and they lost track of the months. Kanji wondered if he ought to start writing a letter now, while he had some free time. Just as he started to look for something to write on, a loud crash and screech from above told him there were more pressing issues.
"Rise!" he roared, "I'm not gonna call you again!"
"I'm coming, sheesh!" Rise tossed her second attempt in with the first before hurrying back down to the wheel. She would just have to try again later.
A man with a long nose gazed at his crystal ball, observing all these events. A blonde woman stood behind him, and if she thought anything about the transpiring events she kept them to herself.
At last, the man broke away from the ball and leaned back in his chair, his expression pensive.
"Margaret," the man began, "Everything will soon be in place, and we must keep a careful eye on events as they unfold. One can never be too cautious, can one, my dear?"
"One cannot," she confirmed with a small smile.
"Now that the players are all here, how will they act?" Igor mused, grinning like a madman, "How will their interactions affect one another? Better yet, how will they affect the world? Only time will tell…"