AN: OC centric where Hakashi Tomoko awakens to her Persona. This fic makes Tomoko an addition to the original cast of game. This is a return to fanfiction after many years of absence, so constructive criticism is definately welcome. However, flaming is isn't. Don't like, don't read.
Disclaimer: Persona 3, its plot and characters (minus the obvious OCs) are property of Atlus.
BetaRead: - 02/09/12
Awakening Part 1: Beneath the green -lit Moon
She didn't expect to have been this late home from meeting Mamoru-sensei. The elder kenshi had been overly-enthusiastic and had given the teen a tour of the entire Takizawa estate – dojo and all. With grand rooms and extensive training equipment the likes she'd never seen in any community gym, Hakashi Tomoko had been in a blissful stupor.
To think, he wanted her – her – to join his elites.
Her sneakers flapped noisily on the concrete slabs as she ambled along, her brother's apartment just further west of the Paulownia Mall. Blinking lights and street lamps bathed the quieting street in a soft orangey hue, breaking up the looming shadows of the enclosed buildings. She glanced about her as she darted across the street, green eyes racing to take everything in.
Four months on after the move from her family home to her brother's flat and she was still fascinated with the hustle and bustle of Iwatodai. From the dusty old book shop to that ramen bar. It was so different from her home town.
And yet, she mused, glancing up at the street clock as she passed; this town seemed to change when the sun went down.
During the day it gained a lively glow with a seething energy and boundless racket that soothed her already tempestuous mind. Its people were alive, friendly and engaging. Well, all those who had managed to see her long enough to catch her name. Like the capped boy she'd seen in town…hmm, what was his name again? Bluish grey eyes, stubbly chin, wicked smile…awh, it escaped her.
With so much going on, she was struggling to contain her overly hyperactive mind. Her mum had warned her that living in a city would do that to her. But there was no way she was going to hang around with her mother's secretaries whilst they played nanny. No, she was glad she'd come here.
Shaking her head, Tomoko pressed on.
At night, this place…it seemed to deaden. Not just because people had gone to bed, but literally fall so quiet that it seemed even sneezing would wake the dead. Usually the air was filled with the smell of takeaway or the far off whine of a car alarm. But now, nothing stirred.
Wary eyes looked over a green hoody shoulder, piercing into the growing shadows – it was as if the entire town was holding its breath in anticipation.
The clock tower at the far end of the street rumbled loudly, its thunderous chime resonating as the black hands met at 12 – midnight. Her breath came out in a puff of chilly smoke, crystallizing before her eyes. A dark brow rose, and her heart leapt impatiently in her chest. Wait, what was she waiting for? Why did her stomach churn, the underlying feeling of something about to creep up on her?
It started with the drone of her music fading from her ears, her phone flickering a warning light – bright and red. A full battery had suddenly…vanished. Her sneakers slowed to a stop, her face contorting into an expressive scowl as her confusion quickly turned to frustration.
"Stupid, lousy thing" she grumbled, shaking the phone. It refused to co-operate at all, so she swore lightly and yanked her earphones out by the wires. Haphazardly, she wound them round the dead mobile before stuffing it into her pocket.
A quick glance at her wristwatch had her grimacing, "Heh, spooky. 12:01 and the electricity's out"
As if in response to her words, the nearest street lamp began to flicker. Then another and the next, and so on until the entire street was flashing. Tomoko drew her hood tighter, a growing unease slinking up her spine.
Then came the….foreboding. She gulped noisily, pupils shrinking as she dropped slowly into a kneeling position.
"Here we go again…I'm out past 12 and my body throws a bloody tantrum. And here I thought it was the sushi" she grumbled inwardly, her mind uncharacteristically clear.
It was as if someone had slammed down the energy valve, the street plunging into darkness. Everything…absolutely everything!
Okay, now she was starting to get freaked. Her back froze and shoulders went ridged as the moon reappeared from behind a dark cloud…and drowned the land below in a deadly green haze. She could taste the coppery blood before she saw it, oozing sluggishly down a nearby lamppost. The clutch on her kendo bag grew, her knuckles whitening.
Her fingers trembled on the zip, her body bowed over the bag, but her eyes darted out from beneath the hood. Something was terribly wrong; she could sense it in the air. Everything inside of her screamed danger and she wasn't one to ignore her uncanny sixth sense. It'd helped her avoid things in the past, and this was no different.
"Damn it!" she hissed, all but ripping the zip back to get into the equipment bag. The small metal zip bounced off into the darkness as she tossed it over her shoulder. Her treasured shinai appeared as she tore into the bag; a pang of reassurance went through her as she grabbed it.
Shaking fingers clasped its wooden hilt, slowly getting to her feet again whilst pulling it free of the bag. Her heart was galloping within her chest, a heady feeling descending upon her of which she quickly recognised. A cocktail of dread and adrenaline.
A sudden whistling of air and something exploded at the back of her head. She gasped, coughing and spluttering for breath. She tried to stand her ground, shinai gripped tightly. The teen could hear movement, a strange slithering along the pavement. But it was too fast, leaving Tomoko growling in frustration.
A faint buzzing began in her ear, slowly growing in strength as she tried to concentrate. The brunette shook her head in annoyance, desperately trying to focus on whatever was stalking her, just out of sight. But the noise persisted, rapidly morphing into some kind of twisted… laughter? It reached an unbearable pitch, abruptly exploding within her mind.
Her whole body grew cold, arms and legs going ridged. Her pupils dilated as the grip on her weapon slackened. It clattered to the ground as her body slumped forward. That sinister cackling ringing in her ears…
In the background a shout sounded from further down the street. Her assailant finally emerged from the gloom. A swirling vortex that reared up, limbs materialising with one hand raising a blue mask to its 'face'. Intent on the comatose girl it surged forward.
A gun shot rang out, followed by a shattering of glass...
Tomoko's eyes sluggishly opened, bewildered by what stood before her. She was slumped within a dark corridor, all traces of Iwatodai gone. She breathed shallowly, the sound carrying unnaturally loud. She had no idea what was happening, or where she was, or how she even got there. But the fear bubbling in her stomach was very real, and she knew she was not alone.
She shrieked as the laughter from before reverberated all around her. Her throat was tight, making her cough. The noise seemed to jump from place to place and had her glowered down the passageway, determined to find its source.
"Hey! I know you're in…well, where ever the hell we are! Come out, I'm not exactly patient!" the unknown voice roared with approval, a wave of nausea hitting her as something thundered down the corridor. She threw herself flat against the floor, feeling a smooth velvety surface beneath her palms, bracing for impact.
It never came…
"Well…that makes two of us" her throat tightened and clenched, but she would have very much liked to scream right then.
Floating mere inches from her face was the brightest, widest…Cheshire grin...she'd ever seen. Razor sharp teeth clenched together, the thinnest strips of glowing yellow. It…seemed to be a face. But the essence flowing off of this…this creature was overwhelming. It hurt to look at the monstrosity, as if all the fear she was experiencing was squeezing around her heart.
Circling her in an almost predatory fashion, its fangs ripped apart and let out a ground shaking bellow of laughter.
"Prowling around at night time was always a favourite past-time of mine, you know" it spoke, lowering itself to the ground. She could make out no physical body, just a disembodied pair of eyes and wickedly sharp teeth. Oh, and the awfully bad breath.
Her frozen lips finally parted, though her voice was utterly cracked, "Did y-you…eat c-crap when you were out? Because you stink!"
Its grin widened, if that was at all possible, and a trickle of blood seeped out from between those nashers.
"Hohoho~….now you I like! But why wouldn't I? You are my host. I did choose you after all…at least I think I did?" her bewildered expression went unnoticed as the being floated by, arguing with itself in a manner quite similar to her own. So much so it unnerved her.
"W-Wait! What the hell's going on? The s-shiny green moon, the s-stomach cramps of doom and my phone dying on me…was that all you?" its answer was yet again amusement, its gleeful snickering wheezing to the end. It paused, the eyes looking upward for a time, her temper growing at being ignored…
"Meh, always wanting to spoil my fun" it grumbled, as if speaking to someone else. It winked in her, "I've already gone over the time limit, I'm afraid. And as charming as you are, I really am bored of all this conversation"
"B-But that doesn't answer any of my ruddy que-" she was yanked to her feet by some unseen, rather hairy appendage. Whoa, she swore she'd felt claws!
"Another time maybe…" it seemed to consider its words again, before adding "Hmm…actually make that 'most definitely'. We will be working together soon. Though I'd advise you to stay alive so that we reach that bit" those words caused her heart to restart and make an attempt to jump out her throat. She swallowed it, along with her terror at the insinuation of death.
With a final wink, the creature vanished, leaving a cackle of manic laughter behind, "Until then"
She woke up with a start, eyes snapping open wide as she shot up bolt right. Her vision was blurred, and she instinctively reached up her hands to her face.
"Looking for these?" the voice was deep and cautious, despite the offer of help. At a distance she could make out two blurry shapes. Both tall, though the one that had spoken was bent at the waist towards her. Red and silver, with a flash of white, she reached out a hand to blindly grope the air.
Gloved hands took hers, turning them over and firmly pressing a set of specs into her palms. She flashed a bemused grin at the person, unsure if she was even facing in the right direction. The quiet chuckling proved the latter.
"How is you head? You took quite a fall" the second voice was smooth, yet held an authoritative edge. Tomoko instantly pictured a female. Her glasses were quickly thrust onto her straining eyes.
"Truthfully?" she glanced into the most gorgeous face she'd ever seen, and had to stop herself openly gawking. Was that her natural colour? "Like I've been hit by a shit load of bricks"
The redhead trained her face into stoic acceptance, but as the Tomoko's glaze lingered, she noticed the twitch of her lip. The teen shrunk back slightly under their scrutiny, curiosity pouring off the two of them.
"Oh" her brain finally caught up with her, making her clamber to her feet.
"H-Hey! Take it easy, you just banged you head" but she didn't listen. She looking around wildly, expecting that grinning creature to suddenly leap out.
Wait a minute! When did the lights come back on? Where did all the green stuff go? What was going on? But most of all…
Her spine trembled, and her shoulders shook involuntarily as she glared back at the expectant strangers…
"Who the hell are you?!"
R&R kindly please!