Author's Note:

This will be a collection of drabbles based off each of the Tarot cards, giving us 78 in total. Wow! I can't promise what will or will not appear in them, but since the subject is Shinjiro Aragaki, be prepared for basically every spoiler there is in P3. How much each card influences the story will vary, but with any luck you'll learn a little about Tarot in addition to reading some fun stuff about an awesome character (yay!).

Hope you like them! They won't go in order, though they will be vaguely connected.

Enjoy!

-cy.


Terror had a number, a call-me-up-for-a-good-time string of digits it wrote down in your palm and you creased to smudges all the way home. And he knew exactly which number it was.

Five o'clock in the morning and he's wide awake and drenched in sweat like he swam through a battlefield. If he's hearing hoofbeats, then it must be the drowning sound of his feet on the stairs, waking all the cats in the alley outside that have gone to sleep. A welterweight moon promenades through the sky, pummeling clouds.

Mistakes, some part of him has always known, are impossible to erase.

Hell, he's known it ever since Miki and the doll, once a thief, always a thief. You just get worse as you get older, from dolls to lives to stolen time, you just keep stealing and it's never enough, even when you think you're doing it for the right reasons.

Or you just don't think and it happens anyway.

The doorknob slips in his hands because he can't hold onto certainty with sweaty palms. Something in the darker recesses of his mind is screaming sacrilege and something else is screaming to get out, but mostly everything is screaming and all of a sudden it's a very noisy place in a quiet backstreet.

With a creak that might wake the dead (he wishes), the door opens and he bolts, taking the staircase in a single bound like some hobo's superhero, streaking from streetlight to streetlight and skirting sewer grates because these nights more than any he feels like they could swallow him whole.

The last train before the six A.M. expresses start is probably about as close to the grave you can get and still use your public transit pass. He's not even halfway sure why he was allowed onto this train: his hands were still shaking as he held out his ticket, mouth hanging open, gasping for breath like a strung-out druggie. But hey, maybe the conductor's lenient.

Maybe that's what life is: one big train ride where conductor's lenient, he thinks. Maybe the only person watching out to make sure you're making amends for what you did is sleeping in one of the back cars or reading the morning paper. Maybe, just maybe, it's all on you to police yourself.

He shivers in the trainlights. He's alone in this car, spiraling off towards Port Island, and from there to a place he's drawn to like a magnetic pull jerks the pit of his stomach, like he's swallowed chips of heavy metal and can't get rid of them, doomed to follow wherever the magnetic field pulls.

Because, honestly, it's always this part that scares him most- that shifting feeling that he'll be the only one left awake enough to remember what he's done and what he'll still have to do when he gets off at his stop.