Disclaimer: I don't own P3P.
Author's Note: Don't get me wrong, I love Minako/Hamuko/whatever you prefer to call her. Prepare for run-on sentences and things that might not make proper sense.
Edit: Thanks to Nemo for pointing out that I missed number '10' and put two '11's instead.
she smelled of daisies
(she said, hello mister, pleased to meet ya,
I wanna hold her, I wanna kiss her
she smelled of daisies, she drive me crazy.)
Sometimes he thinks that she already had them at hello.
Whenever she is in the room with him, the air around her faintly smells like daisies. He'll catch himself leaning in to her closer when she talks and it's only when she sends him that barely-there, amused smile that he switches to sitting as far away from her as possible. He doesn't comment when Shinji eventually takes his spot by her right hand side, Junpei on her left, and just watches the Queen rule her court.
She doesn't remind him of anything like Mitsuru at all.
He wonders why he loves her with such raw passion, and maybe it's not even love but just his need for someone to be there for him, someone like her who actually understands when she pretends to while pretending to herself that she doesn't. It's almost pitiful at times but he never asks her about her family's death, he even barely knows that she had a twin brother that perished in an accident that he only read about in Mitsuru's files. And she never offers to tell him.
He thinks that she loves Shinji too, more than the affection she has for him because often times he'll catch the way she's staring into the darkest corner of the lounge, face pensive and fingers tapping a rhythm against her thigh. It's always because she's so motionless, he decides, even when they're upstairs at night in his room doing things Mitsuru would never approve of but still knows. She's always so fucking still, limbs tucked in and controlled and he feels jealous that Shinji is the one to finally break through that, to make her worry with the edges of her sleeves and to send her mind whirling this way and that.
He doesn't think that she can handle the naginata she's clutching in her hands when he first sees her; she looks frail and young, with bony wrists and long elegant fingers. She's all sharp angles and womanly curves that somehow end up fitting into his so well. He traces a trail up her collarbone with his fingers one night and the smile she sends him is razor sharp, and it makes him shiver as he thinks that he must be a masochist for being turned on by it.
He first sees her from a crack in his door when she arrives after Takeba, skin an alabaster that's nearly as pale as his is and eyes bloodshot. He decides that she must be tired from her train ride, hair skewed in its ponytail and sharp bobby pins flashing in the dim light of the staircase.
He meets her properly several days later when she's quiet and still and a bit weak from the hospital. She sits in her chair with ankles crossed and spine straight and when Ikutsuki directs her attention to him, he does a double take without meaning to and under the glow of the lamps her eyes are like pools of blood and wine.
Pleased to meet you her pale pink lips smile and he doesn't know it yet, but those lips will soon drive him crazy.
He always sees her running around doing errands for clubs, talking to people, enjoying takeout food around the city and it's not like he means to bump into her – he's not even sure that she knows he's there, just another passerby outside the glass or two feet away from her like a ghost. He begins to notice how those she's with always seem to have her constant attention, her eyes focused on them, assuring and never judgemental. But he's a boxer and he knows how to read a body and it's a second language to him now, so he sees how her shoulders position themselves and the tense posture she carries herself with and the way she favours a wrist or an ankle, long sleeves and long socks hiding bruises that bloom purple and yellow under all those clothes.
She's so pale like a canvas with splotches of color all over her body, and he wonders what she does when she's alone. He doesn't recall ever seeing her be alone yet.
He gives her a white stuffed rabbit and says that they even look alike. She takes it in her arms after a moment of hesitation in which he is sure that she will finally punch him, and then she smiles – and this smile directed at him is true and sardonic and full of shark teeth because yes, the rabbit has his stitched on smile and blank shining eyes and stuffing so light and fake and easy to tear apart.
He can almost hear her say the words – I keep you around because you understand, Akihiko. And somehow he's beyond the point of caring, beyond the point of thinking. The end of the world is coming and all he needs is for her to be there for him to curl into.
At one point in time he thought she would be like Miki, that his feelings for her would grow into brotherly affection – she bites down into the skin where his neck and shoulder meet, her fingernails digging sharp little half-moons on his back and the way she writhes underneath him is so erotic and intimate that he just groans over her body, criss-crossed with the palest of scars and thinks that several months ago he was so stupid for having those fancy delusions.
He's not an idiot – he knows that she's cruel and manipulative and empty on the inside, and all the shifting of Arcana and Personae she's doing in that brilliant mind of hers will never change that. So he's almost surprised when she crouches over Shinji's body with his blood pooled around her like a halo, her shoulders trembling just the tiniest bit; when Ryoji walks out of the door to their Dorm in the bitter silence that he's left behind and her hand twitches, she almost rises up, brows creased and eyes bright – and then he watches her fall still and her chin drop, her bangs covering her face.
The feeling inside of him is something between disappointment and resentment. He settles on simply looking away.
Mitsuru is the Queen of Ice, but he thinks that the title is in danger of being passed over soon. Except it's not, because she's ice and fire at the same time and something terrible and beautiful somehow all in one. He is no stranger to broken people and the signs they leave behind, but she's so good at it that sometimes even he begins to doubt. There's just something about that smile, mischievous and softly curved at the edges and the way she angles her body into his just so, and a warmth pools in his belly and his cheeks turn just the slightest shade of pink and he forgets that she might be anything but the only one in the world who'll listen to him right now.
He never was as oblivious to her as Takeba or Iori were, and neither was Shinji. But all he has left now is a grave and a monster gnawing away at his insides, a black hole swallowing up his organs and thoughts one by one because in the end, she still got the last laugh over all of them.