My first P3 fic! Yay! Now, this was a birthday fic for my awesome buddy ObsessiveCompulsiveValkyrie, and it's over a week late… Sorry! It took me forever to get this story finished, but I did it! I watched the appropriate videos involving these two more than once, but I'm still not sure if I captured them correctly. Also keep in mind that I've never played this game before, so OOCness is almost guaranteed here. Apologies if there's something that I didn't write correctly. Just let me know and I will gladly fix it.

Warning: there are spoilers and an adult scene towards the end. Please don't read if you don't like, or if you're not old enough. Other than that, please enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Persona 3 or any of the characters used in this piece of fiction. I am making no money off of them.

Missing

He didn't know what he had expected when he had raced toward that hospital room. Maybe a heartfelt welcome? A few tearful kisses? An awkward pat on the back with that small, bemused smile she'd reserved for him?

Anything would've been preferable to seeing that blank look in her eyes when she'd turned to him. She'd been a polite stranger… not that passionate girl who had confessed her love as she had died in his arms.

Damn it, just that thought had his eyes burning in a way that made him want to throw things, and possibly at other people's heads.

He had debated over the next few days on whether it would be a good idea to visit her again, since he knew they were not in the same place anymore. But his heart won out in the end, and damn it, he'd never felt the way he had with Chidori.

Junpei sighed as he kicked a rock in his path and looked up at the foreboding hospital. Despite his gloominess, the hope hadn't completely died in his heart. Maybe some part of her remembered him, if only in distant dreams, and that meant that he could try to win her heart again. Though going by the first time it had happened, it wouldn't be easy.

Standing outside the door of her room, he removed his cap and scratched his head nervously, wondering whether or not he should've brought her some flowers or something. After standing there for nearly ten minutes, he finally just pushed all thoughts aside and barged in without knocking.

To find an empty room.

"Wh—wha—?"

All kinds of thoughts raced through his head with her absence. Had something bad happened to her? Had her condition worsened? "Chidori?" he whispered into the empty room.

The doctor who had been attending her stepped in with a small smile on his face. "She seemed to have made a miraculous recovery and was discharged this morning. I'm sorry you had to come all the way over here for nothing."

Junpei breathed a sigh of relief and nodded. "Do you know where she went?"

"Unfortunately I don't, but Miss Kirijo might know, since she left with our patient."

"Thanks," Junpei replied as he turned to leave. He spotted the wilted flowers which had been sitting at Chidori's bedside and grabbed them up without the vase before he was out the door. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his phone and dialed Mitsuru.

"Hello, Junpei."

"Hey, Mitsuru! Uh… can you tell me where I can find Chidori, please?"

"Look, she's still a little overwhelmed by the knowledge that she lost so many years of her memory. Maybe you should give her some time before seeing her, okay?"

Junpei frowned as his shoulders sagged. "Yeah, I guess you're right. But, can you at least tell me where she is and how she's doing?"

"I brought her to the dorms. She has nowhere else to go, so I gave her a room here with the rest of the girls. That means that she's off limits to you for a while," she replied in a warning tone.

"Y-yeah. I get it." He paused and let out a quick breath. "If—if for some reason she ever asks about me, just tell her that I cared for her as a friend, okay?" Junpei nearly begged.

Mitsuru's pause was longer than his had been. "Alright, Junpei. Now, don't forget about the meeting we have in two days."

"Don't worry. I'll be there," he replied, clicking his phone closed. He took a seat on his bed and stared down at his phone, wondering what he would do with himself now.

He felt like crying and laughing but he didn't do either of the two. Chidori was alive and healthy, and no longer suffering. But it had all come at the cost of their love. He couldn't grudge her that because he knew how much she had been hurt, but still, his heart felt all achy and hollow. Not even watching girls at the mall seemed to have any appeal anymore.

What if she reverted to disliking him the way she had when they had first met? What if he was never able to win her back again? Great… now he really felt like crying. Sniffling to himself, Junpei made sure that no tears betrayed him as he reached for the remote of his TV and turned it on. Maybe watching a show would help clear his mind in order for him to consider what he could do next.

Her new surroundings were… blank, for lack of a better word. It wasn't unpleasant, but it only served to remind her that she had nothing with her. Not even the last few years. A part of her felt as if she had lost something important, while another part didn't really care.

Mitsuru had been nothing but kind with her and had even left a sketchbook on her table with a few drawing pencils. She couldn't honestly remember the last thing she had drawn, or if her style in drawing had changed in the last five years, but she had tried a few doodles that looked slightly sharper than she remembered.

It was disconcerting for her to see such a different face in the mirror, too. How was she to cope with all of the changes in her life alone? "Junpei," the name fell from her lips in a whisper. Chidori shook her head to herself and grabbed the sketchbook before heading for the door.

The doctor had advised her to stay in bed for a few more days, but how could she possibly do that when all she could think about were her lost memories? More often than not, Junpei had been in her thoughts and she had begun to wonder if she would see him sometime soon. When last she had seen him, he had been nothing but nervous and hopeful, and his reactions only served to confuse her even more.

After walking around aimlessly for nearly an hour, she found herself standing before the train station, and only hesitated for a few seconds before taking the stairs. She didn't know where exactly she was trying to get, but at least she remember her way around the city, since it hadn't changed much.

She took a seat in a spot where she could see the people boarding and leaving the train station and for some reason it seemed familiar to her. It didn't matter how familiar things were; she couldn't grasp any of her memories anyway.

Opening up the sketch book, Chidori set the pencil against the unmarked, white surface and began to sketch without even thinking about what she would draw. After a few long minutes of her hand's quick motion, she finally stopped to take in her drawing.

She'd… drawn someone's eyes. They were somehow shining as they stared back at her and she knew she had seen those eyes before. Maybe—maybe they were from the memories she had lost. Sighing to herself, Chidori began to draw once more, and before long, she had a collection of the same eyes in various states of emotion.

She figured that if she found the owner of those set of eyes, then she would find a link to her missing past. All she had to do was start looking.

Junpei sighed to himself as he trudged towards the train station. Mitsuru had called him earlier to ask if he had seen Chidori, but he hadn't seen her in nearly a week. He was getting antsy and sad the more time he spent away from her. He had figured that he could've at least seen her from afar or maybe he could've dropped in to say 'hello' when she wasn't in her dorm, but around the building.

His heart did a funny jump in his chest whenever he thought of her and it yearned to spend time with her, even if she disliked him once again.

He was too busy moping to himself to realize that the object of his affection had paused in her sketching to watch him walk by. As he stared down at his shoelaces, he very nearly collided with her when she stood in his path. "Chidori!" Junpei exclaimed, feeling anxiety, relief, and love clashing in his chest at the sight of her.

That cool gaze regarded him closely before her eyes widened in realization. "Junpei," she murmured, gaze moving down to her closed sketchbook and the images she had been creating. Those eyes… had been Junpei's.

"I-I wanted to come visit you, but Mitsuru said that it would be better if I let you rest," he trailed off, looking at her apologetically.

This awkward boy had meant something to her? She wondered. He wasn't the type of boy she had expected to like, but there was just something endearing about him. She didn't know what it was, or how she knew, but Junpei just made her want to smile.

"I needed to clear my head," Chidori commented after the silence had stretched between them.

"And you came here," he said with a sad smile.

He looked nostalgic, and she wanted to ask so many questions but wasn't sure where to start, or if he would tell her anything. She knew that the rest of the people she had been introduced to had known her the last few years, but all of them seemed to hold back whenever she spoke to them. It made a part of her angry to realize that they thought she was too weak to know the truth. But… at the same time, another part of her was scared to ask if her lost memories were bad ones.

"I should go," she said abruptly.

"Oh, okay. Take care of yourself, Chidori," Junpei said, trying to sound cheerful and only managing to sound strained.

She turned to look at him and without knowing what compelled her to do it, reached up to kiss his chin. "Goodbye, Junpei."

Junpei watched her go in shock, pink coloring his cheeks as she smiled slightly before she turned to walk away. What had that been about? Not that he was complaining, but… the old Chidori would not have kissed a stranger, and that's what he was to her now. It still brought a bitter taste to his mouth, but he was nothing but a stranger in her eyes.

She had saved his life, told him she loved him, and had then died. Having her back, alive and well, was worth her losing those painful memories. Even if it killed him inside every time he laid eyes on her. He supposed that with time it would get easier to see her and not want to kiss her and spill every single thought and feeling he had. They both just needed time, he supposed, turning towards the train platform.

Her dreams were plagued with his face. His cocky grins and happy smiles. The straight line his lips became when he was upset, and how his cheeks colored in embarrassment. She usually awoke in a cold sweat, grasping for something… anything from her memories. But when she awoke, all she had was a sense of loss.

Sliding out of her bed and the warm sheets, she slipped into a pair of warm slippers and grabbed a sweater before going for the door. The hallways were dark—she caught a glance at the clock and it told her that it was barely two in the morning—and she knew that she would be in trouble if anyone caught her out of bed at that time. But she honestly didn't care at the moment.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, she walked down to the floor below hers, where Mitsuru had casually mentioned that Junpei resided in. When she stepped through the door and onto the floor, she realized it had been a mistake to just walk over without knowing where she was going exactly.

There were many doors down the hall and she had no clue which room belonged to him.

Except… she cocked her head to the side and peeked her head around the corner, catching sight of Junpei as he stepped out of the elevator and approached a door, pulling out his keys.

Chidori waited for him to enter before slowly walking down the hall and stopping in front of his door. She debated with herself for a moment, wondering if it was right for her to barge in on him at this hour. But still, she was curious to know why he had been out so late. Had something happened? Had he… been on a date with some girl?

That last thought had her knuckles rapping gently at the door before she could stop herself.

The faint sound of rustling clothes reached her ears before the door was thrown open and she caught a glimpse of sinewy muscle as he pulled a shirt over his head. When his head popped out of the shirt, he stared at her with wide eyes that turned into a small grin when he noticed her pink cheeks.

"What are you doing here so late, Chidori?"

She cleared her throat and looked down the hall both ways. "Can I come in?"

There were plenty of reasons why he should've said no, but he couldn't think of any at the moment. Instead, he nodded and stepped back to allow her room to walk in. He then closed the door and followed her, looking quickly around and hoping on everything that he had remembered to pick up his dirty laundry. The last thing he needed was for Chidori to see his used underwear lying around…

Thankfully, nothing seemed too out of place and she wasn't recoiling in disgust at the sight of his living space. He'd never been one to keep his room clean, but he'd tried his best to at least not leave things on the floor where he could trip over them.

Her eyes took everything in curiously, including the poster of the girl in the bathing suit resting on the wall, to the stacks of books sitting right next to the bookcase. His bed was sloppily made, and he'd been just about to get into it when she had come knocking.

"It's not much to look at, and it's messy, but this is what I call home," Junpei commented.

"You don't have family?" she asked.

Junpei cleared his throat uncomfortably and shook his head; there was no way she would remember the issues he had with his father… "Yeah, I got my dad around, but he and I don't speak much."

"Oh," she said, standing quiet and awkward in the dark in front of him. "I couldn't sleep… and I thought I'd come and see you. I only realized you might've been asleep once I was on your floor."

"Uh—no, I just got here actually," Junpei exclaimed, nearly biting his own tongue when he realized his comment would lead to more questions. Questions he wouldn't be able to answer without delving into their pasts.

"Did you… have a date or something of the sort?" Chidori asked, frowning slightly.

Junpei grinned and shook his head, scratching the back of his neck. "I'm not seeing anyone right now. Not since—" Here he forced himself to stop.

"Since?" She looked at him expectantly.

"Uh—you were saying that you couldn't sleep?" He asked, attempting—lamely—to change the subject.

Chidori nodded and regarded him critically for a moment from behind those yellow eyes. "I keep having the same recurring dreams."

Junpei walked over to sit on his bed and patted the spot next to him. "What are they about?"

She let out a slow breath and took a seat next to him. "You."

His mouth ran dry at that simple word and he could feel his heart pound once again. "You don't know me," Junpei said with a nervous chuckle.

"Then how can you explain my dreams? Or my drawings? Why are you and the rest of the people in this building hiding things from me?" Chidori inquired. "Was I… such a bad person in the last few years? I need you to explain to me why it is that every time I look at you, something in my heart and head tells me in perfect rhythm that you were important to me!"

"Chidori, I—it's not my place to say anything to you," Junpei said, voice quiet and gentle. He had wished for a chance to tell her everything, but he couldn't. He didn't know how this could affect her recuperation or even her feelings towards him. The last thing he wanted was for her to not feel anything after he told her their story. He shook his head and ran fingers through his hair in agitation.

"We knew each other, right? Were we co-workers?" Chidori asked.

"Yeah. Something like that," Junpei replied.

"Did we… have a relationship that went deeper than co-workers?" she asked carefully, hoping to catch him off guard.

"I—Chidori, don't ask me that," he nearly groaned out.

"You went to the hospital as soon as you knew I was awake, you sometimes won't look me straight in the eye, and why? Did we not get along?" she asked, turning her body so that she was facing him on the bed. "Did you hate me?"

"It was more like the other way around," he muttered before he could stop himself. Junpei's eyes closed for a few seconds, but then her silence made them open and glance at her from the corner of his eye.

"I hated you?" she questioned, staring down at her hands. But… her dreams… those hadn't been dreams of hate. They hadn't even been nightmares!

"It's late, Chidori. Maybe you should go back to your room."

Dejected, she nodded and stood. "Sorry to have disturbed you," she said as she made for the door.

"I'm sorry I couldn't help you the way you wanted me to," Junpei called from his bed.

Chidori paused at the door and turned back to look at him. Before she could reply, something caught her sight from its position on the small table in the corner.

Junpei seemed to have realized what had captured her attention and he stood quickly, moving towards the table in hopes that he would reach her before she got a chance to… No, damn it. Unless he wanted to snatch it right from her hands now, he wouldn't be able to prevent her from looking through her old sketch book, which had been sitting right next to the wilted flowers that had given her life back to her.

Chidori watched his reactions closely when she opened the book and scanned through the first pages. Those were nothing but random sketches. But as she passed the pages, she could see that the pictures became more and more serious. Until… until she stopped at the detailed portrait of Junpei near the middle of the unfinished book. Her sketch book, in her style of drawing.

"I—I couldn't have hated someone who I could draw with such detail," she said, turning to look him. "Why won't you look at me?"

"Because it hurts."

"Why? Why does it hurt you?"

"Because even when you're here, standing in front of me, you couldn't be further away. I'm nothing but a stranger to you now, and your questions only serve to remind me of that."

Chidori bit her lip at his words and nodded. "Okay. Thank you for telling me that. I can assure you that I won't press you with anymore questions from now on." With that she pulled the door open and was down the hall before he could do anything but blink after her.

He wanted so badly to run after her but knew that he couldn't. Not if he wanted to keep her protected from the memories of her Persona or anything that could hurt her. He would rather suffer the burden himself and allow her to think that he wanted nothing to do with her. As much as it broke his heart, he wanted Chidori to remain oblivious to that which had pained her for so long. He had to remain strong for her sake.

He caught glimpses of her the days following their encounter in his room, but she would glance at him once and no more than that.

Mitsuru had noticed the tension between them and had questioned him about it, but Junpei had denied anything happening between him and Chidori since she hadn't mentioned it, either. During lunch and dinner time, she tried her best to sit as far away from him as she could, and that little fact hurt him far more than he would've imagined.

He knew things couldn't continue that way, mostly because he couldn't bear to have her hate him, but also because he wanted them to at least be friends.

She didn't stick around the dinner table once everyone was done eating. She quietly excused herself and walked out. Junpei watched her go and was aware of everyone's gaze on him, as if asking if he would follow after her. Everyone had noticed the gloomy cloud surrounding Chidori, and Mitsuru still suspected that there was something going on between the two of them.

He ignored the glances thrown his way and focused on his empty plate as everyone began to leave.

"Go talk to her and stop being such an idiot," Shinji muttered.

Junpei looked up at him in confusion. "What?"

"It doesn't take a genius to see that she needs you to talk to her and to be her friend. Don't let the opportunity to start over with her pass you by," Shinji said with meaning, before he left, too.

Junpei sighed to himself and knew that it couldn't have been easy for Shinji to tell him that, especially after all he had gone through after losing Minako… So it made the advice all the more meaningful. Getting to his feet, Junpei nearly jogged out the door, searching for Chidori.

He found no sign of her, but the elevator had just stopped on the roof, he noted. He took the stairs up two at a time, hoping that she was there and that she would at least listen to his apology.

He found her standing near the ledge of the building, wind blowing through her crimson tresses, and her gaze distant. She looked beautiful in nothing but a simple white dress and a pair of sandals. When he closed the distance, he spotted her fingers rubbing the wrist of her other hand.

"…Are you okay?" he asked, hesitant.

"I'm fine," she replied, toneless.

"Look, I'm really sorry about what happened the other night in my room. I didn't mean—I'm such a dumbass when it comes to talking to girls and sometimes my mouth just runs away with me."

Chidori simply nodded and her eyes darted to look at him. "I understand." She really didn't, but she wouldn't push him; not yet.

"I want us to be friends, Chidori," he said with a smile, trying for cheerful and looking only slightly strained.

"That would not be such a good idea," she said, watching as his smile wilted. "As my friend, I will ask you questions that you will not want to answer."

He let out a nervous laugh. "…I guess you're right," he muttered staring at the ground.

Had he been looking at her, he would've seen the playful glint in her eyes before it was gone.

"Junpei, I'm kidding."

Junpei glanced up at her and nearly felt his knees knock at the smile present on her lips. "You really want us to be friends?"

Chidori nodded once and stepped closer to him, staring up at his eyes, shaded by his hat. "I… want to see you smile again."

"I smile plenty," Junpei replied, blushing from her unexpected words.

"I don't know if you realize it, but that smile doesn't always reach your eyes."

Huh. He'd never realized that she had been watching him so closely. "Uh, I guess that I didn't have any true reasons to smile before. Now, I have you as a friend."

Chidori's smiled widened slightly as his blush became more pronounced. "Well, friend, would you like to have pizza with me tonight?"

Junpei grinned, and this time it reached his eyes. "I'd like that. I'd like that very much."

The next few weeks passed as if in a blur. Sometimes they went out to get something to eat, and Junpei had the opportunity to teach Chidori about the things that she had forgotten, and other times they sat together in the sitting room, looking through interesting books. She had begun to absorb everything quickly, and with her usual quiet intensity. But she was always more interested in knowing more about him.

Somehow, it hadn't been too hard to tell her about his life this time around. His relationship with his father had always been a particularly touchy subject, but he found that his story flowed out of him easily, while she listened in rapt attention.

He'd never thought he would be given this opportunity to spend so much time with Chidori. Or that she would enjoy spending time with him, too. He'd begun to fall into a very pleasant routine that involved Chidori helping him out with his homework when he returned from school every afternoon.

At the moment, he was trying very hard to ignore the sweet fragrance of her hair under his nose as she watched him work a math equation.

"You missed a step," came her matter-of-fact voice.

Junpei huffed in annoyance and erased a few digits. "You're not really helping."

"But I just informed you that you made a mistake," Chidori said, eyes narrowed.

Junpei didn't reply as he concentrated on remembering the mathematical formula and the step he had skipped over for being distracted. He grinned when he remembered and finished, completely missing the glint of contentment in her eyes as she looked at him.

"What did you do today?" he asked as he continued to write.

"I spent the day with Koro. He introduced me to his favorite show," Chidori said with a faint smirk.

"He's a TV hog when that show is on," Junpei muttered.

Chidori let out a small laugh and nodded, looking away when Junpei turned to stare at her in awed amazement. Even lacking the last few years, she deduced that she hadn't smiled or laughed much… did he honestly have to look so surprised?

"Koro told me something interesting, too," she said quietly, raising her knees so that she could lay her chin on them.

"Yeah?" Junpei asked, pressing too hard on his pencil and cracking the tip against his notebook. "What'd he say?"

"That… that before we decided to be friends, you would come up to my dorm and just stand outside the door a couple of times a week."

Junpei laughed high and nervous. "Koro's exaggerating," he choked out. Why can't Koromaru keep anything to himself? "I didn't—I mean, I may have—but I—"

"Are you trying to come up with a convincing lie, Junpei?" she asked him in a quiet tone.

"No, of course not," he replied quickly.

"So, if I kiss you, does that mean that I won't be able to tell if you have feelings for me?" Chidori asked, pale crimson crossing her cheeks.

"I—Chidori, I—"

Since he seemed to have trouble articulating anything, Chidori took his moment of distraction to close the small distance between them and plant a fleeting kiss against his lips.

Junpei stared at her with wide eyes, the flush over his cheeks making him look even more endearing. "T-that was a peck," he muttered.

Chidori choked back another laugh and forced her face to seriousness as she began to lean forward slowly this time. One of her hands reached up to remove his cap and she had time to gaze into both of his eyes, feeling her throat run dry at the intensity in his gaze.

Junpei could feel his breathing quickening as he stared into her eyes—so uniquely colored—and those pale, pink lips that he hadn't been given the opportunity to taste before…

He nearly let out a pitiful whimper at their next shared kiss. His eyes slid shut and his lips began to move against hers, taking control of the kiss. His hands reached up to cup her face, her fingers on his wrists. It felt as if the whole world had stopped for them and nothing else but Chidori and her soft lips existed.

Without even meaning to, his feelings and longing for her did transmit through their unhurried kisses. He was so gentle with her that it made her breath catch, and there was just something in the kiss that made her want to laugh and cry all at once. He… loved her. He had loved her in the past that she had lost.

She'd never imagined that she wouldn't be the only person to have felt such a loss. Junpei had felt it too and it couldn't have been easy for him to try and convince her that they were just friends, or mere co-workers.

Wrapping her arms around his neck, she shuffled closer, never taking her lips from his. If this was her only chance, she would try to convey just how right it felt for her to be this way with him. Even the first days out of the hospital she had felt that connection there, despite thinking him a stranger.

Junpei didn't know what to think anymore. He hadn't even known that she had been thinking of him romantically until she had initiated the kiss. He had felt the connection the last few weeks, but he had tried to stop himself from getting his hopes up. Now, his hopes had reached an all new level with her touch. But despite that, he felt a nagging thought rise up in his mind. Maybe she wasn't ready for their relationship to move on just yet. Wasn't he supposed to ask her if she really wanted to go forward?

"Chidori—" he gasped against her lips, eyes closed and breathing her in desperately.

"Shhh…"

"No, I-uh, as much as I want to continue, I'm not sure we should be rushing," Junpei choked out, even as she moved forward to straddle his lap. He bit back a groan and forced his hands to stay at her waist.

Her tongue slipped slowly into his mouth and nearly short-circuited his brain. His body was beginning to heat up with her gentle touch—and he was a normal, young man, damn it!—but it would still be embarrassing for her to find out just how much he was enjoying her bolder touch; especially since she was sitting on his lap.

Drawing back for breath, Chidori took in his dazed look and smiled. "Do you really want to stop?"

Junpei sighed heavily and tried to get his body under control. It took him a few long seconds, but then he nodded. "It felt really good, Chidori, but I don't think it's safe to do that in my room," he whispered, kissing her gently.

"Why not?" she asked, confused.

"I heard from Shinjiro that he thinks that Mitsuru has us monitored or something. It'd be really creepy if she were watching us now," he whispered.

Chidori stared hard at him and kissed him one last time, making sure that she took the taste of him with her when she began to draw back. She smiled in satisfaction when he followed her a little, eyes still glazed over. "You might be right in thinking that we're rushing this."

Junpei slumped back dramatically and rubbed a hand across his face in an attempt to get his brain back to working order. He supposed that if Chidori were to ever ask him for anything—anything—again he wouldn't have the strength to say no.

"You have also yet to finish your homework," she said, matter-of-fact.

He groaned in annoyance and picked up his notebook, making a note to search for another pencil.

"I will leave you in peace now, and see you later for dinner," she said, getting to her feet.

"You don't have to go!" Junpei exclaimed.

"I think that after those kisses, I will just become a distraction for you. But I will see you in an hour," she replied, leaning over to peck his lips before she walked leisurely out the door.

Junpei watched her go with a look on his face that bordered on adoring before he sucked in a long breath and got back to his homework. The last thing he needed was to stay up late finishing up his work because he'd been too busy having dirty daydreams about Chidori. No, he'd finish up everything now, and then once it was time for bed, he'd indulge in his fantasies of the girl he loved, he thought with a grin.

A crack of loud thunder pulled her out of the first nightmare she had had after awakening in the hospital. She sat up, panting and staring down at her hands, remembering the warm blood staining them, of the despair in her mind and the pain in her heart… and Junpei's face amongst it all. But her hands now were not covered in blood, and he… Junpei…

Her breathing was ragged and quick and she knew that she would be in trouble if she didn't get it back under control. Shakily, she ignored the sound of thunder and rain pelting her window behind the closed curtains and reached for the cell phone on the nightstand. Mitsuru had provided it in case of some kind of emergency, and the numbers of all the people who knew her was there, including Junpei's.

Why? Why had she dreamed about Junpei dying? And why had it felt so… real? She pressed the speed dial number two and waited, feeling her eyes burn. Some of the panic finally seeped out of her at the sound of his sleepy voice on the other end.

"Chidori?" he questioned after she had remained silent for a long moment.

"Junpei… I—"

"Are you okay? What's wrong?" he asked in worry, sounding more alert.

Chidori bit her lip and forced down the images still in her head from the nightmare. "Can you come to my room, please?"

"Uh… yeah, yeah. I'll be there in a minute or two," Junpei replied, before the line went dead.

She stared at her phone for a few seconds before she felt the first tear escape and glide down her cheek. And with it came many more as she recalled the nightmare as if it had been… one of her memories from the years she had lost. But it couldn't be! Junpei was alive now…

Junpei's knock was low on the door, and she called him in with a voice thick with emotion. He'd never heard her sound that way before. Except when she had been dying in his arms. Junpei swallowed hard and entered Chidori's room, closing and locking the door after himself.

"Chidori—what's going on?" he asked, approaching her bed slowly. She was sitting on her bed with her knees drawn up and her face pressed against them. Her hair had fallen forward, shielding her features from him.

He tried not to blush at the fact that he was seeing her in her pajamas—yellow shorts and white tank-top—and sat next to her, eyes darting towards the flash of lightning and then the boom of thunder. Hesitantly, his hand reached up to touch her hair, letting the cool strands slip through his fingers.

"Chidori?"

"I had a horrible nightmare," she murmured, raising her head.

Junpei caught the glitter of tears still lingering on her eyelashes. "It was just a bad dream, Chidori," he replied, shifting closer so that he could touch her shoulder.

Chidori nodded and allowed him to take her hand in his, linking their fingers. "I know it was, but I still needed to see you with my own two eyes."

"W-what was the dream about?" he asked, hesitant.

She focused the intensity of those sun-hued eyes on him. "You died, and my hands were covered in your blood."

Junpei's eyes widened and he felt himself tense at her words. She couldn't have possibly remembered his death. Could she? "But I'm here now," he choked out. "It was just a nightmare."

Chidori shook her head. "It felt so real, seeing your life slip away and I couldn't do anything about it."

Oh, but you did! Junpei thought frantically, wanting to just wrap her in his arms tightly.

"Do you want some water?" he asked, hoping to distract her and get her to calm down.

Chidori nodded without a word and shifted to sit at the edge of her bed, watching him walk over to the mini-fridge in her room to pull out a bottle of water. "Don't let that dream get to you, Chidori. You just need to calm down a little and then you'll be able to sleep again. You'll see that you won't remember anything unpleasant when you wake up."

She didn't know if she wanted that to happen. What if more bad dreams came to her while she slept? Or worse yet, what if they were really her memories? She took the water he offered and sipped it slowly, hoping that she didn't look like too much of a mess. He was a boy she really liked, after all.

"Why are you trying to act as if it's no big deal?" she asked softly.

"Because it's not," Junpei said quickly, taking a seat next to her again. It was the biggest lie he'd ever said, but it was for her own good.

Chidori stared at him, at his profile, and how he wasn't looking at her. "It's a memory, isn't it?"

Junpei's eyes widened in panic as he shook his head. "N-no!"

"Don't lie to me, Junpei. If these last few weeks have meant anything to you, don't lie to me," Chidori said, more tears beginning to blur her vision. She'd never cried so much in her life before, or at least what she could remember. But this situation of missing the last few years, of getting to know her friends and Junpei again, it had frustrated her to no end. She knew that they had all been keeping something serious from her. Had it been this?

"Chidori, I don't want to hurt you," Junpei whispered, finally facing her. His hands sought hers and squeezed tightly.

"Then it's true, isn't it?" she asked, searching his eyes. "You died, but somehow came back to life?"

Junpei swallowed hard and wondered if he wasn't making a mistake by telling her the truth. "You… you brought me back."

She stared at him with wide, glossy eyes. "What?"

"I can't—I should go," Junpei said, getting to his feet.

Chidori followed, grabbing his arm and turning him to look at her. "What do you mean that I brought you back?"

"You had that kind of power, Chidori. You brought me back to life and then died," Junpei murmured, not meeting her eyes. "You gave your life for me and I…"

He was left heartbroken, she realized. She stared, lips parted in shock at his revelation. He looked just about ready to start crying, too, and it was the last thing she wanted. He had come to mean so much to her in this short amount of time, and she knew now why that was. She hadn't only lost her memories. She had lost him, too, and she had felt it. Her heart had told her so, and the empty void she felt was only filled when he was near.

She did what she knew felt right; she kissed him. Junpei's breath shuddered against her lips, but he didn't push her way. Her arms wrapped around his neck as his went around her waist, pulling her to him. He kissed her with desperation and she returned the feeling. This felt right.

When they parted for breath, his lips moved to press soft kisses to her jaw and neck. Chidori closed her eyes and allowed herself to feel. His touch didn't feel wrong, and even when she squirmed at the feel of one of his hands on her waist, under her shirt, she didn't want to stop him.

"Chidori, I—"

She silenced him with her lips, hands moving to begin pushing up his t-shirt. He didn't think he needed to ask her if she was sure that she wanted to go further. Her lips were intoxicating him and his voice seemed to be failing him anyway.

"I think… we both need this. Don't say no," Chidori whispered as her pale, pretty face was lit up by a flash of thunder.

Junpei stared at her and nodded, wanting to give her everything she wanted. Chidori smiled, eyes cleared of tears and let her hands caress his chest, the fabric of his shirt bunching up. Finally getting the shirt over his head, she traced gentle fingers down his bare chest, smiling at the blush she could still see in the darkness. He had a slim body, she noted, tracing defined muscle, even though with clothes on he looked lanky. When her fingertips began to reach his bellybutton, he sucked in a breath and stopped her.

She gave him a questioning look and he smiled, pulling her knuckles to place kisses on them. Then he wrapped his arms around her once more and placed a kiss on her shoulder, one hand pushing up her tank-top slowly. When she didn't protest, Junpei tugged it over her head and they both blushed, standing bare from the middle up.

Chidori instinctively reached up to cover herself, and Junpei hesitated once more. Taking note of his uncertainty, she pushed aside her nerves and embarrassment, moving forward so that their chests pressed together.

Junpei nearly groaned at the feeling of her soft breasts against his skin. Never in his life had he imagined this moment would happen between them, but here she was and she wasn't drawing away. His hands trailed down her naked back, tangling with her hair and he kissed her, moving her back towards her bed.

He laid her down gently and moved in after her, lips gentle as he pressed them against her cheeks, her jaw, her neck, and her collarbone. Chidori forced her hands to stay at her sides, and she gasped when she felt Junpei's lips begin to trail down, closer to the curve of her breast.

"Junpei!" she gasped when his lips trailed lower.

His eyes watching her intently, he let his tongue dart out to flick across her nipple. A pink flush crossed his cheeks, but he couldn't even begin to compare the situation to any of his fantasies. This was Chidori under him, chest heaving as he repeated his ministrations before moving to her other breast.

In pervert heaven, Junpei slowly kneaded the soft globes, feeling his body react to the look and feel of her. She was more beautiful than he had ever imagined, and he couldn't believe that she was letting him do this. When she felt his mouth move down to her belly, she tensed and wrapped her fingers around his arms, stopping him.

"Chidori?" Junpei asked, moving towards her face in question.

"I'm just… a little nervous," she admitted, smiling slightly.

Junpei nodded and kissed her gently, one of his hands her hair. "Do you want to stop?" It would kill him to do so, but he'd do anything for her at this point.

Chidori shook her head and kissed him more deeply, using the distraction to wiggle out of her shorts and panties before she lost her nerve. "Have you done this before?" she asked, curious to know.

Junpei let out a nervous laugh and pressed his forehead to hers, trying to get his hormones under control. "Not really, no."

She smiled and took his lower lip between her teeth, nibbling lightly while one hand slipped into his loose sleeping pants. Junpei groaned at her touch and buried his face against her neck, breathing her in and hoping that she wouldn't see his face if he embarrassed himself. She was a bit hesitant in her touch, but not because she didn't want to; she just didn't know if he would like it.

His own hand trailed gently down the length of her body, attempting to touch every patch of skin he could reach. There were no scars on her body, but he supposed that now that she no longer had her Persona, she would not heal anymore. He let out a shuddering sigh when she squeezed him gently.

"Do you like it?" she asked, quiet and uncertain.

Junpei nodded and sucked at her neck. "It's good, though I don't think I'll be able to take it if you continue."

"It's okay," she replied, continuing the motions of her hand around him.

"Let me… touch you, too, yeah?"

Chidori nodded and her lips parted on a gasp when she felt his fingers trace over her belly and lower. They both moaned when his fingers finally found that sensitive part of her.

"You're so wet," he choked out, fingers tracing, getting to know her and what spots she enjoyed. He wasn't a pro by a long shot, but he'd been a perv long enough to know the basics, he thought vaguely. "Is this okay?" he asked her, fingers sliding through her slick heat, brushing across that bundle of nerves with every sweep.

"Yes," she gasped out. "Yes."

Junpei wiggled a little until he was able to push his pants past his hips to have more freedom to move and for her touch. "Chidori, maybe you should stop before I…"

"Before you come?" she asked impishly.

He almost did at her words. "Yeah, I… do you want us to go forward or do just this?"

Her eyes were glittering in the dark when he raised his head to look at her. "No, I want to feel you. All of you."

"It—it won't last long," Junpei informed her, his blush spreading down his chest.

"But it'll get better. We'll learn together," Chidori said with a smile that warmed him from head to toe. Removing his fingers from where they had still been caressing her, he raised himself up to settle his body on top of hers. The smooth skin of her thighs rubbed across his skin as she spread her legs, and Junpei nearly died of euphoria.

He slowly guided himself into her, his breathing quickening at the feel of her silkiness enveloping his body. It was amazing, he realized. She was snug around him, and he could feel a fine sheen of sweat rising over his body with every second he spent immobile inside her.

Chidori gasped and he couldn't tell whether it was from pain or pleasure, but she was biting her lip, so maybe it was pain… "I'm okay," she informed him upon seeing the worry on his face. "It's passing."

"Okay," he breathed, leaning down to kiss her, the movement jostling him inside her.

Chidori let out a tiny moan and her nails dug into his sides. "You can continue now."

Junpei nodded and drew back his hips, grunting as he surged forward. He didn't know which way was up for a few seconds, but he knew that Chidori seemed to like it. Her hips arched to meet his next thrust, and then the next. He'd read about girls rarely coming on their first time, but he wanted her to experience this with him. He wanted to feel connected to her on an even deeper level than what they were doing now.

Trying to keep an even rhythm, though he sometimes seemed to fail, he leaned on one elbow so that his hand could reach lower to touch her.

Chidori for her part was enjoying his movements very much. She choked back a gasp at the friction, at the tightness of it all. She had wondered if this would be her first time with a guy, and she had been happy that she had given it to Junpei when she had felt the pain of his intrusion. Despite not remembering all she could about him, she had new memories of him that she would cherish from now on. Her first time would always be special in her heart because it had been with someone who loved her and who she was discovering she loved back.

Her hands slid up his arms to grasp at his shoulders when his thrusts began to quicken, a sign that he was close, she supposed. It was good, and she called out his name when his fingers joined in. Her knees and thighs were beginning to tremble in pleasure and anticipation.

"Chidori—I'm going to… I'm about to—" Junpei gasped out.

"I am, too!" she replied, lips seeking his when she felt herself begin to tighten up in spasms that grew in intensity, his thumb helping her along.

Junpei broke from the kiss to gasp for air and breathed roughly against her lips, his thrusts becoming erratic and jerky as his body finally reached completion.

Chidori held him to her tightly, not minding much when he began to sag against her. His heart was still thrumming in his chest at the same speed as her own, and she had never thought it would feel so wonderful to hold him to her this close.

Junpei glanced down at her and grinned when he saw that she was watching him with softened eyes. Kissing the corner of her mouth, he gently shifted to her side, moving her with him so that he could hold her stare. "What are you thinking?" he asked, pushing sweat matted hair away from her cheeks and forehead.

"How… I don't think I've ever felt this complete. With or without memories," she said, running the tips of her fingers across his bottom lip.

Junpei grinned. "It wasn't half-bad for my first time, huh?"

A laugh escaped her as she shook her head in amusement. "You were quite good for this to be first time for the both of us."

He seemed to preen with her compliment, and Chidori wrapped her arms around his neck, bringing him to her in a sweet embrace. This was where she belonged.

"I promised we'd be together forever," she murmured.

Junpei drew back to look at her with wide eyes, wondering if she had remembered more from the night she had died, but… her eyes were closed and she was sound asleep. Maybe come morning she wouldn't remember anything. He supposed that it wasn't too bad a possibility, that she would never remember her past.

She deserved better than those painful years, and they could rebuild their relationship without all the pain and suffering on her part. He would find a way to make her happy, he promised silently, cupping her face and rubbing her cheek gently.

They had both died and come back to life, and they had been given a second chance at life. He wouldn't waste it. He would love her and protect her with all of himself, and even if he had to do it all again, he wouldn't change a thing.

Waah! I hope no one feels like killing me for the characterization. -_- I honestly did try. But anyway, I hope it was enjoyed. Valk, again I apologize for taking so long, and thank you for being so patient. Happy late birthday!