AN:

So I've been dying to do more little oneshots since I'm currently unable to access my actually kind of long in progress fic.

And I ended up getting the idea for this one while looking at some adorable P3P fanart. And then I wrote a depressing fic based on a cute picture.

Yep, that's about it. Thanks for the support so far!

Underneath It All

It didn't take people long to understand just how it is Minako Arisato's mind worked. She was one of those people that didn't seem to have a filter and didn't have issues arguing over the strangest topics. Little things like this is why anyone would know that a silent Minako was a pensive Minako, and that was Shinjiro's least favorite version of his girlfriend.

That word still sounded strange to him, even if he was only thinking it (Because there was no way in hell he'd say it out loud). Even back when it had only been several days since they became what Minako so affectionately called "official," she never had issues asking him even the most pointless or invasive questions.

"Am I your first girlfriend?"

"What kind of music do you like?"

"Where did you live once you stopped going to school?"

It drove Shinjiro crazy, honestly, but he knew Minako didn't ask these things to bug him. She was naturally curious and he was pretty mysterious for an eighteen year old, after all. It was one of those attractions that he was sure there was a scientific law for somewhere, written in history books as something that occurs naturally in the universe that others would look at and smile like smug all-knowing pricks while thinking, Awww how cute or something equally condescending. At least that's how the others at the dorm treated it, and it still pissed him off a little bit even now.

But of all the countless questions Minako asked him at one point or another during the short time before fate reared its ugly head, there was one that stuck out as important. And oddly enough, it was one that he dismissed at the time. Her unwillingness to talk to him should have raised some kind of red flag at the time, but never ended up giving it a second thought.

Anyone with eyes could see that there were words inside of her dying to get out that night. They were sitting in the dorm lounge like they always did, Shinjiro in his usual chair and Minako on the couch, her arms resting on her knees that were bent together in an almost sickeningly sweet manner. The way she was staring at him with those bright red eyes made it look like she was attempting to read his mind (or something equally strenuous) and was doing a terrible job. Every time Shinjiro caught her eye, though, she looked in the other direction and began twirling long auburn locks though her fingers. He couldn't understand why this type of behavior was occurring in someone who usually acted so entitled to his personal information.

"...If you keep that up, you're going to get whiplash," Shinjiro said after Minako turned away from him for about the tenth time. She blinked innocently at him before instinctively launching into her typical theatrics.

"Hmmm, I'm not sure what you're talking about, Senpai!" She winked at him playfully, "You may be overestimating your appeal, but don't worry! I'll be your number one fan no matter how big your ego gets!"

Shinjiro grimaced, "I told you to stop calling me that. And don't think that teasing me will change the subject." Minako's face drooped ever so slightly. "You have another stupid question, right? Well, out with it." After a small pause, the hair twirling started again. He had to silently fight the urge to slap her hand down and demand she cut it out. There was something grossly infectious about her anxiety.

It didn't take long for Minako to begin her inquiry, "Well, I guess I was wondering..." Her tone wasn't nearly as demanding as usual, "Why you wear so much clothing all the time?" Shinjiro nearly snorted.

"What the hell kind of a question is that?" He rolled his eyes, feeling relieved that it wasn't serious, "Are you asking me to strip for you? Because I'm not sure that's the direction I want to take our relationship quite yet."

Minako puffed her cheeks out, looking incredibly flustered, "Th-that's not what I meant! Come on, don't make fun of me!" The way she whined like that was so endearing in hindsight.

"I meant that I feel like you're hiding under your coat and your hat and everything! And, I don't know, sometimes I feel like I can't see you." She cast her gaze downward, and Shinjiro realized that this was really bothering her for whatever reason.

"Oh, come on, don't make that face. I was just joking," He mumbled apologetically, "Of course you can see me, right? I'm always going to be here, so you don't have to worry about stuff like that."

...And a few weeks later, Shinjiro bitterly figured that it was about time to stop making promises he couldn't keep as his blood spilled into a dirty back alley of Tatsumi Port Island and his consciousness slowly faded.

...And he stood months later (nearly fully recovered) before a hospital bed cradling the lifeless body of Minako, who had sacrificed herself to save her friends, and whose heart was beating right into his chest not four hours before on the roof of their high school.

In his numbness, he knew exactly what she meant that night. Her hair fell loosely over her shoulders instead of her usual updo, and she was wearing an ironically colorful, cheery night gown that Aigis or Yukari or maybe one of the other girls must have brought from the dorm instead of the generic school uniform that laid forgotten in the closet of so many others besides herself.

Shinjiro could see her perfectly as he removed his heavy peacoat and thoughtlessly slid his beanie off. He could see her even through his tears, and he hoped desperately that she could see him too; Where ever she was now.