Disclaimer:I don't own P3P.
Author's Note:Because Minako and Minato won't leave me alone, even after all this time as I try to complete Persona 4.

ghosts with blue eyes

(you are the silence inbetween
what I thought and
what I said.)

Minako first sees the ghost boy moments before her parents die. She doesn't remember this because she doesn't remember the night at all, but sometimes in dreams that fade in the moment she opens her eyes to the blare of her alarm clock, he's holding her hand and giving it a gentle squeeze. There comes the sound of tires squealing, a woman screaming, and metal beginning to twist and burn.

It scalds the air around it and a girl in white is there. There is a monster and Minako and the ghost boy, but all Minako knows is darkness and the green light. She can always recall the green light.

Minako doesn't see ghosts after her parents' deaths: she sees a therapist instead. She tells him about a little boy with pale blue eyes who doesn't know how to be a boy and calls her "dearest". In time, the therapist makes her forget all about him and she's too young and too broken to do anything else.

He doesn't visit her anymore, and he doesn't know about the other ghost boy, either.

The second time Minako sees the ghost boy, she's on a train. She looks up from fiddling with her MP3 and he's in the seat right across from her, silver headphones in his ears and eyes closed as he dozes. She blinks and he's gone, and there's only a metallic voice left buzzing from the speaker above her.

It says Iwatodai and she is too anxious to pay any attention to hallucinations that are more than likely a result from her lack of sleep.

Overtime, as she recalls Pharos smiling at her from behind the counter of the dorm, Minako begins to think that there is something intertwining her and ghosts and blue eyes together, something beyond her understanding. Something beyond Igor and Theodore and the mechanics of the Velvet Room that keep it moving, flickering only briefly behind the eyes of a hook-nosed man and the gentle smiles of his assistant.

Something great and wonderful and terrible and nauseating, and for a brief moment as Nyx towers above her (many months into the future, perhaps a different future, one that will never happen) she knows what it is and she's too bloodied and bruised and almost-dead to commit it to memory.

The ghost doesn't look like a ghost at all, and at first she thinks he's just another student at Gekkoukan High. A loner, maybe – he's wearing the school uniform, after all, and is always listening to his music. She asks Yukari if she's seen a quiet, blue haired boy around, and Yukari shakes her head and jokingly asks if Minako's been getting enough sleep. Minako says yes and forces the bile back down her throat.

She tries talking to him, once. She even walks up to where he is sitting at her desk (maybe he got confused?) before Junpei calls out her name and she turns, distracted. The boy isn't there once she is done answering her friend and something in her stomach clenches, churns, and she almost empties her breakfast onto the classroom floor.

She begins to see him in the corners of her eyes wherever she goes. He's playing the crane machine game as she enters the photo booth and is still there when she emerges, digging around in his pockets for change – she stares, willing for him to look her way. He doesn't, and she can't think of anything to do so she turns on her heel and leaves.

Her fingers twitch for her Evoker and Orpheus, ever-present in her mind, strings a lullaby traced with notes grief and nostalgia that she doesn't understand.

He's there in the edges of all reflective surfaces and she has learned to pretend that he is not there, not there because Minako may have a hundred voices crushed into the space between her ears, pressing up against the skin of her forehead, but she does not see dead people.

She asks Pharos once if he knows of a boy like that, but the child just falls silent and smiles. She doesn't know whether she's gotten better at reading people since she has started forging Social Link,s or if she's just tired, but his smile looks just the tinniest bit strained. She doesn't bother asking again because somehow, with the utmost certainty, she knows that Pharos is not dead so then what does that make the boy?

(Minako does not see dead people, Minako puts a gun to her head and smilingly calls out to the deities wreaking havoc inside her skull.)

When she comes home one day, he's sitting on her bed. She pauses, closes the door behind her, and walks forward until she's right in front of him. He has made no reaction so she takes a breath, straightens her back, and opens her mouth.

"I'm Minako," she says, and waits. Minutes pass as he sits there in front of her, so solid that she is tempted to touch him – she doesn't, and all of a sudden his eyes meet hers and they're so much bluer than Pharos', so much darker and deeper and colder.

His image does something that she can only describe as a flicker, stretching out at the edges before drawing back into itself and he disappears. She realizes she's not breathing. Her knees are shaking and faintly, at the back of her mind, the fingers of green mist belonging to the Dark Hour creep up on her.

Ryoji has nice blue eyes. She hasn't approached the ghost boy since the last time but now, when she lets herself get a quick glimpse at him, he's looking in her direction. She pretends to build walls around herself and only smiles wider as Ryoji sends another grin her way.

She thinks that the ghost boy leaning on the wall behind him is beginning to look vaguely amused, and turns away.

"Are you dead?" She asks him one day, staring at the mirror as he lies on her bed behind her. She's frustrated and tired and doesn't expect him to do anything, but he raises his head from her pillow and blinks at her.

"Are you?" He replies, curiously, and Minako presses her hands to her eyes and counts backwards from one hundred. There is no one there when she's done and it takes her several minutes to stop shaking.

He seems to like the bed, she thinks as she goes back upstairs after Ryoji is gone. Everything is silent inside the dorm and she mulls over the boy's (Pharos', Thanatos', Death's) words. The ghost is there and she goes to curl up beside him, wanting the comfort of her pillows.

"My bed," she mutters as her breakdown begins, and the boy almost smiles and turns so his back is facing her. Through her tears, she can see his body starting to tremble and doesn't bother asking why he's holding back sobs.

"What's your favourite eye color in a guy?" Yukari's magazine reads and Minako stares at her from over her textbook.

"Blue," she says after a moment's hesitation. The ghost boy settled on the arm rest of the sofa beside her, holding an identical textbook of his own, makes an amused sound that she almost, barely, smiles at.

He's there beside her as she fights and he has some sort of short sword and she thinks it would have been a much easier weapon to get used to than her naginata but Nyx strikes and she falls, and the ghost boy pauses and now she can see through him and something is happening to her lungs because she can't breathe, and the boy's hesitation costs him because something that she can't see makes him fall to his knees too

and then she's up again, onto her second wind, and the boy follows her up and they chase each other towards the end of the world.

Nobody bothers to skip class as the year comes to a close, too worried about marks and classes and getting the last out of their school life before the break sneaks up on them. She's the only one who comes to the rooftops now, and even though it tires her out, she does so to see the ghost boy.

The ghost seems tired too, because he won't appear anywhere else. He sits on the bench, staring out into space, his eyes unfocused. Minako takes a seat beside him, her shoulder bumping his.

He turns his head slightly in her direction at the touch, surprised, and they look at each other. She holds her hand out in greeting and he takes it.

The handshake is weak on both sides, and she can feel the faint pulse under the pale skin of the fingers wrapped around hers.

"Minato," he finally says, and for a moment everything in the world around her surrounds her with warmth. It pulses and radiates and for a moment, the Minako reflected in his eyes is aglow and alive and whole.