Disclaimer: I don't own P3P.

Author's Note: I swear this fandom never leaves me.

in the pursuit of forever

(I'll be your disaster, ever after
so fire away,


Minako watches the night bleed green and the puddles underneath her feet turn red. She is nine the first time this happens, standing all alone on the corner of her house with a faded pink umbrella in her hands. There is silence unlike any other – she can hear herself breathing, in and out and in and out, and on the porch of her house she can see a dark object where her caretaker just stood only seconds before.

The moon is yellow and large above her. It is a full moon tonight and this is her first time experiencing this outside. She walks over the puddle on the asphalt and leaves a trail of bloody footprints behind (come 59 minutes later they'll be water drying slowly in the night; she doesn't know this yet, but soon she will). She pauses at the front door and examines the coffin. It is made of wood and she almost opens it, wondering if there is someone in there, before moving on. It is quiet inside the house, and she makes her way to her room. There is only her and her caretaker here. She sets the umbrella down beside her door and undresses. Pulls back the comforter. Lays her head down on the pillow.

She closes her eyes and knows that this dream will soon end. She wonders about how she doesn't remember getting back into the house, changing into her pyjamas, sliding into bed. She's had this dream before – a dream of green skies and still air and the faint smell of decay. She's dreamt of voices before too, a figure in white and gold and a flash of blue eyes.

She's dreamt of Minato's blue eyes, of him sliding into the same bed with her absent. She's dreamt of her mother's hand and her father's murmur. A dark figure hovering before her and a mournful cry. Pain, and cold fingers on her face. Minako dreams in fragments both when asleep and awake.

Her life is in fragments, little pieces here and there fitting in as she tries to adapt to life without her second half holding her hand. She wishes for a friend, and for her eyes to be blue. For her hair to be blue. She wishes the green away.

Everything around her changes but the green dream is the constant – it is the one thing flickering behind her eyelids every time she watches the clock turn midnight. She eventually begins to wait for it, anticipates it, holds her breath and listens to the silence before slipping away, a dream within a dream.

She looks up at the clock, fills her lungs with air, and watches it strike twelve.

(one day this green dream with shadows curling at the edges will leave her and she'll be normal again.)

She is drawn to a boy in a way that she's never been before. His eyes promise life (they smile, turn up at the corners, focus in on her and make her lose her breath) but her fingers shake when he turns away and the voices inside her murmur, one over the other, tumbling in a rising crescendo. They scream DEATH and she turns it all off with the simple call for Orpheus. Orpheus comes and all is silent because Orpheus is there, and Orpheus never speaks. Orpheus is the silence of the green dreams, the Dark Hour. Orpheus never judges, never interferes, merely plays the harp and shuts everything else away.

Blue eyes gaze at her, one hand curling around her trembling one (she wonders if he knows or if he thinks her merely a girl) and she has never before felt so vulnerable, so complete. All the pieces seem to fall into place one by one with little cracks and something inside her breaks, rebuilds itself, and soars.

She soars and never lets go.

(forever, my darling, a little boy once whispered to her.)

Nyx screeches before her, and she's never been afraid of dying. She's stepped inside a coffin once back when the supernatural was only a dream, and shut the wooden lid and closed her eyes and choked, choked on the sudden overwhelming emotions pounding out a beat inside her body. They wreaked havoc in her skull and then Orpheus came for the first time, soothing lullaby and ghostly hands pushing her out, out into the dirt she grasps in her fingers as she falls. Everything is not fresh but it's quiet, unlike the usual silence, and Minako realizes that there is a flutter of wind behind her as the door creaks shut. She thinks she catches a pale hand in a striped sleeve disappearing as she turns and she's safe - all of a sudden, she's safe.

Minako has never been afraid of facing death so she smiles in the face of destruction because she's a Fool, after all this time, she is a Fool first and foremost no matter what deity she's controlling. Minako Arisato is a Fool.

And then she is the World.

She's everything, for a brief span of several minutes, omnipresent and she can hear, she can feel and she can see and she knows, she knows the secrets of the Velvet Room and the emptiness behind Theodore's smile, the flesh under Thanatos' claws, the sadness behind Alice's laugh as she twirls and disappears. She is a silver haired boy in his bed and she winds her arms around him, whispers of the Fool into his ear and fades; she is inside a foreign yet so familiar body as Yukari leans forward and whispers her dead brother's name. She has a harp in her hands and sees a coffin before her, sees her. She sees the green and roars with the gnawing hunger igniting in her belly.

and then all of a sudden she's a Nothing like she's never been before and there's a dead Goddess before her. Life slows down to a blur and speeds up at the same time, someone pressing the fast forward button on the remote to her destiny. The warm fingers of fatigue beckon. She begins to walk blind through a fog.

She remembers, though. She remembers the cacophony of voices and the satisfying scream of the monster's flesh under the tip of her naginata. The final, twitching flutter of wings and the cracks shattering her mind. For the first time in almost a year, all is silent, the green dream once more and no Dark Hour. Except no green and no dream and just tired, she's tired all the time and sometimes she'll catch herself drifting off, one hand braced on a wall or a table and her wrist is so small, smaller than ever before, and with a little more pressure she thinks it'll break. Her body feels mouldable, weighed down and on a countdown to eternity.

She thinks she's dead then, those first few days, and she hopes for it. She imagines crossing her fingers for luck (she's a liar, always a liar, liar liar) and whispering his name as she crumbles to the cold ground. It would be so easy. It seems everyone she loves is gone now, her brother and her mother and her father and a black hole aches inside her breast, gravitates towards an invisible body somewhere far away, somewhere where she once felt whole.

She opens her eyes one morning and nothing is the same.

(a switch has been turned back on inside of her and she laughs, because the dream is gone but nothing is normal about her now.)

Her goal is no longer to live (long enough to defeat the Shadows, long enough to press her lips to Shinjiro's still ones and pray for him to wake up, long enough to defeat Nyx, save the world, be a superhero, be a Messiah to an oblivious planet). Her goal is to die, so she presses her lips shut and makes herself get out of bed every morning, morning after morning, each time feeling a little emptier on the inside than the day before. She drags her feet and keeps her eyes down and stays away from her dormmates as much as possible. It's not hard – they avoid each other without even knowing it, an unnatural instinct controlling their locked memories, holding all the secrets, all the answers as to why they suddenly pause in the daylight and wait for an echoing voice, wake up in the middle of the night with half their bodies out of bed. She holds all the keys but she's a dead girl walking so she shuts herself away and sleeps hour after hour, clutching at pillows with a scent that fades with every passing day that she presses her face into it.

The dorm had once loud, full of laughter and pain and friendship. She wonders where they all go, what they all do. She imagines video games being played and boxing practice and French novels and a hospital room with fresh flowers and new earrings and a glass of milk and a silver laptop. She misses nightly walks. She plans to visit the shrine after school one day but the room suddenly spins. An awkward senior steadies her, leaves with a confused glance in her direction. Silver hair catches in the sunlight as the door closes. She stands there smiling at nothing. It is not a happy smile and she is too tired to cry.

She crawls into bed without changing out of her uniform and sleeps for days, doesn't eat because her body knows that there is no point. The calendar marks down the days to graduation in red pen. It lingers in her vision and is the last thing she sees every time she stops living for the moments, the first thing she sees when she wakes up.

(you promised us an infinity, she whispers into the wind.)

When the day comes, the sun is bright in her eyes. The breeze plays with her hair and her skirt, raises goosebumps on her skin. She listens to the voices, to the noise, doesn't let herself be surrounded by the silence. Birds chirp, everything alive is whispering to her as she rests. She is smiling. They are wishing her farewell. Fingers touch her face, just as before, gentle now as they brush her bangs away. Aigis' lap is cold and hard beneath her head, so Minako closes her eyes for the last time and rushes towards Death.

He greets her with eyes that promise life; always have, even when he called himself Death, and that silly yellow scarf trailing over his shoulder.

(forever: without ever ending; eternally.)