With news of Persona 4 Arena being released in the US in fall as well as P3's Elizabeth becoming a playable character, I decided to celebrate. This is also a person test on writing in second person, as well as a sequel to my SMT: P3 fic "Sorry". Originally, the title was "Second Chance", but since there's more than one chance alluded to in the story, I just called it "Chances". Imagining that the narrator is Elizabeth might be fitting... :)
Disclaimer: Blu Rose does not own the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series. If she did, Minato would be a secret player character in Persona 4 Arena and not just an alternate color scheme for Souji/Yu!
You've felt it every day: the hurt and pain of the people of the world, for that is your duty. You're the only thing that stops Erebus from summoning Nyx to destroy mankind—the only thing that stops humanity's pain from bringing forth their demise. That is your fate as a living seal.
But it wasn't always that way. You weren't always the seal. At one point, it was her. Kaori. The one who held your heart—not your girlfriend, oddly enough, even though everyone in school said she was. Her spirit became the seal and all that was left behind was a body with a smile on its face. She had essentially died to save the world and those she cared for within it. For her friends. For you. But despite that, you still wallowed in grief over it. You longed for her to have her life back. You wished you could have one last chance to be with her and actually say those words you had been hesitant to say since the day your parents died: "I love you".
And then, you were given your chance. Like Orpheus, the figure your inner self was based upon, you descended into the Underworld—into the Abyss of Time—but instead of finding your Eurydice—your dear Kaori, you found a Key. A Key which you used to make a wish for her life in exchange for yours. If only you knew how much of an effect your words would have. Time was rewound and rewritten, and you took her place in life. She was still the same cherry, loving girl and you were still the same solemn, passive boy and you were both still silently in love with each other, but instead, you were the one who died to save the world and whose soul became the Great Seal that protects it.
Like Orpheus, you descended into the Underworld to save your Eurydice. But unlike him, not once did you look back or think about the consequences, and for that, you were able to save your beloved at a cost. You were now trapped in a hell caused by the sorrowful emotions of people…and your Eurydice was on the mortal plane, sad and alone. But when she found herself in the same place as you, with the same chance to take you out of your personal hell, she did what you did not. She looked back and saw the world, and what would happen if there was no one to protect it. She left you be, and went on with her life, swearing like all the others to ease your burden.
But she couldn't. Not fully. Although she made something of her life, she was still alone, still sad, still lonely without you. You've felt the pain of your friends over the years along with that of the world's, but surely her pain was the worst to bear, knowing you had a hand in it.
And then, one day, your pain is ceased. You see blue butterflies. You hear a soulfully soothing aria. You feel your heart beating. Your eyes truly see for the first time in years and you realize where you are. The Velvet Room. But rather than seeing Igor, you see a man in a suit sitting before you, wearing a mask decorated with a butterfly. Even after all these years of not being able to speak, you remain silent and stare at the masked stranger. He doesn't say a wear. He simply held out a familiar card, glowing pale blue, as if silently asking a question:
"Will you take it?"
And just as silently, you reach out and take the card, holding it between your fingers. The door behind you slides open and light fills the Velvet Room. Once again, your eyes are closed, and once again, you open them, but this time, you open them as you feel intense pain going through your hand. It's your beloved—Eurydice, no longer a girl, but a woman, and she's clutching your hand while she holds back years' worth of tears and sobs.
"I'm sorry…!" She whispers just loudly enough for you to understand. "I'll try to do my best; I'll try to lessen your burden, but I can't wait forever clinging to the false hope that you'll come back someday!"
"…You're crushing my hand," is all you can say, even if the thought of knowing you caused her this pain is worse than the physical pain you were enduring.
"I'm sorry if I'm hurting you, but you have to understand how I feel!"
"I know how you feel." Oh, did you know. To you, her pain was greater than a continent's combined. "And I know you're crushing my hand."
She stops her wailing and looks at you. You sit up so you can see her better. Your body is weak from being sustained on liquid and nutrients alone and your hair has grown to the point where your bangs almost hide your eyes entirely, but through them, you can make her out. Her hair was down, still the same glorious shade of red-tinted brown, bangs framing her face and her cherry red eyes were watering with tears, reflecting a look of joy and confusion all at once. "Good morning," is all you can say before she buries her face in your shoulder, crying and apologizing for what she thought and what she said when you left her behind, and you wrap an arm behind her, happy to feel her and smell her once more.
And so, your life resumed. You put any thoughts of how and why your life was given back to you in the back of your head. You celebrated with your friends, were told of the things they had accomplished in their life, the things that occurred within the world while your spirit protected them—like others like you who controlled the power of their inner selves—the things they wished they had told you when you were still alive. You don't know what you'll do with your life—you, a man who died before he could even finish high school or realize where he wanted to go in life—or if your duty as a savior and protector of humanity is truly over…but that is for a future that you know is determined by greater forces.
For now, though, you're content with your days of being educated online, spending time with your friends and your beloved Kaori. And you enjoy spending time at the mall together like you used to, listening to music, drinking coffee, spending the night dancing to music that gets your pulses racing, and waking up in each other's arms in the apartment you shared—for now, you tell yourself, though you know you don't want to leave and risk losing her again—with no idea of how you got back there and not caring. You stare into each other's eyes as you had done all those years before, and you silently, wordlessly exchange the words that you've longed to say and she has longed to hear:
"I love you…"
Hoping you read and review.