disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: Lauren, who was my introduction to this fandom even if she doesn't know it.
notes: blurp.

title: sway
summary: Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies. — P4; Yukiko/Souji.

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Ivory gave way underneath her fingers. It was in the soft plink of the piano keys that Yukiko lost herself—she'd never learned to play properly, not the way her mother had wanted her to learn. It had been harlequin romance novels and paltry fantasy epics that had devoured her brain and her soul (not that she'd really understood either of them. But the words had rolled across her tongue, tasting forbidden and lovely, and she'd always been drawn that way, anyway).

It was slow and melancholy, a wish to go and never come back.

And Yukiko let the slightly-broken melody taper away into the silence.

Because she'd wished to go and never come back, for a very long time. Anything; anything would have been better than staying.

But there was nothing for it.

Yukiko lingered in the room with the window open and it was cold, but it wasn't like she was breathing, anyway. She was a dead girl, a dying girl, flittering along the edges of it; new wave addiction that didn't belong anywhere.

And she knew that the others saw that, too.

He sat where she'd left him, in girlhood dreams and simplistic broken beauty, and she couldn't speak for fear that her words would mash together and her tongue would stick to the roof of her mouth and—

(one two three, one two three, one two three)

—and she was pretty sure she was in love with him.

"You really have to leave, don't you?"

"I guess."

The rain had washed away all her illusions.

He wasn't going to be coming back.

Her hands clenched around her teacup. "Chie will miss you."

"Will she?"

The layers in the question hurt. Her throat clenched tighter than her hands, and she fought. Lie, Yukiko, she told herself. You have to lie, because if he knows, if he finds out

"Yes," she said simply. "She will."

"That's not what I was asking."

"I know," Yukiko murmured.

"Yuki—" he started, and reached for the side of her face.

Yukiko jerked sharply back, discordant birdsong filling the inside of her head. I won't lie to you. I'm telling you the truth. And it was the truth, Chie would miss him and so would Rise and so would Naoto, even though she denied it. They would all miss him, and Yukiko—she—she wasn't cut out for this.

"Please don't," she whispered.

His hand dropped to his side.

He could only bend his head and press his forehead to hers. For one agonising second, their breaths mingled.

Yukiko fled without saying goodbye.

fin.