Disclaimer: I do not own Persona. The characters and story belong to Altus, the amazing company that brought us the games.
Spoiler: I do not recommend reading this if you haven't completed Persona 3, Persona 4 or Persona Arena as it contains spoiler of these video games.
He had made the trip numerous times and it never failed to give him a certain thrill like butterflies in his stomach. The constant variables were present: his reliable duffel bag, the train's pleasant rocking against the tracks, the faraway green mountains, and the cloudless blue sky. The mundane, stretched fields were truly captivating, and YU NARUKAMI mentally chuckled at the irony. He, a city boy, vastly preferred this slow pace region to the city's nonstop momentum.
May 3, 2013 (Monday)
The train's scraping hisses increased the excitement his facade concealed. He counted down the seconds until the train finally stopped, quickly gathered his belongings and exited out the door. Unpolluted, fresh air-filled his lungs as he increased his strides, exiting the terminal. The sun's brilliant rays warmed his pale complexion. He was home, finally, expect-no one was around. Correction, there were people; though, none of them were his friends or uncle and little cousin. His duffel bag felt heavier on his shoulder. Yu noticed the town hadn't really changed much, since his last visit.
"I have seen the light! I've learned the most important lesson from the events of last year!"
The familiar voice caught Yu's attention and he walked toward a group of individuals, surrounding a tall, thin man, standing on a wooden crate. Yu blinked in surprise. The man was Taro Namatame, giving a passionate message to the citizens of Inaba. And, surprisingly, the people listened keenly.
"Unfortunately, this world is full of things to meant to deceive people," Namatame said. "The things you purse of justice may actually be a terrible mistake...One man is not enough to judge these things."
Using your own learned lesson as an example… Yet, even as Yu thought this, his own attention was drawn to Namatame like a fly to a light bulb. A strange thought crossed his mind. I never knew he was so charismatic, but, then again, last year, it'd be an understatement to say he was going through a rough time.
A housewife, wearing an apron over a blue shirt, noticed Yu and said, "I've been to a few of his speeches. I think he might be a pretty nice guy."
"I agree," Yu replied. Nodding in farewell, he turned toward the road, commencing the walk to his uncle's house.
"It was a group of boys and girls who taught me that," said Namatame, enthralling the crowd. And, momentarily, Yu stopped, registered his words, then continued to walk, the indication of a smile tugging his lips.
He found his uncle's house without trouble, his body memorizing every turn, street and shortcut. Standing outside, Yu admired how the sun brightened the tan facade, giving the home a golden glow. His eyes wandered to the small garden he had constructed for Nanako last year, delighted at the amount of healthy vegetables. A new addition to the home was the tall bricked fence and the elegant metallic door by the entrance that gave access to the garden. His uncle seemed increasingly bent on security nowadays.
Yu dropped his duffel bag and beeped the doorbell. A timeless tune echoed from inside the house without response. The front door was locked as well, giving the impression that they were away. Pocketing his cell phone, Yu called Dojima. He answered on the third ring.
"Hello? Ohhh, oh...it's you, huh?" His uncle cleared his throat, suddenly sounding nervous and ill-prepared.
Did he forget, Yu wondered, the thought somewhat comical and very Dojima-like?
"Oh yeah you're coming over. Was-was that today? Sorry, but my hands are tied right now," Dojima explained. "Why don't you call one of your friends and hang out with them for a bit? I'll see you later."
Dojima hung up, leaving the cell phone to beep in Yu's ear. Signing, the young man attempted to call Yosuke, but after a few rings, worry, like a toxic fluid, filled his stomach.
Did something happen?
Yu pocketed his cell phone, picked up his duffel bag and headed toward town.
Was it his imagination or was the town brighter, festive even. Walking up the road, his eyes wandered, out of habit, to the empty spot between Daidada Metalworks and Yomenaido Bookstore. There was nothing expect a thin gap that a cat could fit through. Somehow, the absence of the Velvet Room door was unnatural, which Yu also found ironic.
He continued to walk, proceeding to the North Central shopping District. And, just like the outside of the terminal, a large group stood by the shop: Souzai Daigaku. Colorful fillers, chairs, posters, and flags were everywhere as if a festival was midway in preparation.
"Hey, what do you think of beefsteak onigirl?" said a man, wearing a straw hat. "We can freeze it and sell it nationwide through Amazing Commodities."
"I dunno," said another man who seemed to be the brains of the operation. "Those are handmade, aren't they? I don't think we can mass produce them..." The thinking man then contradicted himself, saying that perhaps the notion of limited quality and handmade could revitalize the town.
Revitalize the town? Yu's interest in the status quo grew.
Two housewives, to the center of the mass of people, conversed to one another that they often saw themselves leaving Inaba due to the events of last year, yet couldn't bring themselves to because of their memories. Suddenly, a young man, wearing a festive red vest, ran up with sweat running down his joyful face. "Yes! Junes said they'll support us completely. We should've gone to them sooner!"
A troubled-looking older male explained his very realistic worries. "Um, then what are we going to sell? We have steak kabobs, but what've else is there?"
"It can be anything you half-wit," bellowed a loud old man, who Yu recognized as the retired police officer who had patrolled the area during the events of last year. "As long as it's something we put our backs into, people will love it!"
The activity, livelihood, and energy was off the charts. The shopping district was alive, a festival in its own right, aiming toward the restoration of better times. Smiling at the sight, Yu continued his walk to Junes.
The elevator disposed of him on the roof where numerous food stands were spread throughout, along with plastic chairs and tables, and a big red sign that read: JUNES. A few small children raced each other with parents sitting nearby, observing them. It seemed that even Junes wasn't immune to the festive vibe. Large, fake alcoholic beverages crowded lone table tops, colorful signs were tied to bamboo sticks, strategically placed in thick bushes.
Yu advanced a lone table with eight empty chairs, and placed his duffel bag down. The nostalgia sent chills down his spine. Thinking back, it seemed childish that a vacant table on the roof of a mega department store was what he and his friends considered their special headquarters. Yet, he loved it all the same.
Looking around, he wondered if he'd spot Youske or Teddie, the duo probably busy working. He was on the verge of sitting down when, from his peripheral, he noticed two shapes appear then disappear, well not entirely. A certain blond head of hair wasn't too hard to spot. Yu heard a loud throb, and then Yosuke's harsh whispering. "Ow! You're going to give us away idiot!"
"Only because you were slower than a jar of maulasses!" And that was Teddie.
Maulasses? Yu frowned in contemplation. Teddie using big vocabulary?
"Shut up or he's going to hear us," Yosuke, without a doubt, poorly whispered.
Patience evaporated, Yu advanced his clearly exposed friends.
"Ugh, we blew it...oh well. Here goes-one, two!" Yosuke jumped from his position. "Wah!" Then Teddie jumped up, just as enthusiastic, with, "Bahhhhh! I'm a bear."
A moment of silence arose, and, amazingly, Yu was, in a way, surprised. Nicely executed, he wanted to say without sounding deadpan or sarcastic. He settled for a stoic expression, giving nothing away. The wind blew as if equally unimpressed.
Yosuke and Teddie stepped out of the bush, and in the span of a blink, the entire Investigation Team was rushing towards them.
Chie, visually alarmed, said, "What are you guys doing? That's nothing like we planned!" She glared at Teddie. "And what's with the 'bahhh, I'm a bear'? We aren't ambushing him!"
Almost felt like it, Yu thought comically.
Naoto, standing to the rear, where Teddie once hid, sighed. "I knew we'd run into snags..."
"I'm sorry," Yosuke said, bowing his head like a scolded child. "I'm sorry," Teddie said, following suit.
"Aaaahhhh!" All heads turned to the scarlet, squealing like a hormonal school girl, which she technically was. "Senpai! Senpai! You're here, you're here! Did you miss me?"
Before Yu's brain could process a response, Rise latched on him, holding his right arm captive. Yu tried to ignore the instant numbness. The sweet smell of strawberries filled his nostrils, which he also ignored. "What's going on?"
Yosuke gave Yu his trademark wink and smirk. "Uhh, we heard you were coming, so planned—"
"Failed," Chie inputted with a sigh.
"—a little surprise. I mean...things got kind of nuts when you visited in May. And then in Port—"
Simultaneously, Chie and Kanji reacted, Kanji wrapping an arm around Yosuke's chest and Chie delivering a swift kick to his thigh. Yu's best friend crumbled to his knees, wailing in agony. And, at that moment, multiple things occurred: Rise pressed herself harder against him, becoming insanely difficult to neglect, Yukiko zoned out, Naoto's jaw set in a hard line, and Chie and Kanji grimaced as Teddie attempted to help Youske stand.
"F-Forget what just happened," Chie said with a lame laugh. Suddenly, despite the perfect weather and the festive atmosphere, everything was grim, his friends observing him like he would drop dead at any moment. Yosuke, still grimacing, said weakly, "Y-yah, sorry about that. W-we kind of agreed that there would no talk of weirdness and such...Loser gets a Chie-man kick."
Yosuke's incredible ability to ease the situation prevailed. No one could resist the smile widening on their face, and Yu sighed in relief. Something about how his friends reacted moments ago still nagged him, but he decided to do as Chie had advised and forget. Yosuke was right. They all needed some normality after the events last May.
Youske cleared his throat, bending at the waist after Chie's punt. "So, we knew you were coming, and instead of you visiting all of our houses, we decided to surprise you."
"Yeah," Chie agreed. "And we thought you'd miss us a little if you couldn't find us."
"It didn't go quite as we planned...but welcome back Senpai," said Kanji, standing beside Naoto. It took all of Yu's self-control to not gawk at Kanji's transformation. Everyone had undergone some sort of alternation, since last year, including himself. Yu glanced at each of them.
Youske's hair was cut shorter to the side, the front section almost spiked, but he looked cool. Dotting a stripped white and red shirt, blue jeans and sneakers, he looked like a regular city kid. Teddie hadn't changed much, other than an increase in height with clothing that didn't completely scream foreign.
Unlike Youske, and thank goodness for it, Chie's hair was longer, curling at the ends, reaching her chin. She looked cute, wearing a blue jacket over an orange dress. Yukiko's new appearance made her appear older, though it wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Her raven hair was pinned in a clean-cut bun, and she wore a light-blue blazer over a caramel dress.
Rise looked like a movie star with enough grace to turn heads wherever she went. She had outgrown her previous hairstyle, scarlet hair straight yet wavy, reaching past her shoulders.
"We're you surprised?" Yu blinked, pondering Yukiko's question. He didn't know how to answer without sounding mildly offensive, so he simply nodded, and murmured, "…Yeah."
The raven-haired girl smiled in delight. "Success!"
Chie looked at her best friend in disbelief. "No! Not a success!"
Using the dispute to her advantage, Rise bumped hips with Yu, smiling sultry. "So, what do you think Senpai? Are you blown away? Is your heart melting?"
"Oh, come on," Youske said, shooting Kanji a sly grin. "You know who's changed the most here."
Without hesitation, and not bothering to be discreet about it, all heads turned to Kanji Tatsumi, version two. His bleached-blond hair was in its natural state, straight and black. Over his eyes were sturdy black rimmed glasses, giving him, along with his buttoned white shirt, a studious appearance.
Kanji's eyes narrowed at their subtle glances. Yukiko, snickering behind her hand, didn't help matters. "Gah! Will you ass-hats cut it out? You're being more than a little rude."
At this, Yukiko openly laughed, hugging her waist. Even Naoto, usually stoic, smiled faintly, which Yu took as an initiative to assess her changes, metamorphosis to be exact? Since the events of last year, she learned to accept her gender, and now wore feminine clothing, which cleared the mystery of her—rather impressive bosom.
"We have all changed a little," admitted the female detective. "None of us can stay in stasis forever."
In the background, Yukiko continued her hysterical laughing spree, sneaking glances at Kanji. The raven-haired male glared in return.
Chie sighed in exasperation. "Stop...laughing already!"
"None of us want to be the person who's talking about how great things were back then," Yosuke explained. "As long as we're all here, we can keep an eye out for each other, and change."
The group collectively nodded in agreement.
"Yosuke's still a show-off," Teddie proclaimed, matter-of-factly. "But not me! I'm leveled up, super Teddie. I've evolved into a grizzly bear! Can't you tell Sensei?"
Yu raised his free hand, momentarily struggling in Rise's grasp, to his chin in mock contemplation.
"...You do seem hairier."
Youske opened his mouth, on the verge of commenting when Yu's cell phone vibrated, in his pocket, where a certain scarlet was currently pressed against. Rise jumped back in alarm, blushing vividly and squirming, something the silver-haired young man, as Chie had previously advised, would forget.
He positioned the phone to his ear. "Hello?"
"Oh, hi...it's me," said the hesitant voice, belonging to his uncle. "Did the surprise go well?"
Yu cocked an eyebrow. "Were you on this to?"
Dojima laughed full-heartedly. "Come on. Don't say that to a detective. Give me a break. They forced me to pretend I wasn't home. What could I do? Anyway, all of you come over. I've got a good meal waiting."
Yu bid his uncle goodbye, pocketed his cell phone, and told everyone of the feast awaiting them. The mention of food brought a smile to Kanji's face. "Oh, really? Hell yea, let's eat!"
"Hey Kanji," Rise said, outraged, "this is to celebrate Senpai coming back!"
"Shut up! I know!"
And a feast it was indeed. Despite them being a group of eight, ten counting Dojima and Nanako, whenever she arrived, they managed to comfortably position themselves around the square table in the living room. The food was exquisite, a wide variety of expensive seafood and meats that everyone enjoyed, Chie especially. "Soooo, good!"
Kanji, sitting across from the starved carnivore, bellowed, "Chie-senpai, that's your second one. We get one each!"
Dojima scratched the back of his head, discouraged. "You kids sure do eat a lot...I thought I may have overdone the order, but now I wondering the opposite."
"Sorry 'bout that," Youske said. "Chie's a beast." Whatever angry remark Chie said was filtered by the food in her mouth. "Isn't Nanako-chan here? I'd hate to have Chie eat her share..."
The glare Chie sent Yosuke could kill, promising a swift death by kicks. In return, Yosuke grinned impishly, perhaps in retribution for the kick to his thigh?
Dojima didn't seem to notice, looking at Yu as he explained. "She's at piano lessons. And don't worry, I set hers aside."
Piano lessons, Yu thought. His confusion must have been conspicuous, because his uncle quickly added, "Didn't I tell you? Yeah, Nanako stared piano lessons." He smiled. "She should be home any second. Ever since she heard you were coming back, she's been bouncing off the walls."
Dojima laughed on behalf of Nanako's excitement. A carefree smile replaced the wary one he had always presented last year. It was almost strange to see him so overjoyed, no longer viewing Nanako as a burden but as the perfect little girl she was—his daughter.
"I'm glad she's doing ok," Yu said.
"Yea...me too," agreed Dojima with a head nod. "She's growing and learning every day. It's amazing to see...just watching her makes me feel stronger, day by day, and, well, I've moved on."
He explained the recent breakthrough with the unsolved hit-and-run case that claimed the life of his wife, Nanako's mother. Yu vaguely remembered the details, but he, along with his friends, gave him their undivided attention. A worry line creased over Dojima's forehead, mentioning the lack of any concrete leads for years, but he quickly shook his head, ridding such pessimistic thoughts.
"I've been chasing dead ends and false leads for so long...but I think I'm finally getting close to the truth...without disregarding the important things. It's a line I've learned to separate, work and personal life. And, I learned it from you. Thank you."
A smile naturally found itself on Yu's features. His uncle couldn't have given him better news, though an unanswered question still pestered his mind. "What happen with last year's case?"
"Oh, about last year's case..." Dojima's face turned in concentration. "Well, Namatame got released due to lack of evidence."
Surprise was evident from the faces his friends were making. Yu, having already seen said individual, remained placid.
"Since no one could reproduce his methods," Dojima continued, "there just wasn't enough evidence to build a proper case." His eyes narrowed marginally. "He actually came to apologize to me, but I told him to make it up in his own way...said he was going to run for major."
Yukiko, sitting to Yu's left, placed her chopsticks down. "I remember walking pass the station the other day. So it was Namatame-san giving those speeches."
"Oh and," Dojima added, a tingle of annoyance in his tone. "I went to see Adachi."
This time even Yu wasn't immune to the surprise that came across everyone's face.
"W-what happened to him?" Youske asked in an anxious tone.
Chie frowned. "Were you the one who interrogated him?"
Dojima shook his head, chuckling mirthlessly, like he'd enjoy the prospect of the duty. "No, no. I couldn't be part of that. I was too close. But he was indicted. He knew information only the real killer would know..." He paused. "I went to see him, after they set a trial date."
"I see," Naoto murmured, patiently awaiting the rest of the tale. Some though, like Kanji, possessed less self-control, gripping the table in suspense.
Dojima's next words somehow bridged between startling and expected. "They say he's a model prisoner. The bastard said he gets treated better behind bar than he did ever working with me." Despite the ordeal, he spoke of Adachi without resentment. "Maybe next time I'll get him an old cabbage." To Yu, his uncle looked genuinely happy.
The front door flew open and then shut, alerting everyone of the final member to their party. "I'm home," Nanako sang, racing to the living room. Standing by Yu's right shoulder, where Rise sat, was his little cousin, Nanako Dojima. She had grown an inch or two, and had longer hair that reached pass her shoulder blades. In her white dress, she looked absolutely adorable.
"Dad," she exclaimed, eyes locked on her father. "Is big bro-" Her voice lowed to a whisper, noticing her big bro, smiling up at her. "BIG BRO!" Sunshine and rainbows shined above her head.
Dojima laughed. "Surprised, Nanako?"
"Welcome home Nana-chan," Teddie greeted.
"Teddie too!" Nanako said amazement. "And Rise-chan! Everyone's here!" She smiled down at Yu. "Big bro, I'm learning piano now. And I've been a good girl!"
"I'm very proud of you," Yu beamed.
Nanako giggled. "I'll play for you sometime!"
"I didn't think she'd ask to start playing piano," Dojima mused, gathering everyone's attention. "Chisato was a piano teacher...but Nanako's pretty good herself. Like mother like daughter, huh?"
Assessing Dojima's tone, Yu sensed no negativity. Nor regret or hint of wariness, but, contentment at his daughter's joy. The transformation of their relationship, in comparison to last year, was miraculous.
"I remember a song my mom played! I'm going to play it for you dad!"
Dojima smiled wider than he had all day. "Alright, come on, sit down over here. I saved you a plate."
Nanako darted to his side, and after some re-positioning, she sat in-between Yosuke and her father. "Dad, the weather channel's on!"
Everyone turned their attention toward the TV to the corner of the room. Yu, bemused over the sudden interest, looked over as well.
A female newscaster, prim and proper, wearing a plain brown suit said, "And, now the weather. It was nice and sunny today, but what will it look like further down the week?"
"Well I'm glad you asked," replied a strangely familiar voice. The screen phased in and out, focusing on a young woman with chin-length hair that flirted between black and brown. Over her eyes were skinny-rimmed glasses, and she wore a black and grey colored shirt and a puffy white blouse top. But, that did nothing to hide the truth, because no matter the clothing, disguise or make-up, the person on-screen would always be recognizable to Yu.
Apparently she had undergone a name change. "Hello everyone! Mariko Kusmi here!"
Yu gulped, pondering the possibility of this being a dream and that, in reality, he was still on the train, dozing off. Illusion or not, Mariko Kusmi continued her weather report. "We've been having a lot of rain recently, so today I'm going to make it sunny!"
Yu's eyes widened. D-did she just say make it sunny?
"Besides," said Mariko on TV. "Someone's visiting so I can't have it rain, while he's here. So, for as long as he is here, I'm going to keep it sunny!"
In the background, the prim and proper newscaster was a little ashen by Mariko's bold declarations.
Seemingly ignoring the newscaster, Mariko continued in her chipper tone. "Oh, but if it gets too hot, some rain would be nice...he should tell me whatever he'd like and I'll change it." Again, panic seized Yu's heart and he pinched himself to confirm whether this was a dream or not. The aching sting on his forearm confirmed that this was reality.
"Oh...I forgot to mention," Chie said, appearing bashful.
"She's been comin' here a lot," Kanji inputted. "She's famous now..."
"How'd she get so popular so fast?" Rise questioned out loud. "What was that station thinking? Mariko...what a boring name..."
Kanji, Chie and Yu shared a sigh at the idol's irritation.
"That girl will decide the weather right?" Nanako asked, looking to everyone. "When she says it's going to sunny, it always is!"
Yosuke scratched under his chin, contemplating a proper response. "Uhh...in her case...maybe...?"
Those who knew Mariko—Marie—and her extraordinary abilities and even more outlandish origins shared a moment of exasperation from Yosuke's vague statement.
"Thanks Mariko," the newscaster exclaimed, in a state of panic. "Tell our viewers goodbye!"
"Yea, yea," Mariko said, completely disregarding the newscaster with a wave of her hand. "But before that...a personal message." She smiled affectionately. "I'm doing just fine! Love you, Yu!"
Everyone was hit by the same surprise and disbelief. Rise voiced her unfiltered thoughts before anyone else. "WHAT!?"
"Uhh...Was that...?" Chie was having difficulties forming coherent words.
"D-did she just confess her love...on a public news station!?" Yosuke stared at Yu with a newfound respect, and, somehow, his voicing the obvious spurred Rise into action. The petite idol scooted so close to the silver-haired young man, ignoring any pretense of personal space, that they were less a centimeter apart. Thankfully, the gang was still too discombobulated from Mariko's confession to notice.
Dojima shook his head, laughing, his wary smile making an unexpected appearance. "I can't imagine the complaints flying in right now. Kids these days..." His wary smile suddenly shifted to a comical smirk. "Wait that was your name? If only you were so lucky, huh? I was scared I was going to have to call your mom about a secret girlfriend." Dojima laughed humorously—a sight Yu wouldn't have minded any other occasion—unknowingly digging his nephew into a deeper hole. Yu silently grimaced from Rise's grip. He didn't have to look at her to know she was furious.
Meanwhile, exasperation was clear because of Dojima's ignorance.
"I hope you all have a gooood day tomorrow!" The current situation was so baffling, Yu almost forgot about Mariko on TV. "Remember, the more you put in, the more you put out."
"The more you get out," Nanako cheerfully mimicked.
"I see that weather girl a lot," Dojima said, looking at Yu. "The younger ones at the station tell me they feel motivated whenever she does that."
Yu stifled an chuckle. "I'm not surprised."
"It is really great that everyone is so motivated," Yukiko inputted, always so sensitive of the town's mood. "Everything is much more...brighter."
"Yea, the people have so much more energy now," Chie added, enjoying that aspect most of all.
Dojima rolled his shoulders. "You're right. It doesn't wear you down walking through town anymore. Not like last year."
Naoto smiled. "Everyone has a more positive outlook on life compared to when I first came."
"It shows that people can change," Dojima stated with a smile and Yu wondered if, like Namatame, he was using his experience as an example. "People change...for better or worse. After the fog lifted, I'm sure people realized that the world's brighter with your eyes opened." He looked at Nanako as he continued. "There's a lot of things people would rather not see...but if you close your heart, you lose sight of the people important to you. How can that make anyone happy?"
Whether he knew it or not, Dojima's words were the revelation the Investigation Team had sought all last year through trials and tribulations. The team looked to one another, some noticing Rise's close proximity to their leader, with stern expressions and shared a collective head nod. Dojima flushed immediately after, slightly distressed. "I'm rambling, aren't I...? Guess I drank more than I thought..."
Light banter filled the living room for the next few minutes. Youske exchanged bashing remarks with Chie, whose mouth was crowded with meat, with Yukiko openly snickering. Naoto discussed future study sessions with Kanji, though the raven-haired young man stammered in response. Dojima went to receive Nanako's plate of food and, along with Teddie, listened as she recounted her day. Rise—who thankfully spared Yu a bit of breathing room—talked about the recent developments in her career, not so subtlety awaiting Yu's praise.
"Oh yea," said Dojima to Nanako. "Didn't you say there was something you wanted to tell him when he came home?"
Nanako gave her father a nod and whispered something in Yosuke's ear, ending his debate with Chie that her cooking skills were on par with a blind monkey's. Yu leaned forward, a wave of protectiveness filling his chest. While he wasn't a sister-complex kingpin—neglecting the absurd title—he was curious. His curiosity didn't get him far when everyone leaned in as well and put their hands to the side of their ears, killing any chance of Yu overhearing.
"Gotcha," he heard Youske say. Suddenly, everyone looked at Yu, who flinched under their joint stares.
"Got it?" questioned Youske. Everyone cheered in acknowledgment. Nanako cleared her throat. "Well then...one and—"
"Welcome back!" they said in unison, expect for Kanji who said, "Good to see ya, Senpai!"
And, of course, Rise resorted with, "Kanji, it was welcome back. How could you mess that up?"
The light-hearted banter continued, and blissfulness enveloped Yu's heart and lit up his face. He was home. His friends were here and his family as well.
Marie met them at the hilltop, a place which held special meaning to each of them. With a view of the entire town, green grass and trees and perfect weather, thanks to a certain someone, it was an ideal place to continue the day. After the picture was taken, a copy for each of them, a blue and white checkered blanket was spread on the grass with whatever food remained from the party. Surprisingly, despite Chie's love for meat and Kanji's insatiable appetite, there were still enough leftovers for a group picnic.
The team dispersed, conducting their individual antics. Naoto, Rise and Kanji sat by the blanket. Rise was, without a doubt, trying whatever she could to finalize the two as a couple. The female sleuth appeared as oblivious as ever. Yosuke was somewhere—probably lying bruised on the ground after Chie got a hold of him. Said carnivore was enjoying her fourth severing of meat while conversing with Yukiko on a bench. And, one could only wonder where Teddie had ventured off to.
Yu walked to the small clearing where the trees opened up perfectly, displaying the entire town. Marie stood there and wore the same outfit she had on TV. She smiled when they stood shoulder-to-shoulder.
"...Hey," Marie said.
Yu looked at her and feigned surprise. "Wow, Mariko Kusmi! Can I have an autograph?" If Rise ever caught him asking for anyone's autograph, other than hers, she would go ballistic.
One of many perks of being friends with an uprising idol, he thought.
Back to reality, Marie punched Yu in the stomach, hard. He grunted in approval.
"Jerk," she grumbled, a blush coloring her pale cheeks. They watched over the town in a comfortable silence, until Marie surprised Yu, taking a step closer and placing a hand over his cheek. Her grey eyes scrutinized his silver orbs as if in search of some deep, dark secret. An hour could have passed and Yu wouldn't have noticed. Time magically resumed when she removed her hand and took a step back.
"You...feel different… like..." Marie shook her head, dismissing the thought, and smiled warily. "Forget it, never mind. Maybe you're just tired...you did just get back today." And with that, she raced back to the others, leaving Yu to ponder her cryptic message.
Author's Note: Hey everyone, how's it been. I'm sorry I haven't updated in like, I don't know, a month and a half. Work's been piling up, along with studies. But no need to fret, I've got it under control. This is the final chapter for this story. So, yes, Persona Spectrum is Complete.
The story I'm making that will conclude this one is called Persona: Clarity. Already started on the rough draft, and the first chapter could be out soon. Hopefully in less than a month.
For the FMC, this is the final time I'll be taking in votes. If you've already voted, please don't double vote. If you want to change your vote, please mention it. I've got two scenarios: one with her and one without. If she is chosen, her role will be minor. The story's main focus is the ordeal in Tokyo, Japan for Yu and Minato.
Comment to Reviews:
kitanalao: A long story. Well the entire story, yes, maybe. It will take me a while to get the entire story out, but this part is done and done. I hoped you enjoyed it!
Fier66: Haha. I don't want to tell, but read the second story when it comes out. You won't be disappointed.
MegaPotato: Thank you for always being a faithful reviewer. I'm glad you enjoyed the way Yu lost his ability. And dang, speculation is pretty spot on! The next story will pretty much be a re-boot of my original.
Kokyou Konran: Yep, Philemon is one god you don't mess with. Just wait for the rematch. Next time Minato will be having Yu's back, so it'll be awesome to write!
lidao: Haha, I love writing about Teddie! And, I changed the wording on the Universe bit. It was a metaphor about how Philemon kind of went over-kill on Yu. And, on Yu's condition, it'll be talked about in the second part, Persona: Clarity.
Alright guys, closing remarks. As usual, please favorite, follow and review. It always makes me smile when I see the notification on my cell phone and makes me want to update faster. Persona: Clarity will be out as soon as possible, I promise. Later!