Author's Note: This is my attempt to write out a story similar to "The Magician" through Yu's point of view. It's in response to a challenge.

The idea gradually changed from simply copying the plot of the previous story and making this its own story. Yet as I finished this part, I realized there is a long way to go with this, and a lot to learn. I've never played the game. The Animation (and walk-throughs on Youtube) are my only exposure to Persona 4. Yet, I am addicted to this anime. I've connected with it for some reason, and fully claimed it as 'my anime.'

I've already written a story with two personalities under the "Seaquest" section of "TV shows." It's called "Skin Deep." That one took me 6 months to initially write. Check it out if you're curious about the plot line of two minds in one body. :)

This is a test to see if I can even do Persona 4 justice. Enjoy! R&R if you like. :)


THE WILD CARD

January 4th. Evening. Overcast. Dojima Residence.

Nanako had come home.

Yu Narukami finally felt like he could breath as he opened the door to the Dojima home and stepped aside to let his uncle carry in a very tired little girl.

Ryotaro pushed his shoes off at the door with ease and padded up the slim stairs to his daughter's room. He laid his angel on her bed and tucked a stuffed Loveline detective doll under her arm.

Nanako inhaled slightly at the motion and curled up into the comforts of home.

She was his heart, and he hadn't been able to see it until that heart was threatened. And he'd lost her. He gently brushed her hair back as she slept, and thanked every God and Goddess he knew of for returning his child to him. He would treasure her, make time for her, and thanks to his nephew, learn to understand her.

He carefully got up to leave her be and headed downstairs with her door remaining open.

Yu was in the kitchen with his head in the refrigerator. He came out with two cans –a melon soda for each of them. It was his small attempt to keep his uncle from drinking. "How is she?"

He took the offered drink and cracked it open. "Sleeping."

Both men took swigs of their drinks.

The question Yu had drifting in his mind for days surfaced again. He wondered if voicing this life-changing thought would be a good idea. Instead of being alone in his question, he felt a wash of reassurance from a source he knew to be Izanagi, his Persona. They were able to communicate on a level deeper than words. Thankfully he wasn't alone. Each of his friends shared a similar bond to their Persona, and understood exactly how he felt. Yosuke was the only one who dared to keep asking questions, because he found it completely fascinating. As did Yu, honestly. If it weren't for his persistence, the rest of them might not know minor details about their power. It turned out to help them during battles in the Shadow World.

"Uncle," he broke the silence, "there's something I've been thinking on for a long time, now. I was thinking... I have one year left in school, and I...kind of...want to spend it...here. In Inaba."

Ryotaro lowered his soft drink. "Oh, really."

Yu nodded once.

"What about your parents? Or your school in the city? Your mother and father would be upset to hear that you want to move out."

"I know. I don't want to upset them, or dishonor them. If they want me to come home, I will. But, if you can help me explain it to them, maybe they'll let me stay." He paused, "If you want me to stay." His heart beat quickly in apprehension. Living here started out as a boredom sentence, but now he knew this was where he belonged. He didn't want to be away from his uncle, or his friends –the truest friends he'd ever had- or Nanako. Being apart from any of them had become the punishment. He would be miserable. Sure, he would adjust, but the days would simply be hash marks on a calendar until he was able to return to this small town. "Your job asks a lot of you, and I know you love what you do. I can be here for Nanako. I want to. I'll contribute. I'll get another part time job helping Yosuke out at Junes, or at that day care."

Ryotaro stroked his chin, picked up the soda and finished it off, then set down the empty can and stared his nephew in the eye. "You know what the mark of a real man is, Yu? It's knowing what you have to do when you have to do it, and it's putting others before yourself. Believe it or not, your mother taught me that. I'd forgotten that lesson ever since my wife passed away, but you helped me to remember. I knew the moment I'd let you use her cup for coffee that you'd become a part of this family. The room is yours if you want it. I can give your mother a call in the morning."

Yu smiled and exhaled in relief. He bowed his head in gratitude. "Thank you."

"No promises, though. It all depends on what your parents say."

Of course that was the truth, and Yu accepted it. He felt like there was no way his parents would object. That night, Yu Narukami felt like he could fly.

...

January 6th. Overcast. Junes snack isle #2 near the chips and Oreos.

He and Rise had been sent to get snacks for the group this time.

It was their turn since Teddy and Naoto had gone the day before. Rise carried a take-out plate of beefsticks for Chie, and slung a shopping basket in the crook of her arm holding popsicles for their resident bear and a small box of strawberries for Yukiko and Naoto –who both suggested something different from meat. 'More for me, then,' Chie had victoriously stated. Kanji hadn't cared either way, and everyone knew Yosuke would eat whatever appeared on the plate in front of him.

They moved down isle #2 of the snack foods –otherwise known as 'computer food', or 'Yosuke's Preferred Food Source'- looking for one more item for the rest of them to share. Yu didn't care what they ended up deciding on. Nanako had come home from the hospital the night before. Whatever happened, happened. Right now, as he listened to Rise Kujikawa spill the latest gossip gained from the girls on the Investigation Team, he was the happiest adopted big brother in all of Japan. He could stay this way forever, getting snacks, hearing about the news of a fog-free Inaba, and sitting with his friends at their usual table at the Junes food court. In fact, that desire was part of why they were all together today in the first place. He'd even discussed it with his Persona, and –of course—both thought it was a good idea. He wanted everyone together so he could tell them all the good news. Yu thought about how wonderful it would be to truthfully proclaim the four words he's wanted to say since he realized he wasn't alone anymore. I'm staying in Inaba. Yu grabbed a large bag of chips, smiled...

...And froze.

The sensation of extreme carpet shock coursed up from his feet to the top of his head, to his fingertips. It was similar to what he'd felt the day he'd arrived in Inaba close to a year ago. He hadn't touched any electrical devices beyond his cell phone today. For a moment, he worried whatever this charge was had fried it.

His hand twitched around the bag of chips as he heard Izanagi's voice.

I have a bad feeling about this. Prepare yourself, Yu.

The bag crushed in his fist. Without a seconds hesitation, he heard Pyrojack's roaring flames, felt the bite of Jack Frost's ice, followed briefly by Black Jack's nightmarish howl as the two Jack Brothers merged, then split again. More and more voices joined in until his mind was filled with a stadium of words knotting into incomprehensible gibberish. All other outside sounds disappeared. He strained to move, but something was holding him back, or more accurately, pulling him away from control.

"You look kind of pale." Rise touched his arm in worry. "Are you ok?"

"S-something's...wrong..." Yu staggered into the isle as his vision blurred- like someone had thrown flour in his face. He pressed his palm to his head, grabbed onto the shelf, and fell to the floor in an avalanche of chips.

"Senpai!"

Something drew him down away from his own senses. His sight dimmed, his hearing faded, even his sense of touch diminished until he was in darkness. It coiled its shadows around him in ropes that sent chills of desperate and voracious need for recognition through his body. It wanted him to join them, to be a part of them, to be tied up in their nest and live there in the fog. Yes, that was it. A fog that overwhelmed him. "Who are you? What do you want?! Leave me alone!" It was too much to take, too much to hear and process, too many wants, needs, and expectations. Every voice rallied for his attention and favor. "Izanagi!" He screamed.

The familiar presence of Izanagi burst through, shattering the suffocating pressure with a brilliant burst of light. As soon as he was free, his Persona wrapped itself around him protectively. And there he stayed.

"Yu-Senpai!" Rise knelt by him and cradled his head in her lap. "Wake up! Someone help!" she pleaded to anyone within earshot of the suddenly lonely Junes isle. "Please! Someone! Help! Yu! Yu!"


Dun Dun DUN!

I know these chapters are short, but I'm trying something new. It's called not being a bombast. :) I'll fail. :)

Next Scent: Awakening.