AN: I know again, this last chapter is short. But it was kind of a cap and explanation for the rest of the events that happened in chapter 40.
But still… I can't believe I actually finished this fic! I actually finished my first long running fic! (There was one before but I deleted it, so it doesn't count.) And… it actually isn't that bad… I thought it would be worse, but… It's actually giving me a warm fuzzy feeling now that I've finished my very first fic... *sighs in relief* That being said, I was kinda amused to see this chapter is last... (42, the answer to life XD)
I can admit I made many a mistake in this fic, what with some OCs and there are a LOT of things that I could've made better, but most of this was so… on the fly, that I couldn't possibly make the same fic over again with the exact same plot.
That being said, I am planning to reattempt an OP Minato fic sometime down the road… however there are going to be lots of differences involved along with the removal of all OCs. Seriously, they kinda annoy me now.
Well, you aren't going to get another chance to tell me what you thought of this chapter and the fic overall again because this is the end… If there are things you want to call me out on like mistakes in this fic, (and I know, there are many) this is also the time. I want to get a lot better at making good stories. So please, please review and a huge thanks to those who reviewed before!
I hope you take something else from this fic than just some of the more epic moments and the sadness. That being said... read on.
Wareware wa shi de saikai suru made wa... - 'Until death reunites us again...'
"Keep watching over me, ne?"
Once Minato and the rest of his friends left Tartarus, the once haunting structure collapsed into rubble behind them. The last billowing clouds of dust had finally dispersed and the green sky that they had known as the Dark Hour had disappeared.
Navy blue curtains of night sky replaced the emerald from before, and the tiny white specks that were stars emerged from the deep darkness. The moon had returned to its original size, shining as brightly as it did before.
Before long, the rubble of Tartarus vanished and in the prison's place Gekkoukan High School appeared. From any person's view, the night of January 31st was like any other normal night. It was almost like nothing had ever gone wrong.
Little did those people know, everything within the group of SEES had changed.
Mitsuru who was cold towards Minato in the latter parts of his journey had become the kind and loving girl that he had known ever since his childhood. It was as if the icy barriers she had created had melted.
Akihiko and Shinjiro, who had been avoiding Minato, were now about as close as any guy friends could be. Just like before. They were the Akihiko and Shinjiro that Minato recognised to be just like when he was younger in mind, when they hung out all the time.
Minako was bubbly as ever, and seemed even closer to Minato if that was even possible. Aside from their increased closeness, it appeared that nothing else had changed. Haruno was alive, which probably contributed to the family's closeness.
Yukari and Junpei who weren't involved too much in SEES the last time that Minato had tried to 'fix' the timelines were now close friends with him, akin to the bonds that Minato shared with Akihiko and Shinjiro.
Aigis was the same as ever, the friendship between her and Minato still strong. Koromaru had the same playful nature that Minato remembered as well. Fuuka was once again close to Minato, and her cooking no longer caused any casualties. The last time Minato had interacted with Fuuka in the tweaked timeline, her cooking showed no signs of improving. None further than that, because he didn't hang out with her that often, if at all.
Richard had somehow mysteriously disappeared. He appeared just as briefly in Minato's life as he did the first time. Minato wasn't exactly sure where he was, but whenever he talked to Mitsuru in French he could remember him. Not as a troubled Persona user but as a good guy that gave him some advice on how to charm a girl. Needless to say, Minato found it quite amusing and always laughed a little at that.
Ray didn't seem to be appearing any time soon, though something told Minato that she didn't need to be worried about. The reason, he could not put his finger on though.
Even Minato's old friends like Kenji, Hidetoshi, Chihiro, Yuko, Kaz, Rio, Saori, Akinari, Mamoru, Bebe and Keisuke were extremely close, even though Minato hadn't socialized much with them when he was fixing the timelines.
Other friends like Mutatsu, Maiko, Ken and even Tanaka he was still on good terms with, even though like all his other friends, he hadn't talked with them much.
As Minato aged, he took more to spending time with his friends than anything else. With that promise of his in mind, he took it upon himself to make the limited time he had as meaningful as possible.
He stayed with his friends and family until the end, not wanting to question why everything was so different than the last time. It was basically what he could call the perfect reality, forged around his wishes.
Remembering his previous commitments as they became more apparent, he helped Mitsuru with her work to monitor Shadow activity.
After some time, and with his proposal from long ago, he and Mitsuru married.
His weathered mind's first instinct led him to battling internally over whether he was married to Mitsuru. He eventually settled on the idea that Nyx probably wanted him to live the perfection that was granted to him, and make the most of it. It was the only life and try he was getting after all.
After some embarrassment, Minako had finally married Shinjiro. Minato was genuinely happy about this, especially since he knew that Minako was going to be happy with him.
Time kept passing, people came together and new beginnings were wrought.
Minako and Shinjiro had a daughter whom they named Hamuko. She grew up to look much like her mother, but she had inherited Shinjiro's gruff demeanour and care. When Minato spent time with Hamuko, it always seemed like she was a beacon of hope. Much like a certain red haired sibling…
Minato and Mitsuru had a child named Kodenko, and he had a strong set of beliefs just like Minato and the same amount of control that Mitsuru seemed to be able to garner around her. Funny that, as Kodenko seemed to remind him a little of Akihiko and Hidetoshi…
Emerging from his darkened past, Minato led a newly lit life and he spent every moment enjoying and living to the best of his ability.
Many years passed before Minato and eventually all his friends died. Minato was the last left, and once he closed his eyes to impending death his breath was taken away in a warm embrace…
I couldn't express just how proud I was to see him living like he did.
I knew he could do it. Of course, Death never really leaves mortals… He knew I hadn't disappeared for good.
When we met in Elysium he embraced me warmly.
Much like he did Death.
People in the mortal plane craved the end. They craved Death. They wanted Death to take them. They wanted to die. But who was to say that they were living?
It was only a craving though. It was a materialistic desire and a temporary fix to their problems, which would soon be carried by the people around them.
However… to love Death, and welcome the rest it could grant… you had to love Life too.
You had to live.
You had to die.
But you know? "Learning to live is difficult… isn't it?" I laughed a little.
"Yeah. Took me long enough to realize what I was doing…" Minato chuckled. It was that laugh when he thought that he was really dumb. Which I had to admit, sometimes he was. "I know now, and I can't really reverse the damage that I've done before… but going back in time like that was actually a pretty dumb idea."
"…I don't think it's as bad as you make it out to be," I smiled, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"Why do you say that?" he asked.
"Well… if you didn't make that decision, and I know this could sound really, really selfish," I started, a warm feeling spreading throughout my chest.
"It's nothing new, you know?" Minato reassured. It was admittedly true. Between the two of us, there was a lot of selfishness involved.
I laughed a little at that before continuing to say, "I wouldn't have got to know you as well… We did only have a few months between the two of us before I somehow fell in love with you."
"…I suppose ten years does do things to relationships," Minato smiled mirthfully.
"Mmhm… also I learned something from the Fates when I disappeared," I grinned.
"What did you learn?" he asked with a curious expression.
"It seemed that when your sister sealed Chaos away, she didn't only wish for his sealing," I explained.
"What do you mean?" Minato said after trying to remember.
"She also happened to wish for your perfect reality."
Minato's eyes widened as he realized what had happened to the world that he had landed in.
For him, the perfect reality… his friends were close to him again, and several little things like Ray, Richard and the way that some things turned out before were different.
"Remember when you went and changed your timeline?" I asked, receiving a nod in response. "Your own timeline was abolished and replaced with a new sequence of events."
"What happened in particular, was that each of the best parts from each timeline were combined to make a new timeline… where everything was how you wanted it to be," I said.
I gazed into Minato's eyes, trying to find some kind of reaction from him.
"I see…" Minato smiled slightly. "I guess I was just lucky this time around…"
Lucky huh? Before he didn't believe in Fate controlling him… but now he doesn't mind.
But then again, fate, chance and free will don't have to exist. They also don't need to be gone. People will believe in what they want to believe when they don't have any truth to turn to.
"I guess so," I replied.
"Hm…" Minato had a contemplative expression on his face… What is he thinking about? "I'm feeling kinda sleepy… can you wake me later?"
I looked at him with a blank expression. I guess he must be pretty tired… "Of course…" I smiled, sitting down in the soft bed of wheat that filled the expanse of Elysium.
Minato smiled before lying down in the golden wheat.
"For wheat… this is pretty comfy," Minato chuckled before closing his eyes.
"Yeah… it always is," I smiled back, gazing up at the blue sky.