So, this is a new story I'm writing and I am determined to finish this. I recently got hooked on the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series, and I fell in love with Persona 4. I'm generally not too keen on the idea of OC's, but this idea that's been swirling around in my head just won't quit nagging at me. So I'm gonna put it to paper, and see what becomes of it.

The main pairings are as follows: OCxRise, Yu/Yukiko, Yosuke/Chie, Kanji/Naoto, and an eventual Teddie/Nanako.

As far as I can picture, only this chapter will be told from a first-person perspective, and that'll be from the OC, Brian Walker. While I will be shamelessly inserting both true and fabricated facets of myself into the plot of Persona 4, this is not my name. Anyhow, I'm going to leave this disclaimer here, and then it'll be on with the story.

Bold text will indicate a shadow/Persona speaking, while Italicized text with an apostrophe will indicate inner thoughts. Italicized text with quotation marks will indicate whispering. Simple enough, right?

Disclaimer: I do not own, nor do I claim to own the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona franchise. All rights belong to the respective owners of said Intellectual Property.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Who… Who are you?! Why am I here?!" I hollered out in pain. The dull thumping in my head had now become a searing fire desperately attempting to escape from every pore on my body. I wanted to collapse, but the shackles wrapped around my wrists that dangled my body above the cold stone floor prevented that. Another heat wave, another scream. My vision was becoming blurry, and I tried to keep myself from closing my eyes. I knew that would only make things worse. I tried to focus on the figure in front of me.

Dark auburn hair, sickly yellow eyes, fair skin. His outfit seemed similar – then it hit me. Whoever this was, it was pretty much a carbon copy of myself. Save for the yellow eyes, of course. His mouth was moving, but due to the pain coursing through my body, I couldn't understand a word of what he was saying. All I knew was his voice was very distorted – modulated, even. Then, I could hear everything clear as day. The cling-clang of the chains and shackles, the footsteps on the stone floor, and the voice became clearer.

"You know, I thought Jersey was the shits. Then I hit Inaba… Man, did I ever get fucked over! At least I had places to entertain me there… Inaba, the place with absolutely nothing to do… I'd thought this would've been a fresh start for a guy like me! A guy who had no real friends back home, coming to the boonies where everyone knows each other. There should've been at least two or three friendly faces willing to welcome me out here! But instead, everyone just greeted me and then turned a blind eye to all I did! No one could be bothered with the weird-looking kid… It was all the same as before!" He started laughing maniacally. Coupled with the searing pain in my head, it was really getting on my nerves.

"That doesn't answer my question! Just who the hell are you?! And where am I?! Let me go!" I must've sounded like a total crybaby, or something equally as weak because he started laughing again. That laugh...

"Who am I? I'm you, dumbass. Every single part of you that you shut away has been manifested in me. Who am I? I'm not only you, I'm your worst friggin' nightmare!"

At this point, I finally noticed the eight others in the room with us. All friends of each other, and all except that one stuffed bear mascot I'd seen hanging around Junes went to Yasoinaba High. I had opened my mouth to speak when I had been cut off.

"Don't say it, Brian-kun! Whatever you do, don't say those three words!" The one with short, light brown hair hollered out. I think her name was Chie, but I can't really remember.

"No, he needs this. Brian, what were you about to say?!" A guy with a silver bowl-like haircut looked directly at me. Wasn't his name Yu or something? He looked like he was expecting something, just like the rest of them. I had no time to focus on the group that had evaded my notice for what seemed like weeks of torture. I shifted my view to my imposter, and closed my eyes. The words spilled forth like white-hot magma from my mouth.

"You… You're not me!" Then, everything went black.

When my eyes began to open, my head was leaning on something warm and smooth. I could barely make out the voices speaking around me, and my vision was blurry. I could see everyone from before, except for the girl with the twin ponytails. I assumed she was the one that had my head cradled.

"…-ing to!" Chie's voice. I'd be able to recognize it anywhere.

"He's awake?" I didn't recognize that one. I felt something warm hit my cheek.

"Oh, thank goodness! You're awake!" That voice came from directly above me. The girl who was holding my head. Another drop on my cheek. Tears. She leaned down and attempted to hug me, but it was more like she leaned in closer. I don't think she could bend that way. I finally felt okay enough to sit up, and I pushed myself to my feet. I looked around me, and everyone had these real genuine looks on their faces. Warm smiles, and all that. I winced, and Yu and that girl who was holding my head wrapped my arms around their shoulders to keep me from falling again. I turned slowly to face my copy.

"You all… saved me?" A nod and another smile from everyone in the group. My copy still had a blank look on its face. "Thanks. I mean it." I removed my arms from their supports, and stumbled towards my shadow. I looked it in the eyes before letting out a deep sigh. "All this time, I tried to keep those parts of me hidden from the people around me. I thought that if I were to show weakness around here, I'd get bullied and pushed around like I did back at my old home. So instead of trying to make new friends, I created a prison to keep myself locked away from the pain of rejection… And all I really did was push everyone who wanted to be my friend and get to know me away. Whether I like it or not, you are me, and I am you."

The courage of heart to face oneself has been made manifest.

Something big floated over my shoulders. It wore a blue cloak with red trimming, and had a hunched back. It had no feet, just white legs with golden, ridged tips. Its head was covered in the cloak, but had a white mask where its eyes should've been, and a hinged jaw. It had a floating cape that was attached to its shoulders by chains and looked like the tops of coffins. A large belt sat around its waist with a large, circular, golden belt buckle. I looked at it, and as I saw the beings behind the group, I somehow knew what I was looking at.

"So this is…my Persona. Thanatos." I was amazed that I had such power hidden within myself. Everyone was looking at me with the same amazement. I felt all of my strength leave me, and I crumpled into a heap on the ground as the others rushed to my side.

Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the floor in the electronics department of Junes. I was lifted up by Yu and that girl who had been holding me up earlier. Then she spoke, and her voice was like music to my ears. I couldn't tell why.

"Yu and I will get Brian-kun home. We should all meet up once you've recovered. You're one of us now!" She smiled at me and gave me a peace sign with her fingers – God, she was beautiful – I told them where my house was, and much to their surprise, my place was next to Yu's. Against my better judgment, I told the two that I lived alone, and we immediately changed course. The girl, Rise, said that I'd be staying with her for the time being. I wasn't sure what to make of it, but considering my current state of being and lack of anything important at my dwelling, I just nodded and we made our way to the tofu shop in the south side of the shopping district. We made it there slowly, and the two laid me down in a futon. I guess it was pretty late.

I lied there, with my eyes closed, and I heard the door slide open. A light emanating from a candle being held by someone bathed the room in a soft glow. Then she spoke.

"You know, I was curious about you from the moment I noticed you at Yasoinaba High a month ago. That's when you transferred, yeah?" I nodded to her. I would've spoken, but my throat was sore, and I figured my response would suffice. Just to make it clearer, I pointed to my throat. "Oh! One second, Brian-kun." She ran out of the room, and I heard the faint sound of water running. Then, just as quick as she left, she came back with a glass of water. I sat up, and she tilted the glass toward my lips. I took it from her and knocked it back slowly, sip by sip. She started to talk again. "I always wondered what you sounded like, since you never spoke, you know? You seemed like you would've fit in with myself and the others… We're a ragtag bunch, don'tcha think?" I nodded. She giggled before continuing on. " My name is Rise, by the way. Rise Kujikawa. It's very nice to meet you!" I nodded again, not feeling the strength to speak. "It wasn't just me that was curious either. All the others were too. We tried talking to you, but every time we went to look for you, it was like you vanished. We all felt really bad, myself especially." She blushed and looked away.

"Why was that?" I managed to croak something out. It probably sounded lame, but I was honestly curious. These few had taken a genuine interest in me and had extended the olive branch, so to speak. "Why did you feel bad?"

She looked back at me. "I felt bad, because you were just like the rest of us. All of us had been through hell in the TV world, and even though you hadn't been in it when we took an interest in you, you just looked like you needed a friend. Someone to lean on. A shoulder to cry on, you know?" She gave me that same warm smile again, and I felt something hot pooling in my eyelids. I wiped my eyes, and she noticed. She got up from where she had just been sitting and hugged me. The tears began flowing, and for the first time in over ten years, I cried. And I cried hard, too. Her bathrobe must've been soaked by the time I was done. I felt ashamed.

"I'm sorry about that," I stammered out. She just tilted her head, and I thought she looked adorable. "I'm sorry about getting your bathrobe all wet."

"Oh, that's not a problem at all, Brian-kun. Listen, it's getting pretty late. I think we should turn in for the night, ok?" I nodded, and laid back down. She knelt down and kissed my forehead before walking out of the room and blowing out the candle. The room was pitch black, but there was no mistaking the heat on my cheeks at that very moment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I woke up feeling the greatest I had in a long while. I heard the door slide open, and the light from the hallway seeped into the room. Rise stepped into the room and saw me lightly hopping on my feet. She gasped and dropped a few loaded clothes hangers on the floor. I looked over at her. "Mornin' Rise-chan! Hope you don't mind, I'm just going through a few morning exercises." I looked at the hangers, and noticed my clothes on them. "Ah, I'm guessing you gave Yu my keys to get me some spare clothes?"

She giggled and said, "That I did, Brian-kun. But I thought you'd be feeling weak for a few more days…the rest of us were laid out in bed for weeks at a time. I'm just surprised to see you so active already."

I had begun undressing, trying to change into the clothes Rise had brought me when I heard another gasp, and then a giggle, and I blushed, realizing that Rise was still in the room, and I was shirtless. And she was staring at my chest. "Uh, Rise-chan? Mind not staring at me while I change?" I stuttered a little bit. She nodded and left the room. I changed into my uniform, and walked out of the room.

I bumped into Rise, but caught her before she could hit the ground. She blushed, and I blushed. We both looked away from each other. It was getting awkward, so I said the first thing that came to my mind. "Rise-chan, we have got to stop meeting like this!" I gave her a grin, and chuckled. We both broke out laughing, and began making our way out of the apartment on top of the tofu shop. Before we reached the stairs to exit, I spun her around and wrapped her in a hug. "Thank you, Rise-chan. It means a lot to me, what you've done. The others, too. Thank you, so much." She just hugged me back and gave me that same damn smile that I was started to get addicted to.

"Anything for a friend, Brian-kun!" And then she did something that surprised me. She kissed me on the cheek. "And even more for someone closer than a friend." She giggled and my jaw hit the floor. I was gonna need a cold shower by the time I made it home tonight.

As Rise and I were walking up to the school gates, I saw the rest of the group of people who had saved me from that prison inside the TV. She ran up to them, and I followed her at my own, more sedate, pace. I reached the group, and they all looked at me funny. I feared the worst before hearing two words I'd never heard before come out of their mouths: "GROUP HUG!"

I hope you guys enjoyed this. Just for your information, if you were wondering, yes, my OC's Persona is Thanatos from Persona 3. Please don't spoil anything on that game for me, as I haven't finished it yet. Thanatos is just so damn badass that I couldn't help but use it. My OC will not be overpowered, He'll be just as strong as everyone else is. His non-Persona weapon will be a double-sided scythe. Think Darth Maul's lightsaber, but sharp, and steel, and sickle shaped, as opposed to a lightsaber.

Please read and review, it helps me to grow as a writer. I appreciate any and all constructive criticism, but any rude comments will be ignored, as if you can find something to complain about and bash me for it, then this story is not for you. Thanks again!