Persona 3: Free Every Spirit

By: hydro-serpent58


Kari: Okay, to be honest I have no idea where I'm going with this. I was just sitting down doing my homework when this thing attacked me, and it wouldn't let go. So I dropped my textbook and began to write this. I apologize if it's really vague or you have trouble distinguishing characters. I honestly have no idea where I'm going with this, but it had to be written. Whether or not I continue depends on you guys, so tell me what you think, okay? ^_^

Disclaimer: Atlus owns the Persona as well as every other Megami Tensei Franchise. Sadly, I am not affiliated with that company.


Chapter 1: Memento Mori

"The Arcana is the means by which all is revealed.
To find the one true path, one must seek guidance amidst uncertainty...
"

—Nyx Avatar

How...how could you die? A brown haired girl stared numbly as paramedics rushed unto the school campus. The world seemed muted and blurred, in the distance the sound of wailing sirens were heard. She could barely make two girls crying in one corner. One dressed in pink and the other in teal, one screaming hysterically and the other giggling softly.

A boy with a baseball cap looked on in alarm as the chuckling grew louder and louder until it was full blown laughter. The shorter girl was on her knees at this point, tears spilling out of her eyes and a maniacal grin on her face. "He's dead...hah, ha, dead. Ah hah, ahahaha! HE'S DEAD!"

A silveret moved forward and hulled her to her feet just as the girl exclamations joined the other. Who was that boy...an upperclassman?

As a familiar tall girl stepped into view it was then she realized. These people...they were his friends.

They were S.E.E.S..

-o-

Akihiko cringed as he struggled to hold a mad Fuuka in his arms. "Dang it, Fuuka, Fuuka calm down! Freaking out isn't going to make any of this better. Fuuka, FUUKA!"

Meanwhile another boy had his arms full, "Aigis! What's going on? How could have happened?!" The archer screamed.

The android stood there undeterred, never taking her eyes off the sleeping boy. For that was what he appeared to be, sleeping. With midnight blue hair shining in the sunlight illuminating his skin, a peaceful expression adorned his face.

As the paramedics moved in she answered in a quiet yet firm voice, "Look at him. He's smiling, because he knows you're here. He knows that you're all here, beside him."

As his body was loaded onto a stretcher and wheeled away, the platinum blonde finally tore her eyes away as they disappeared from view. Sorrowful yet murderous hazel clashed with tired sky blue orbs that held a strange note of grim acceptance in them.

"I promised that I'd always be beside him, protecting him." She whispered brokenly, allowing a tear to fall.

It was too much, Fuuka laughing in the background, the sirens in driveway, the flashing lights, and now this?

She snapped.

"Oh really? You think this is all about YOU?" Yukari demanded. "So what if you promised? You obviously broke it by letting him die. What kind of protector are you? He'd already stopped breathing by the time we got up here!"

Cloudy blue eyes met hers as Aigis shook her head miserably. "No... you're wrong. He stopped breathing just as you all arrived."

"THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL THE FREAKING AMBULANCE?! Why'd you wait huh? For us to call them instead? What were you trying to do huh, attempt CPR? Because in case you haven't noticed you're not human, there's no lungs in you to be able to breathe air into Minato!"

The robot stumbled back as if she had been hit with a sludge hammer. She stared wide eyed as Yukari continued ranting, as word nailing the lid harder into the coffin.

"YOU'RE NOT HUMAN, YOU HAVE NOT HEART!"

"STOP IT!" The swordsman threw himself in between the females looking back at Yukari crossly.

"Yuka-tan, you know better than that! Aigis does have a heart; she has emotions, thoughts, memories—she might be made of metal, but in terms of character she's just as human as you and me!" Junpei spat feeling irritated and bewildered.

Honestly, why were all of them breaking down? Aigis never cried; and Fuuka was going insane.

Minato had sat himself down in the lounge, currently reading a magazine. Junpei, now fully dressed, sat beside him and began a conversation.

"S'up, dude." He smiled at his evidently best friend.

"…not much." Minato replied, tossing the magazine aside.

"Listen, I'm really glad you were there earlier. The group going against one another is clearly nothing but trouble, and it's kind of my fault. You handled it really well, though. It's great to have you around as the rational one, if that makes sense." Junpei sighed.

"The rational one, huh? I can live with that."

"I don't know what we'd do without you. We'd prolly fall apart instantly, I'd guess." Junpei smiled weakly.

Minato put his hand on Junpei's shoulder. "That's not true. You'd do fine. At any rate…

"I'm not going anywhere."

He felt a lump form in his throat as his eyes began to sting.

Minato you liar.

-o-

The boxer cursed as the younger girl once again slipped out of his grasp. What the heck? When did she get this difficult? He thought biting his lip, unaware of a third party watching.

Suddenly a chill ran up his spine causing him to freeze. A quick glance at Junpei confirmed he had felt it too as the other persona user had also stilled.

Laughter and screams of accusations and denial were abruptly cut short.

A loud silence filled it.

-o-

The outsider watched quietly as her sempai—no, the student council president stood at full height. Both of her hands were still in the air, on one side the crazy girl had a clear mark of a handprint across her cheek, the girl opposite to her had the same thing.

Both had mirroring expressions as they stared the regal English woman in shock. [1]

"Now," Mitsuru spoke lowering her arms. "will I have to slap you both again, or shall I just execute you?"

When all she was met with was a dumb silence, she continued. "I cannot believe both of you, are you even listening to what you're saying? Yukari you're angry, I understand. We were all close to Minato, and even I do not understand his death. But blaming Aigis and accusing her of not having a heart when she grew one is unspeakable! She is very much human, and she fought alongside us facing herself in order to get that heart."

At every word the anger seemed to dissipate out of Yukari's form as she wilted, looking thoroughly chewed out. "Sorry Mitsuru-sempai..." She murmured eyes downcast.

She then turned to Fuuka, "Fuuka, pull yourself together. Losing your mind at a time like this more trouble than it's worth. Do you think Minato would want to see you this way? Laughing crazily like you belong in the loony bin?"

Fuuka flinched shying away, having the decency to look ashamed. Relief flooded everyone as the wild look in her eyes disappeared replaced by a sad, yet very much sane Fuuka.

The scarlet haired lady let out a stressed sigh while Akihiko and Junpei looked at her in worry. The speech itself seemed to have taken a toll on her, and on top of that, Minato...

"Excuse me, Miss? Are you Kirijo Mitsuru, the one who called us?" A voice of a young man spoke up breaking the tense atmosphere. Schooling her features Mitsuru turned towards the medic and answered professionally. "Yes, that is correct." Yet, without mistake there was an air of grief surrounding her.

While Mitsuru spoke to the man Akihiko felt his shoulders slump as the severity of the situation hit him.

It was after school, and the auditorium was empty. On the stage were multiple flowers and scented candles. In the middle of it all, stood one lone picture.

Akihiko stood up to the the white clothed table and stopped, staring at the photo.

"Yo." he spoke breaking the silence. Placing his hands on the furnished wood he hauled himself up unto the stage. "I had the usual for lunch..."

He cracked a grin, "Ramen tastes a lot better when you're cutting class. Make sure you invite me next time."

Silence.

The smile slid off, "Say something, will ya? Why are you always like that? You're so stubborn. Put yourself in my shoes for a change."

A dry chuckle left his throat, "You think it's the other way around, huh? I guess you're right...I was too obsessed with power. Ever since I've lost Miki that's all I've cared about."

"I thought that if I was strong enough, I could protect anyone. But" His breath hitched and he had to fight to prevent breaking down right then and there.

Gasping, he struggled to complete his sentence. "I was wrong. And now, you're gone too...I'm such an idiot." The gakuran jacket slid out of his grasp as he clenched his fist.

Without warning he brought down his fist, fast and hard unto the table. BANG! The sound reverberated through the auditorium, echoing into the farthest corners. But he didn't stop. Again and again he brought down his fist, muscles toned from boxing - he kept on slamming into the table until he couldn't feel his hands anymore.

"In battle, there's always a chance of dying...I knew that!" He rasped finding his voice.

"But... I was so focused on fighting I didn't notice anything else!" He voice continued to rise in volume.

"It didn't matter how tough I was! Look what happened!" He slumped forward falling to his knees, trembling violently.

"AAAAHHHHHHHH!" The anguish scream tore through the place, resounding far and wide filling up the air. The pure pain and despair in the heartful cry was gut wrenching. [2]

Sobs filled the room as Akihiko choked on air, struggling to breathe. "Y-yeah I know..." He gasped breathlessly.

"Crying won't change anything will it?"

His whisper fell on deaf ears. And he was reminded...

He was all alone.

Sniffling he stood up swiping his arm across his nose, wiping away the tears with gloved hands. "Alright Shinji," he murmured turning around causing his back to face the photograph.

"You watch from there with Miki. I still have things to do, right?"

He felt his eyes burn and hands curl into fists. Damn it... Shinji, I couldn't do it.

He couldn't save a life.

-o-

Aigis stood there in the corner, staring blankly ahead of her. Not a sound was made, fresh tear tracks were visible trailing down her cheeks. Yet, the robot felt as if there was a void inside her. As if the world had stop breathing.

Just like Minato.

Previously teary eyes were now dull, silent, and broken. She once heard a saying, that people are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.

Too bad hers seemed to have shattered.

-o-

The treasurer stood the side, biting her lip until the taste of copper hit her tongue. Who were these people? They were all so close, so tight knit...

They belonged with Minato.

She squashed the thought ruthlessly. No...Minato was her friend! So what if he was a part of S.E.E.S., he genuinely cared for her, they went out together, she—she—

Minato died smiling because he knew they were going to be beside him.

No... no that's not true. That's not...

He heard them coming...

No...

His last smile was because of them, not because of you.

NO!

The sophomore tore herself away, pivoting and running blindly back down the stairs. She ignored the startled cries of the people she bumped into and continued flying down the stairs. She had to get away, away from the rooftop. Away from—

where they first kissed.

Her vision blurred as she burst out the double doors; already many students had been drawn outside from the noise cutting the graduation ceremony short. Not that the S.E.E.S. dramatic exit had done any better, especially with Mitsuru knocking over the mike mid speech and leaping off the stage to race out along with the strange group.

Slowly, she came to a stop. Panting she leaned against a wall for support, looking up just noticing where she was. She hadn't been paying attention to where she'd been going, and unconsciously her feet had brought her back here, to Iwatodai.

Where they first dated.

Turning, she spotted a table far off in front of the restaurant. It had a beautiful view of the ocean, and the sun's rays cascaded on the waves giving it the appearance of it glowing. This was where...

A familiar shop stood out amongst the others. It was a book store, looking tranquil. As if nothing was wrong, nothing had changed, and everything was alright. And it was so wrong because everything had changed. She had changed.

Sobs racked her body as she slid down and curled into a tight ball against the sidewalk. Trembling, yet not a soul was on the streets today. It was a ghost town.

...she had first confessed.


*A/N: [1] In the original Japanese version, Mitsuru uses English phrases instead of French verses.

[2] Heartful Cry, get it? It's a reference to the OST from Persona 3, if you've never heard it before I suggest you listen to it!*

Memento Mori - "Remember you will die" in Latin

~hydro-serpent58