947: Persona 3: Trade Me- Chapters 1, 2, 3 & 4Posted: January 27, 2015
WARNING THIS SNARKING WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE ENDING OF PERSONA 3! Proceed with caution
E: Is he still locked in there?
C: Yeah, I think he is.
N: Never thought I’d see him cry. I mean really cry, not that fake “Feel emotions now,” shit we got in his story.
E: Look, maybe we should just give him some space. I’ve got a new fic ready to go. Persona 3: Trade me. It’s about a female OC meeting the cast of Persona 3.
C: Hurts already.
N: Herr and Taco are the only people we know of that are familiar with Persona though. Quick crash course?
E: Emphasis on quick. Persona is a spin off of the Shin Megami Tensei series. The series has four entries with relatively self contained plots that usually involve a group of high school students summoning spirits that reflect their inner selves to fight Shadows, personifications of negative human emotions. Persona 3 centers around the Dark Hour, a hidden hour that takes place after midnight. The majority of humanity don’t even know it happens, as they are sealed inside coffins, but every once in awhile an unlucky bastard is left outside of his or her coffin and attacked by Shadows, leaving them emotionless and uncaring, just standing around until they die of starvation.
N: The main characters are people who have awakened their Personas, the only way to fight back against the Shadows. Their main mission involves investigating Tartus, a 200 story tall building that appears on the grounds of their school during the Dark Hour, and it takes them the entire game, the better part of a year, to get to the top.
C: Along the way they are assisted by a wealthy conglomerate owned by one of the character’s father, which has a shady pass, who kind of had a hand in starting the whole mess. After awhile, it becomes clear the Shadows were a harbinger for Nyx, the goddess of death, who wants to fulfill humanity’s subconscious desire to die. The said thing is that Nyx doesn’t WANT to kill the human race, she actually says that if there were more people like the main cast, The Fall could’ve been averted, but sadly she doesn’t have a choice in the matter. See, there’s another being called Erebus, the personification of the human desire to die, which is constantly reaching towards Nyx. If it touches Nyx, the human race goes bye bye. The day is only saved by the main character sacrificing his or her life to become a barrier between Nyx and Erebus. There’s more, but we’ll get to that as we go. Ok, first chapter.
Chapter 1–Wiping All Out
In the Beginning…
Been a little while but I’m still battling
Moving fast while you’s just prattling
No time for me
Hit you in the spot with no angle and
I’m not a princess
(A lot of anger in it)
Not your cutie girlfriend, oh no
don’t you know?
C: The author put a song at the beginning of the first chapter. Makes no sense rhyme or reason, doesn’t relate to the story, and is overall just annoying.
N: Oh this is gonna be a FUN one.
“Run!” She’d screamed to herself. It was unnecessary, but she had to keep going. She wasn’t even entirely sure what was following her. It was just…black and slimy and…big.
She tripped-of course she tripped-and slid into the harsh gravel. Looking up, the world was no different than it had been before. And yet…she couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but…
E: If you thought other stories were bad with their overabundance of ellipses, at leas they kept it out of the narrative.
Oh no! It’d caught up with her! I roared it’s ugly head, a white mask beginning to boil over with black blood, and aimed to strike her down.
A burning sensation filled her muscles, and…IT rose forth. Her screams made all other nightly noises obsolete, especially the sound of the Beast lifting out of her body into existence.
C: Oh god. NO! Run whatever your name is run! If it catches you it’ll start talking about its floating fetish!
Akihiko walked around in empty night, sighing in the air of the old and familiar Iwatodai.
N: Oh hi Akihiko. When did you get here? This is Akihiko, one of the main cast of Persona 3. And since he’s showing up randomly when this random girl is running from something…I SMELL ROMANCE!
E: Kind of sad how predictable it is.
He couldn’t believe that he was back. He wasn’t even sure what brought him back here. Maybe it was nostalgia or maybe he just needed a break from all of the battling he’d been doing. He breathed in the fresh air again, and slid his red hood off of his silvery hair.
C: Yeah, I can’t believe he’s back from…the thingie! You know, the thingie. At the place. With the guy.
Then, he heard it. A whimper, like that of a dog that had fallen into a pothole and injured its leg.
E: That’s a very specific description. Also, it’s clearly the girl, that he hears, what teenage girl sounds like a dog?
He cautiously meandered the alleys to find the source, and instead came upon a girl. She was very small and meek, about his age. Her long blonde locks were carelessly strewn about her face and her body was sprawled stomach-first over the ground, indicating she’d struggled against something.
N: I don’t really see how you can see someone flying face down on the ground and then determined that they struggled against something. Especially considering that in order to struggle against something you need to face it head on, and the thing that was chasing her came from behind.
“Hey,” Akihiko whispered, slowly bending over to push on her shoulder. Then he noticed the blood trickling from a puddle in her chest. He panicked and picked her up in his bulky arms.
“We need to stop that bleeding….”
C: Puddle in her chest? Well, that’s an interesting development. I didn’t realize that we would have a water elemental as a main character here.
She woke up in a cozy bed, but didn’t care where it had come from. She remained inside the fluffed up covers all day and all night, and all the day after that. She even heard someone speak above her, but ignored the gruff insistency it held. She pushed her head further into the feathered pillow, and didn’t come out for another 3 days.
E: I’m not quite sure that you can be conscious, stuff your face into a pillow and not come out of it for another three days. I’m pretty sure you would need to drink and use the bathroom , and people would notice if she wasn’t comatose.
Welcome, to the Velvet Room….
N: That…we’ll get to that later. Needless to say though, while it has meaning in the world of Persona, it’d kind of be like it He-Man randomly shouted “I HAVE THE POWER!” while in the middle of a peaceful dinner.
E: And that’s the end of the chapter? Well, that was fast. So, onto chapter two?
Sidestep 1: Shinjiro Aragaki
E: Oh right. I forgot about these. See, the author has these things that she calls side steps. I guess they’re supposed to be short little chapters that focus on other characters. Let me ask something. Why can’t she just write a chapter that focuses on these characters and call them chapters?
I want to live forever, everything would come true,
But various things drive me into a corner.
The time I have left to live, the coordinates of my dream, the place where I am-
They’re all important things.
All right, let’s stay here for a little and eat something sweet.
When I just stopped thinking like that, I became proud.
When I look back at the road I walked down,
I get fed up with how it’s nothing but things I didn’t want.
Letting the things I touch shine-
That kind of path is the kind I wanted to live.
C: ANOTHER song? I just…how many of these are there? *Flips ahead* Oh fuck me…
N: Counter time!
(Song Counter: 2)
E: To save sanity and space, we’ll just cut them out and update the counter whenever another song pops up.
Approaching his apartment complex, Shinjiro let out a long sigh. Then, slowly turning on his heels, he went to venture around the block again. He wasn’t quite ready to head back inside. Really, it was generous of Mitsuru to pay for his living expenses while he’d recovered from his coma, but two years of taking care of the bills was more than enough. Plus it just didn’t feel like home anymore. Nowhere ever did, it seemed.
N: Shinji? He’s alive? This is Shinjiro Aragaki. He was one of the three members of the main cast who knew each other before the other characters showed up, along with Akihiko and the person he just mentioned, Mitsuru. He’s actually supposed to die in the game, but in the portable version he can live if he’s romanced by the female main character. So, safe to say that it’s the female character that romance Shinji in this story.
Shinjiro stopped suddenly, just to find he was back at the complex’s doorstep once more. He stared emptily into the faded yellow wood, reminiscing on the past events of the month and, albeit, the year.
His best friend had gone off to travel around the globe, putting his strength to the maximum test by battling worthy fighters. Shinjiro had to scoff humorously at the thought; he’d had to all but shove Akihiko out the door to get him going on his dreams. Nowadays, the sliver-haired idiot was impossible to get a hold of, but Shinjiro imagined he was happy doing the thing he loved most.
C: I don’t recall him insulting Akihiko that much, but by the time the game comes around, their relationship is…pretty bittersweet. See, before the main character showed up, Shinji, Mitsuru and Akihiko had to fight the shadows all by themselves as young kids. They weren’t that good at control in their Personas, and at one point Shinji lost control of his and brought an entire building down, killing the mother of a young boy. He kinda quit after that, while Akihiko stayed on and kept fighting.
Plus, it took his mind off of the empty seat on every park bench and every love-sack and every restaurant’s couple’s booth . No one wanted to be accused of dwelling on them, so any distraction-no matter how possibly destructive-was a good one.
E: Uh. Wait. Is Akihiko the one who romanced the MC? Because that’s what that implies. Also…LOVE SACK!? Uh. Akihiko is kind of shy when it comes to romance. I don’t see him doing…that.
Shinjiro shook his head and all but kicked open the front door. He did the same thing to his apartment’s entrance, and stormed inside to fall on his master bed (truly, Mitsuru was being too good to an old friend). He let out a deep sigh as he sunk into his mattress.
N: How do you all but kick the front door open? Do you shoulder check it? Would that qualify? Also yeah, Mitsuru is loaded like that.
Now staring at the ceiling, he allowed his mind to wander to long before Aki’s self-declared mission. He, of course, was referring to Her. She always snuck into his life when he tried to avoid it, sometimes holding his hand or touching his cheek with her warm and fragile fingers, or kissing his lips as she barely breathed, “I love you, Senpai”.
C: Ah ok it was Shinji who was with the main character. Well, that was a really confusing roundabout.
When she found him this time, it was her smile that did it. He’d closed his eyes for only a moment when she appeared, clear as day, with that grin that was both mischievous and inspiring. I was the kind that made the harshest winter heart melt into sad, transparent puddles. It was a weapon she had that was used on Shinjiro often-he fell to it every time.
E: Harshest winter heart? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is there a passionate summer heart too? Can I get a bundle with it and the bitter Autumn heart and kind Spring heart?
Shinjiro snapped his eyes open again, pretending he wasn’t having a difficult time breathing back in the air the girl had inadvertently taken from him.
N: Pretending that you don’t have a hard time breathing? How do you pretend you aren’t feeling something when there’s no one else around? It’s like pretending that you aren’t thirsty. You can fool people around you, but not yourself…or is he trying to fool his headboard?
C: I’m watching you headboard.
He slowly sat up from the comforter, deciding that he was sick of laying around feeling sorry for himself, and headed to the bathroom. He took off his trusty old beanie, shaking out his messy brown locks. Then he turned on the sink to splash some water on his burning cheeks. Had he not known any better, he would’ve thought it was that blinding grin that’d got him all flushed up.
E: Well, that is the only stimulus in the area that seems to have gotten ANY reaction out of you whatsoever, so I think it’s safe to say that yeah, I think the imagined grin did get you all flushed up.
C: You don’t know that, it could be his headboard again.
He stared at his reflection for a moment, watching tiny droplets of warming water tumble off of his nose and chin. He needed to shake this off. After all, shed become Aki’s girl while he was down for the count and unable to protect her young heart. No use wallowing over his best friend’s lost woman…
N: OH! The main character was with Akihiko but Shinji loved her too. NOW I get it. Kind of confusing considering that this story implies that Shinji was never with her, but she has to be in order for him to still be alive.
Suddenly, a lump ran into his throat and he started coughing-hard. Even though he was leaning over the wet sink, instinct made his hand leap to catch the noises passing his lips. When the fit subsided, he looked down into his palm. A deep red pool swished back and forth at his every pulse. Shinjiro calmly but swiftly poured it into the drain and used a Kleenex to wipe the remains from his skin. He looked at his palm a little longer and gave a signature, “tch” before tossing the tissue into the garbage. It was already overflowing with other balled-up spheres that were probably weeks old by now.
E: Ah right. That. See, Shinji is kind of sick. When he left, he started taking pills designed to suppress Persona abilities. Problem is that these pills kind of end up killing him so…yeah.
He’d promised Aki that he’d be waiting for him when he got back, but the pompous ass probably wouldn’t show until years to late. Damn him.
C: I’m not entirely sure what the point of this chapter was. Sure, it gave us a bit of a look into Shinji’s mind, showed us how he liked the main character and how he’s bitter about Akihiko and he’s dying, but for an entire chapter it feels really bare bones. After the sidestep, there is an author’s note.
Hey guys! This is my latest story! (SPOILERS BELOW!)
What’s happened up to this point is Minako has become the Great Seal. Everyone has been going about their own lives (based mostly off of events in Persona 4 Portable).
In the female ending of P3P, if you had maxed out Shinjiro’s Social Link, he lives from his coma after being shot. That’s why he’s appeared now.
N: I FEEL LIKE THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED IN STORY! Well some of it. To be fair there are some hiccups from going from video games to written fiction that you pretty much have to flat out say “Ok this is what happened” Still…couldn’t this have been put in the story description?
You’ll notice this part of the story was called “Sidestep”. I’ll do on every few chapters or so. It’s basically just stepping back from the main story to look at what’s happening in everyone else’s head while the big events are going on.
E: Again, why didn’t you just have a regular chapter like that?
This issue was for Shinjiro, who’s been dwelling on thoughts of Minako and Akihiko
C: Ok, NOW you’re overdoing it. Your readers aren’t stupid, you don’t need to explain EVERYTHING to him.
(In P4 Arena, Akihiko left to become super-assed buff! OMGSOHAWTNAO!)
Another quick note, I’ve seen other writers do a part from a song before each of their chapters. I thought it was a cool idea, so each of my stories will have an into song! :)
N: To quote Confucius. If a thousand people do a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
This one’s was the English translation of Angel Beats!’s Alchemy. I felt it fitting for Shinjiro’s situation.
The last chapter was Wiping All Out-Minako’s theme from P3P. Heh heh. :)
I don’t own any of the songs used or the story/characters from P3P. This is all just in good fun. :)
C: This author’s note has more substance than most of the chapter. Yeesh lady, put that energy in your writing.
E: Another chapter. Man we’re blazing through this.
N: Oh look, another song to cut out.
(Song Counter: 3)
E: And after that we get this.
Everything in her head was pounding, but she couldn’t stop the images from pouring over her eyelids.
“Me? I’m Junpei Iori. Nice to meet ya.”
“Yes…Ten years ago… The night I was born into this world, I set foot on this very bridge.”
“Strega. They’re still alive.”
“Senpai, we made a promise! Let’s find her! And Aigis too!”
“…I’m glad I met you.”
C: Calling it now, this character is the reincarnation of the female main character, or the inheritor of her memories, or her spiritual daughter or something stupid like that. Those are all scenes from the game that this character should not have seen. Especially the last one, which Shinji specifically says only to the main character. Because he just got shot.
With all of those memories bubbling up in her limbs and heart, she burst awake, throwing off the covers. A rough, thick arm blocked her from jumping out of the bed and, when it collided with her stomach, she felt her entire body convulse inward.
As she coughed into her clenched fists, the arm withdrew and awkwardly cradled her head.
“Sorry,” a male voice grumbled. “It’s…instinct.”
N: It’s instinct for you to do whatever it is you just did there? Gut punch people who wake up or something?
She looked up at the boy in painful surprise. He was sitting next to her in the queen-sized bed, his silver hair and chin stubble shimmered in the sunlight cast through the window. His hazel eyes stared down at her scarlet ones, and it scared her how direct he was. She wanted to flinch out of his grasp, but she couldn’t so much as breath without groaning in intense discomfort.
E: Yeah Akihiko, smacking badly wounded people around really isn’t that good for their health. I know that you’re rated M for manly and that you took on a bear, but not everyone is as tough as you Akihiko.
“Sorry…,” he mumbled again.
“It’s…fine…” Her voice was sparse as the silverette laid her back down.
“You had a pretty big gash on your torso,” he explained, “I stitched it up as best I could. Oh.”
C: I clearly should have taken you to the hospital where there are people who don’t punch you and open it up again, but we need to establish romance.
He fluffed a pillow beneath her. “I’m Akihiko, by the way.” The boy named Akihiko moved to sit beside her.
She shifted into a less uncomfortable position. “I’m….Aki.”
Akihiko gave a small, involuntary laugh. Aki stared at him, raising a brow. He shook his head. “It’s nothing.”
She looked away again. “My full first name is Akira.”
N: Her nickname is the same as Akihiko’s nickame? Ok this just got really fucking weird. Is this a form of self-cest or something?
He smiled. “I think I’ll call you that for now. It’ll be less…confusing.” She didn’t understand what he meant, but let it go. She gazed around the room. They were in a hotel with big brown walls, plush fur carpets, a box tv, and a single fridge idling in the corner. There was also a door next to the bed Akira was lying in, and she imagined that it was the bathroom.
E: Is it really that much of a jump for her to notice that Akihiko has Aki at the front? I know she might be kind of out of it, but still.
Akihiko sat in a fat armchair near her, still staring intently at her face. She looked back at him, glaring slightly.
“What?” She muttered, her voice guarded.
“Your eyes,” he replied. “They look like….” He turned away quickly, suddenly blushing. Akira touched the cheek beneath her scarlet pupils. It was true that eyes like hers weren’t common, but why did he bring them up? Were they really so strange?
C: Wait a minute.
C: Yeah the female main character has scarlet eyes. The evidence just keeps piling up.
Akira felt a peculiar draft pass over her torso, and looked down. All of her chest and most of her stomach were expertly wrapped in reddened bandages. She squealed, making Akihiko jump.
N: If her bandages are red like that, then there’s a chance her wounds opened again. Nice going Akihiko.
She quickly pulled the sheets back over her body.
“What did you do to my clothes?”
E:..Or we can just go with that.
It took Akihiko a moment to process what she was thinking, then his entire neck and face became red. His words became muddled.
“You…I….your wound was pretty big. It ruined your clothes. And….I’ve had some practice bandaging people…I swear I didn’t look at anything.”
C: Look, I know some people can be really sensitive about their bodies being exposed, but when someone finds you bleeding out on the ground, your clothes have to come off and the wound needs to be treated. Unless you’d rather die. Really this cliche is just…ugh.
Akira refused to look at him and buried herself in the blankets. She hid there as her pained breathing finally slowed. She found that as long as she held perfectly still, she didn’t hurt so much.
She heard Akihiko sit down and give another sigh. “You ought to rest,” he said. “You’ve been through a lot. We can talk later.”
N: Can you take me to a hospital?
E: WE HAVE ROMANCE NOW!
Akira did as he suggested, though it wasn’t hard. Even under the strange, current events, she was exhausted. Even if Akihiko had indeed de-clothed her to tress her wounds, she felt inexplicably safe with him.
C: Because the author said so.
Sleep found her easily, but her true rest did not.
“Welcome, to the Velvet Room…”
N: Ugh. That phrase keeps popping up EVERYWHERE! Use it in in a way that makes sense please!
Akira was flown back into a disarray of images and faces that she didn’t recognize. They were staring at her from afar, then up close. Their lips didn’t move at all, but they spoke.
“The sole purpose of my existence is to destroy shadows. For that reason, I was given a personality and a persona.”
“Defeating Nyx is… impossible. It has nothing to do with strength, ability, or power. Just as all living things die… and the flow of time is continuous… Nyx cannot be defeated.”
“People can’t survive without help from others. …We all depend on one another. ”
“Don’t go! You…you idiot!”
E: OH COME ON! All of those lines of dialogue were taken either from scenes where the main character was the only person present or were obviously directed at her. This story isn’t even trying to be subtle.
Akira thought that she’d awoken again, but came to realize that it was not the case. She looked around her, but found that there was no Akihiko, no bed sheets, no hotel windows-or any window for that matter. She was in room that seemed to resemble an elevator, with a big clock donning high in the center. Doors surrounded her on all sides, and many blankets were draped over them. The oddest part of the place was that most of it appeared blurred to her-especially the two men standing right before her gaze. She felt her mind start to spin and her body tightened. It was like she was being pulled back into the darkness behind her.
“It’s not yet your time to meet us, honored guest….” One of the figures said. Their blobbed head gave a nod and she was gone.
C: Ok. That was random and kind of pointless. Remember that velvet room that keeps getting brought up? That was it. It changes from game to game, and in Persona 3 it’s a massive elevator that is constantly rising at breakneck speed. The Velvet Room is a hidden pocket dimension that only the main character can access (EVEN MORE EVIDENCE) and is home to Igor, a man who helps the main character, along with help from an assistant. Usually recruiting from the same family of yellow eyed quirky people.
Akihiko was shaking her awake.
“Akira, are you okay? Wake up!”
Akira drew in a breath, as if she’d been pulled from a drowning ocean
E:…How the crucified Jesus Christ on a rainbow colored pikestaff does an OCEAN DROWN!?
-although she’d been screaming, in reality. When she realized what she had been doing, she swiftly forced herself to calm down.
“Sorry,” she apologized when she had relaxed. “Bad dreams….”
N: What about?
C: The time me and my friends defeated the avatar of death?
N: Oh well then-WAIT WHAT!?
Akihiko had been fiercely gripping her shoulders, and now he withdrew them, sighing in relief.
“They sound pretty bad to me,” he said. Akira sighed, too.
“Don’t worry about it.”
After some awkward silence, Akihiko was watching Akira eat the soup he’d ordered her. Akihiko had found one of his old shirts that he didn’t usually bother wearing and was letting her wear it. She seemed to be mulling over something, or was perhaps just ignoring him. He never really could tell what others were thinking.
Finally, the question that’d been boiling in him since he’d first found her accidentally slipped out:
“What happened to you out there?”
Akihiko thought Akira would freeze or become guarded. However, she just simply sat and thought for a moment before coolly answering: “I don’t remember.”
C: Man, this character is just tripping over cliches. Gets rescued (Sorta) by love interest, embarrassed by being treated, has amnesia. I think we have a second counter.
(Mary Sue Counter: 3)
“No. I’m not even sure where I am.”
Akihiko rose to sit beside her on the bed. “You’re in Iwatodai.” This seemed to surprise her.
“Yeah. Do you remember who you are?” He didn’t know how much memory loss she may have suffered. She gave him an uncertain look; she seemed to know what he was implying.
“Yes, I remember my past. I just don’t remember how I got to Iwatodai-or why I came here.”
E: Oh goody, so you’re gonna tell us that past now right? RIGHT!?
N: We aren’t gonna get shit are we?
C: What do you expect?
“I see….” Akihiko was suddenly deep in thought. “I have an idea. I have a friend, Mitsuru Kirijo. She might be able to help us.”
“Kirijo?” Judging by her expression, she knew the name and the reputation that came with it.
E: So what’s the expression? Surprise? Awe? Fear? Disgust? The Kirijo have a lot of baggage and pretty much 90% of it is classified, so some clarification would be nice.
“Yeah. When you’ve rested a bit more, we’ll take you to her and see what she can help us find out. Do you have any family here?”
Akira shook her head.
“Anyone to stay with?”
N: So wait, where are all your family and friends? We should probably get in contact with them and-
C: NOT TELLING!
Akihiko put a finger to his chin thoughtfully. “Then…you may as well stay with me. I can’t have you wandering around the place with no protection.” She looked uncertain again, and even a little scared.
“I hadn’t thought about it that way….”
E: By the way, what was that thing that attacked me? Do you know?
N: You aren’t telling me jack shit, why should I treat you any differently?
Akihiko put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “I’ll look out for you.” Akira gave him a small smile and touched his hand, her fingers unintentionally stroking one of the scars between his knuckles. The action was so familiar that it made him jump and withdraw. It startled Akira, but she didn’t say anything. He stood and grabbed his red cape, tossing it around his bare shoulders.
C: Wait, he was shirtless and wearing his cape this whole time? I know that after Persona 4 Arena that kind of became his thing, but it feels a little inappropriate right now.
“Sorry, but I have to go somewhere,” he said to her. “I won’t be out for long. Please just…stay here.” Akira bobbed her blonde head in a nod, though he couldn’t see it with his back turned to her. He swiftly left, slamming the door behind him.
E: Probably off to chug more protein shakes. Hey, I only make jokes about him being obsessed with protein shakes because the games and supplementary materials keep bringing them up.
When he was outside, he ran blindly through the streets. Her touch had stirred something inside his heart, which he’d come to believe only beat for the battle.
N: Pretty sure Akihiko had interests outside of fighting.
C: What were they?
N: I’ll let you know when I find out.
It gave him a nostalgia so powerful it made him sick. Her hand was so soft and delicate and comforting.
E: And it made him sick. Bit of a contradiction here.
And then…there were her eyes. They were like looking into mirrors of the past. Their red depths were so deep and the could swim in them, and the emotions they passed were so rich and subtle. He didn’t even feel like they were hers, really. Just some relics that Akira had stolen from ancient times…
C: Should I set up a massive drum out in back and keep chanting “SHE’S REALLY THE MAIN CHARACTER SHE’S REALLY THE MAIN CHARACTER SHE’S REALLY THE MAIN CHARACTERS!”? Because that’s how subtle this is.
He finally stopped, heaving in large gulps of air from emptiness around him, and looked up into the night sky. At last realized what had shaken him up enough to make him run.
He wasn’t really thinking of Akira, he was thinking of her. Akira’s eyes reminded him of his lost love, someone he had strived to forget for all these years. God he hadn’t thought of her in so long…
Akira’s gaze was not unlike Hers, and that made him remember. It hurt so badly that he had needed to get away from her, and from his own memories. There had to be some way to rid himself of these feelings again. He’d spent years finding ways to do so, and now he needed to put it all into practice…
“Yo,” someone called behind him. He lazily looked their way. It was a small gang of men-one with a gun pointed at his head. “Give us all your money.”
N: Uh, I’m pretty sure that gun control is beyond strict in Japan, and that it’s gonna take a lot more pull than just being a small time gang thug to get your hands on one. Also, why are they mugging the shirtless bodybuilder again?
E: Because Akihiko likes to get into fights? I don’t freaking know.
… … … …
Woot! Another chapter up and running!
Poor Akihiko, with his long lost love being gone and all…It’s a shame. :(
Speaking of which, someone asked me if this is an AkihikoXMinako fanfic. You’ll just have to wait and see! ;)
C: We probably should start using her name now that it’s established. Anyway…well Akihiko kind of has been established to have been in a relationship with Minako so KINDA!
N: Since these chapters are so short, one more. And oh look, ANOTHER BLOODY SONG
(Song Counter: 4)
Akira waited up all night for Akihiko to return. She felt guilty that whatever she’d done had driven him away from the safety of the hotel room.
E: It’s all my fault even though I don’t know what the fuck happened! There’s one!
(Mary Sue Counter: 4)
She tried to fall asleep, so that his return would come much sooner, but couldn’t seem to drift back into it. Was it fear that she’d go back to her nightmares that made no sense? Or was it fear that Akihiko wouldn’t come back? She’d been attacked by something at night, and wondered if the same thing that got her would get him, too.
C: The fear of Akihiko being attacked by the same monster would be pretty interesting if, you know, we didn’t already know what was happening to him.
Akira slowly sat up and meandered to the bathroom, clutching her body as it stabbed her nerves with vicious pain.
N: Her body sounds like kind of a prick.
She slumped over the sink, turning on the light to look at her reflection. There stood the face she’d known all too well.
Her small nose and thin eyebrows were nothing to be proud of, and her plump lips were not particularly exciting either. She was pretty, but just average (she at least thought so).
E: AH GAWD! Pretty yet “average” Something right out of fucking Twilight.
(Mary Sue Counter: 5)
N: Well if we’re dealing with Twilight levels of shit, we need to quarantine the area. *Pulls on gas mask*
Her scarlet eyes shimmered sleepily. She took a quick glance down at Akihiko’s borrowed shirt and gently tugged it off. There was another average thing-her chest.
C: Put the word average down and step away! You’re misusing the poor thing!
N: Another ding?
E: Erm…sure why not. Obsessing over boob size is a whole other level when it comes to saying “SEE TOTALLY AVERAGE!” Especially when the person is this badly wounded.
(Mary Sue Counter: 6)
Only now, it had blood-soaked bandages holding her frailty together. She decided to change them on her own.
E: I feel like Akihiko should’ve already done this. I mean, it has been three days since the attack.
As she took them off, she caught a view of her wound. She had to gasp; it went from the top of her right breast to above her left hipbone. It was jagged and stitched up, like she had been some kind of experiment. Her stomach trembled, and she dashed to the toilet where she threw up the soup Akihiko had given her earlier.
C: Vomiting in this situation I can understand, but it just came out of nowhere. You need to build shit like that up, people don’t just puke out of nowhere, there’s typically build up in terms of feeling really shitty.
A door closed, and a gentle hand was on her back. Her fingers instinctively found the shirt she’d been wearing and she pulled it into her chest. She wanted to retain some modesty in front of whoever owned the rough, calloused palm.
N: BIG EFFING WOUND! MODESTY TAKES A BACKSEAT!
When she’d finished, she shivered, only now noticing the cold air that hit her bare body. The hand came around to help her back up by the stomach. He was very careful not to touch her long scar.
E: Can’t be a scar if it isn’t done healing yet. That’s kind of how it works. And there is no fucking way a wound that requires stitches is gonna be gone in three days.
The rough, attempting-to-be-gentle hands had already become all-too familiar. She knew who was helping without looking up.
C: From the five minutes that you’ve known him. Suuuuuuuuuuure.
“Uhhnnn…..,” she groaned, wishing she had a toothbrush on hand.
N: Uh. Ok then. She wants a toothbrush. Because?
Akihiko guided her back to the bed, picking up a new set of bandages on the way there. She swayed as she sat on the mattress.
“Here,” Akihiko muttered, touching one of the hands clutching his shirt. “Let me patch you back up.” Akira didn’t move, her cheeks flushing red. Akihiko’s did too, and he looked to the far wall. “I swear I won’t….look.”
C: Guess we’re just leaving that random thought out to dangle.
Akira was pretty sure that’d be impossible,
E: Glad something sees that medical attention should take priority over seeing lumps of fat.
but she was too tired from the vomiting to argue, so she obeyed. As Akihiko began wrapping the bandages, he stared straight at her face. This was quite possibly even more mortifying than looking down towards her chest; she hadn’t met many people that were willing to look at her right on.
N: GAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Stop making him looking at you so freaking dramatic! Breasts I can kind of understand, but face? Pushing it a bit.
When he finished, he helped her back into his shirt.
“Feel better?” He asked. Akira nodded. “What happened?”
She touched her covered chest. “I just…saw my…and I felt…sick.”
C: Also I tried to change my bandages by myself. In hindsight, kind of a dumb move.
Akihiko nodded in understanding. “Good thing I got back here. At least you got it out of your system.”
“Thanks….” she met his eyes, then gasped. She finally got a good glimpse of his face to see his lip was bleeding and a fresh bruise was sprouting under his cheek. “Akihiko! What happened to you?” He looked away again, putting his supplies back in the bathroom.
E: Bruise or two around the lip? Considering a guy was pulling a GUN on him, I’d say he got off easy.
“I took a hit or two,” he muttered when he returned. He heaved a sigh. “I can’t believe they got me, actually. I don’t normally get hit so easily by scum like them…I need to get back to training every day. I was too distracted tonight….I might be losing my touch.”
N: So he beat the shit out of those thugs? Well, Akihiko is a pretty good fighter, but really when someone pulls a gun on you and you’re unarmed, you swallow your pride and toss them your wallet
Not all of what he said made sense, but Akira got the idea. Whatever she’d sparked inside him earlier had made him go out to start a fight. She reached over an touched his arm.
“Sorry,” she said. He looked surprised.
“Sorry? For what?”
“For whatever I did earlier. I didn’t mean to make you upset.”
He flinched; she’d hit the sore spot. “It’s…nothing you did.”
C: We needed drama that lasted for three seconds. Apparently.
An obvious lie, but she let it go; she could tell that he didn’t want to talk about it. Instead, she began to clean up his lips with her fingers. He shivered uncertainly. He wasn’t used to others touching him, but he let her work. She dabbed at the blood until the small cut stopped sweating, and wiped the liquid off of her and onto her new bandages. A glass of water sat next to her on the bed, filled with ice. She put a cube against his bruise. He hissed a bit, and Akira laughed.
“Don’t be a baby.”
“I don’t like the cold….” He insisted with a pout.
E: Oh, I get it. It’s a joke making fun of the fact that in game, Akihiko is weak to ice based attacks. Ha…ha…ha…it’s really funny because it made a comparison to a game mechanic. Ha…
“Probably because you’ve got so much blood pumping from your head to your muscles that you don’t even know what cold is, genius.” She held the ice onto him until it melted, then took another piece to put on his lip. Before it evaporated, Akihiko got fed up with it and tried to swat her away. She wouldn’t have any of it, pointing out that she was a cripple and deserved absolute respect. He frowned again and opening his mouth slightly to swallow the frozen water. Akira laughed and smacked him on the nose.
“Fine. Be stubborn, you child.”
N: This girl got really mean spirited out of nowhere. Also, insulting future love interest out of nowhere.
(Mary Sue Counter: 7)
He gained a slight smile. It was strange to be so playful…it seemed that since neither of them knew how to interact with others, they were reverting to states that reflected a more relaxed and carefree past.
C: Wait playful? That’s what it was supposed to be. Don’t you just love that moment where you make a conclusion based on what you read and then the narrative goes “No, no, no, you were supposed to think something else.”? Real pain isn’t it?
Akira laid back down and closed her eyes, patting the side of the bed next to her. “Just get some sleep, boy.”
“In there?” The surprise in his voice was evident, like he didn’t know how to hide it. She grinned slightly.
E: Uh, pretty sure that the injured person should get her own bed. Just for safety purposes.
“You need to get some rest. Besides,…” She opened one eye to him. “It’s not like you didn’t sleep over here the other night. You stopped me from getting up too fast, remember?” Akihiko blushed.
“I didn’t mean anything by it.”
N: Yeah, another reason that she should get the bed to herself. We don’t need Akihiko judo chopping her again.
“Just lay down.”
Slowly, he meandered to the farthest side of the bed and curled up on top of the covers. Akira just laughed softly at his attempt to keep his distance.
“Goodnight,” she muttered.
C: Charming? Whatever. And with that, we have done the first four chapters of this stinker.
E: Well, we need to have a talk with Shepard. See you next time!