1008: Persona 3: Trade Me – Chapter 21 & 22

Title: Persona 3: Trade Me
Author: Bayanette Winters
Media: Video Game
Topic: Persona
Genre: Romance/Adventure
URL: Chapter 21 & Chapter 22
Critiqued by Erttheking

WARNING! This rift contains late game spoilers for Persona 3 that we have not touched upon yet. Proceed with caution.

Nora: Man, we are getting nowhere.

Ert: It’s a clean up operation at this point. Really we’re just counting down until he’s not a threat anymore.

John Freeman who was Henry Freeman’s Mom’s husband: We kill him dead!

Ert: Yeah, kill him dead.

John Freeman: John Freeman played Person 3. It difficult but filling. Looking forward to critilcising.

Nora: then let’s get to it!

Chapter 18

(Song Counter: 20)

Goeth: Just standard routine by this point. Chapter starts, push the buzzer.

04/16/2014 9:45pm

Aila had been left alone in her suite that evening. Despite the brief, but precious moments she’d spent with Akihiko, reality had inconsiderately called for their attention.

Nora: Yeah, it’s been hammering on the front door for the past few months with a cease and desist.

The silverette had desired to get some training done before the Dark Hour (he’d claimed that, while he’d enjoyed spending the day with her, he was far behind on his regiment). She’d urged him to go on and promised to see him later. However, as she shut the door behind him, she felt the loneliness sink in-as well as the consequences of her decision.

Ert: You handled being by yourself for a couple of months when you were going through that “I hate everyone” phase”

She’d basically rejected Akihiko. Not completely, of course, but that nevertheless made Aila’s heartache. She’d had feelings for the boy for a long time now, but couldn’t bring herself to give into them just yet. She wanted to be absolutely certain that, when she fell in love with someone, it was due to her feelings…not due to some memory mix-up.

John Freeman: Y they think we not get it?

Nora: Because they’re stretching things out for the sake of drama.

In truth, a part of Aila also wondered if her relationship to her cousin was an influence on Akihiko’s feelings, too. It was a thought that she wanted to keep distant, but its ever-present venom kept her regularly doubting what was real and what wasn’t.

Goeth: As fun as it is to see the messed up psyche of a teenage girl, even I think that this is melodramatic.

Ert: Just, FUCK ALREADY!

A knock came at the door. Aila, who’d been reclining heavily against the countertop, called out that the entrance was unlocked. Someone stepped into the darkness; she’d been so deep in her own thoughts that she hadn’t thought to turn on the lights.

“You okay?” She was relieved to hear Shinjiro’s voice and to see his form in the light of the hallway outside.

“Yeah. Go ahead and come in.”

Nora: You know can we got some focus on someone other than these three? Idiot Aila, “Training training training training training, durrrr, wot emotion,” Akihiko and “Fuck everyone” Shinji. I am being bored out of my skull by these people going in the same circles.

Shinjiro did so, closing the door behind him and putting a finger to the light switch. Before flipping it, he looked to Aila.

“You want these on?” He asked first. Giving a small half-smile, she shook her head.

“No. Thanks anyway.”

Goeth: I am a creature of the night! I need no light! Let me just crawl into a dark corner and suck on a rock for hydration!

Shinjiro left the lighting as it was, approaching the table with a careful step. The light from the slowly waning moon peeked through the kitchen blinds and allowed the two to see each other’s forms (and a little bit of their faces). The man sat down in the chair furthest from Aila’s form. It made an audible creak that they hadn’t noticed earlier. It seemed so loud and obvious to them now…and yet, nothing was said on the matter.

John Freeman: John Freeman know care bout creaking furniteture

Ert: Seriously, some people are very odd in what they chose to focus on.

At first, silence completely enveloped them. This was something that Aila loved about Shinjiro; they could sit comfortably in the same room without words or the awkwardness that would normally follow. With Akihiko, it felt like some horrible truth would try to come out if they didn’t say something immediately. Aila wondered why it was that way….

“…Do you wanna talk about it?” Shinjiro asked suddenly. Aila was startled by his low voice.

“About what?”

“Whatever’s bothering you.”

Nora: OH COME ON! We honestly haven’t had enough time devoted to this stupid sub-plot?! It wouldn’t be so bad if we kept coming back to it in-between other things, but this is all the story has to it! And it’s gone from simply being dry to starting to crack from lack of humidity!

“Oh. That.” Aila stared towards the window. Through the tiny slits, she could see buildings shimmer against the evening sky. It was a much deeper and heavier blue than the shade that came from the Dark Hour, but that just made the ambience somehow more peaceful.

Goeth: So the dark shade of blue that’s even darker than the shade of blue meant to indicate a dimension filled with horrible monsters is comforting. FINALLY someone gets it.

Nora: This is what we call guilt by association.

“I think that Akihiko was going to tell me that he loves me.”

Shinjiro leaned back into his seat. It squeaked again, making both persons cringe. “What happened?”

Aila chuckled darkly. “I shot him down before he even had a chance to speak.”

Ert: Oh goody, is the sub plot over then?

“Oh yeah?” Shinjiro’s tone was passive, but Aila knew that he was really listening to her troubles.

“Yeah. It’s not that I don’t have feelings for him, though. It’s just….” She laughed again. “It’s complicated…too complicated to drag him into.”

Goeth: So memories are too complicated for someone to deal with for someone who has had to deal with things like the Dark Hour? *Snort*

Ert: Yeah, translation “Pad out story, prolong story, do not allow story to end before we milk every last sour drop!”

There was a long pause. Aila sighed, upset at how loud she sounded in the emptiness.

“…Does it have anything to do with why you dyed your hair that ridiculous color?”

John Freeman: Pink hare equills this?

Nora: Makes sense. That hair dyeing just frankly reeked of desperation.

Aila laughed-for real, now. “Oh, that. Yeah, I guess it was kind of a stupid thing to do.” The girl lifted herself from the granite surface and plopped down in the chair beside her friend. “I just…. I did it because I want to stop seeing Her whenever I look in the mirror. And I want everyone else to look at something other than my damn eyes.”

Ert: Now they just don’t look at me like I’m someone else, they look at me like I’m an idiot! Then they look back at my eyes because the people that knew her eyes would like that would only be distracted for a few seconds. Tops.

“So you chose…pink.” Shinjiro emphasized the last word for effect.

“Okay, okay, I get it. It was a stupid color. I’m just so tired of people looking at me and seeing someone else. Plus, if I’m going to try and fight off all of the memories that come whenever the team gets so much as a scratch, then I need to do something drastic.” She played with the tips of her hair.

Goeth: Yeah I remember the time I figured out that hair colors and memories from dead people were connected.

Ert: Every time the team gets a scratch. When the fuck did THAT become a thing?

“Did something happen?”

Aila recalled that she hadn’t told anyone else about her freak-out when Ken nearly died

John Freeman: Peoples don’t dye from scratch!  They dye from Wepon!  AND BEAR HANDS!

and slowly repeated the story to her companion. She felt that, if nothing else, she could trust him to keep the tale private. At the end, his head bobbed slowly.

“I don’t think changing your hair color will prevent those flashbacks,” he stated.

Ert: NAWWWWWWWWW ya think?

“I ain’t a scientist or anything, but whatever’s happening to you is because of something else…something other than your roots.”

“I know. But I’ve got to start somewhere, right?” Aila tucked her hair behind her ears.

Nora: What’s next? Painting your toenails to make the bad memories go away? And if that doesn’t work you’ll move on to waxing your eyebrows and cutting your hair? Don’t worry, I’m sure SOMETHING will work.

“That’s why I can’t get so close to Akihiko right now.” She giggled to herself. “He’s making it hard, though. Do you know he did on the way home today? He asked me to start calling him ‘Aki’?” Shinjiro didn’t laugh.

Goeth: LOOK AT THIS DRAMA! ALL THE DRAMA! HAPPENING…OVER THERE SOMEWHERE!

“…He really likes you.”

“I know. But he shouldn’t. Not now, at least. Not while I’m trying to get my life together.” Aila glared at the window again. “When I regained my memories, I vowed to find a way to save Minako from her fate as The Great Seal. But…and with all of my own problems to worry about…I don’t know where to even start. I don’t even know if there’s anything that l can do.”

Nora: I take it that’s the reason she’s spending the entire story with her thumb up her ass?

Ert: The excuse she’s giving us at the very least.

“Hmm.” Shinjiro nodded again. Aila turned to look into his face, but couldn’t see anything beneath the shadow of his beanie. She started nervously picking at her nails; she was about to ask a question that had been plaguing her for months.

“You used to love her too, right?”

Goeth: I thought that love triangles were considered annoying.

Ert: They are.

John Freeman: John Freeman only ever lived Henry Freeman’s Mom!

Nora: Speaking of which, what’s her real name?

John Freeman: Henry Freeman’s Mom!

Nora: No I mean…huh? A birth certificate?…First name Henry, middle name Freeman’s, last name Mom? WHAT!? I just…sure, whatever.

There was a long silence; he didn’t seem to want to answer.

Aila went on. “I had visions from before. You and she…you were pretty serious for a while. She really liked you. And you really seemed to like her too. But after your accident, it’s like you just….” She stopped fidgeting and drew her eyes to where she thought his were. “Shutdown.”

Ert: Look. I have nothing against spelling out what a character feels sometimes. There are cases when sometimes people just feel the need to let what they’re feeling out. Problem is, it helps if there’s actually some build up to it and not just “Hey this character had an arc! Remember the time I didn’t write about when they had an arc!?”

The only response this time was an uncomfortable shift in his seat. Another creak followed.

“Even after you woke up from the coma, you just kinda gave her to Akihiko, didn’t you? You didn’t try to be with her during her final moments…you let Akihiko hold her as she died.”

Nora: Yeah. Gave her. Because she was a fucking possession. *Grinds teeth* Comment probably didn’t mean that, but sometimes people need to realize how these things sound.

“He loved her,” was his response. “And she loved him. There ain’t much more to the story.”

Nora: Well, at least someone is actually emotionally mature.

“But you did say that you were glad to have met her, right? That’s all you left her with at her death?”

“Somethin’ bug you about that?” His tone grew hostile. This wasn’t a subject he wanted to explore.

“Yeah, actually.” She frowned at her fingers. “Seems like if you really love someone, you don’t leave it buried when they’re on their deathbed.”

Goeth: Says the person who has been keeping her feelings towards muscle boy buried all story. Ah, hypocrisy. The staple of intelligent life everywhere. I never got why people struggle so hard to setup their precious standards, only to throw them away the second things get a little hard.

Ert: All right, all right, I let you have a great big speech about this in your story, let’s not get sidetracked.

“We made our choices-both of us. It didn’t matter what I said at that point. She got someone she deserved.”

“Where did that leave you then?”

Shinjiro’s eyes finally came into view of the moonlight. They gave Aila a harsh look. “I’m pretty sure that’s not your problem.”

John Freeman: John Freeman confuzzeled.

Nora: Seriously, are we going anywhere with this?

Aila huffed in frustration and stood from her seat. “Sorry that I’m curious about the grieving of someone other than myself.”

Ert:…The fuck does that mean?

She went to the freezer, pulling out the pint of chocolate ice cream she’d bought earlier. Rather than putting some into a bowl, she just grabbed a spoon from the silverware drawer.

“…You shouldn’t eat so late,” Shinjiro protested nonchalantly.

“So?” Aila opened the container.

“It’s not good for you.”

Aila gave a “pfft.”

“You’ll get fat.”

Nora: Will Aila put on weight? THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!

“Then maybe Minako’s memories will find me unattractive and will finally leave me alone.”

Ert: That is the dumbest thing I read in this entire story. Aila, just admit you’re flailing around like a drunk, only vaguely pretending you know what you’re doing so we can move on with our lives.

She headed for the front room couch, flipping on the lights at last. When she plopped down into the cushions she stared at Shinjiro. While he watched, she spooned a huge scoop of ice cream and shoved the entire thing into her mouth. He shrugged, but an annoyed sound escaped his lips. Then she did it again and again and again.

Goeth: Well, no one else can eat that ice cream now, the entire carton is contaminated with boring person spit.

John Freeman: John Freeman will burie ise creem with the pants

“At least you got to see her,” she mumbled through a dollop of melted chocolate. “You got to be there when she died. You could’ve said everything you wanted to her, like how much you cared about her or how much you’d missed her all of these years. Or how much you cried out her name when you were on the verge of a breakdown. Or how sorry you were that you’d called her names when she’d only been trying to help you follow your dream….” Now, the cream tasted salty. She stared down into it; a puddle of her tears filled a small crater in the bottom of the cardboard. She swallowed another sour bite.

Nora: Can we just read everything that she says in a mocking tone?

Ert: I’m tempted. Oh woe is me! I didn’t get to see the cousin I did nothing to track down! You should be oh so thankful person who I was criticizing two seconds ago for not being close enough to her. Wait what? What’s my point again? Oh I don’t know, I’m so TORTURED!

Shinjiro stared at her for a moment; in the light, he could see her whole face. It was turning red and starting to become puffy around the eyes. Aila gripped the carton so hard that it started to crumple beneath her fingers, but it was all she could do to keep control over herself.

“You could’ve told her the truth,” she muttered, rubbing her eyes with her spoon hand. “You could’ve talked to her, Shinjiro. She lived long enough for you to say whatever you needed to before she….” She gulped; a lump had lodged itself in her throat. “You were one of the lucky ones…and yet you wasted your chance…..”

Nora: You know, I never actually WANTED to talk to her about this stuff so-

Ert: YOU SHOULD’VE SAID EVERY LITTLE THOUGHT THAT CAME INTO YOUR HEAD, YOU SHOULD’VE TOLD HER ABOUT EVERY TIME YOU MASTURBATED TO HER PICTURE, HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF!?

Nora: I’m gonna go now crazy lady.

“Hey….” He tried to approach Aila, but she gave him a startling glare.

“Do you know how many people would kill for the chance to talk to her one last time?!

Goeth: Carry the one…divide by this…two.

To apologize for not telling her how great a friend she was? Or for not loving her enough? For not spending more time smiling with her, rather than sulking in the corner like a child?! ONE. Only one person on this earth would kill for that chance!”

Ert: Oh. Well, someone has an awfully high opinion of herself. And for that, you can go straight to Hell! No, I don’t care how sad face she is, acting like she’s the only one who would do anything for a few more seconds with a dear friend is arrogance and narcissism incarnate. Fuck. Off.

She couldn’t hold it back now; the tears overflowed, filling her spoon and her cup. Everything she’d been trying to bury in herself boiled up all at once. It wrapped her up tightly in a comfortable noose, slowly constricting her frail throat. Slowly, Shinjiro took the cup from her hands and sat beside her. Without looking at the girl, he wrapped his arm around Aila’s shoulders and sharply brought her into his chest. She thought she’d get a concussion judging by the force he’d used to pull her close.

Goeth: HA! Yeah right. No 20 year old who doesn’t work out is that strong. Unless you’re an exception. In which case I need a sample of your hair. *Turns on electronic razor*

“…I told her exactly what I needed to,” he muttered above Aila’s head. She tried to peer up at him. “Maybe it wasn’t fancy or exciting, but it was enough.” Enough.

Nora: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE! YOU’RE EVIL! BECAUSE I CLEARLY ONLY EVER MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS!

That last word rang in Aila’s ears. She knew in the deepest part of her heart that it wasn’t true; she never could’ve told her cousin that she cared enough. And, judging by the solemn look in her friend’s face, Aila could tell that Shinjiro couldn’t have believed his words were enough either. It was just a way to cope with the loss of his ex-lover…it was just a word you said to yourself to get out of bed in the morning and to help remind you that your lungs need air to live.

Ert: My, that’s a fascinating navel you have there, but can we gaze at something else? As fascinating as it is to read about Aila talking about how deep and complicated her life is, Aigis oiling her joints sounds more interesting than this. In fact, speaking of Aigis…wait a minute. WHERE THE FUCK IS LABRYS!? You know. AIGIS’ SISTER! That was introduced in Arena? I just…eh fuck it. She’s probably better off like this.

Aila sunk her head into Shinjiro’s coat; its scent was thick, metallic, and old-not sweet and familiar like Akihiko’s-but it still managed to make her feel comfortable.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. He heard her, but didn’t say anything.

Nora: Apology NOT accepted.

Something inside his chest was blocking his airway, leaving him unable to talk.

John Freeman: Combines steel air! John Freeman save the day!

Aila buried her cheek further into him. “I’m pretty selfish sometimes. I keep forgetting to think of feelings other than my own. I’ll…try to be better at it.” It was what Minako would do.

Ert: Minako would probably be doing something I’d actually want to read about

She wouldn’t bury her friends with her own regrets; she’d do everything in her power to fulfill their needs and make them happy. Maybe it was what those memories were trying to show her. Maybe this was all a lesson she needed to learn to function again…to remember how to get out of bed and breathe in the morning.

Nora: Yeah, I second Ert. She sounds a thousand times more interesting than anyone involved.

Shinjiro’s fingers absently undid the knots in her pink hair. It was stung at first, but become much smoother some effort. As he repeated the motion over and over, Aila felt tired. Was this how all girls felt after crying? Physically and emotionally exhausted? Or was it Shinjiro’s constant hand motion that was to blame?

It didn’t matter at that moment. She was too tired to really care about such things.

Goeth: Weariness has nothing to do with it. She doesn’t care about things when she’s perfectly rested.

…. …. …. ….

No Time Available…

Something light and fluffy brushed Aila’s face, like a dozen dandelions being carried off by the wind. When they hit the girl’s nose, she slowly rose her head to see what the hell was irritating her so badly.

“Well, hello there, sleepyhead.” The yellow fabric caressed her again, relieving the heaviness from Aila’s eyes. She’d never seen this man before, but as she looked at him, a whole new onslaught of memories stole her focus.

I love you…My dearest.

Ert: EIJGIGHIGHIWGHIWRHGIRGH

John Freeman: Who is newcomer?

Ert: We’ll get to it. This’ll involve the spoilers we put up a warning about. With that, the chapter ends.

Chapter 19

(Song Counter: 21)

Somewhere Without Time…

The boy gave Aila a wide grin.

Nora: The constant use of the word boy is making me worried we’re in a shota.

Goeth *Shudders*

His pale skin almost drew attention away from his pristine smile.

“I see that you recognize me,” he said. His voice melted around Aila like sweet honey, but held a hint of something seductive…perhaps roses or black silk? She couldn’t be sure which, but she was certain that a part of her recognized this boy. As his dark eyes held her crimson pair, a name curled onto her tongue.

Ert: GAH! THE PROSE! IT’S TOO PURPLE!

“Ryoji.”

The ravenette gave a musical laugh. “Yep! Man, you’re developing faster than I thought you would.”

Ert:……uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, wot?

“What is…?” Aila moved from her sprawl on the ground to her elbows. Beneath her was a glass floor through which she could see a large koi pond. It surrounded them for…miles? A few feet? She wasn’t sure;

Goeth: Look, you should be able to know if it’s a few feet, I don’t care how many lobes I cut out.

John Freeman: Wot?

Goeth: It passes the time.

the edges of the environment disappeared into white, foggy nothingness. Still in sight were large boulders-some stacked, others standing alone-and patches of moss randomly littering the area. A stone archway leaned exhaustedly against one of the piles, giving the area a ancient ambience. The whole plane was bright and ethereal…Aila could not recall any memories of it.

Nora: Aila didn’t have any memories, we can all breath again!

“I’m sure you have lots of questions.”

Ert: I have tons, like what the fuck is the point of this story?

Ryoji called for her attention. As a small black fish zipped beneath her, Aila found her focus again.

“What’s going on? Where are we?” She sat up from the ground. Hadn’t she just been lounging on the couch with Shinjiro?

“Don’t panic. You’re just dreaming.”

Goeth: Not really an answer, but whatever. *Yawns* Let the simpletons do their little dance.

“Dreaming…?” That made some sense, but the floor beneath her felt pretty damn real.

“Think of it like the Velvet Room…but a little bit different.”

“Is this Heaven?” Did she actually die from her misery?

Nora: If she’s in heaven I want an express ticket to the fifth ring.

“I wish.” Ryoji gave the area a brief glance. “It’s just a place where you and I can talk, really.”

Ert: Vaguevile?

Aila stared up at him carefully, memories beginning to slowly unfurl. “Why are you here? I thought that you died with Nyx.”

John Freeman: John Freeman not beat Person yet. Who Ryoji?

Ert: Simply put, he’s a nice kid who shows up to school in the second half of the time. Really friendly. He’s also the avatar of Nyx and the one who will bring about The Fall on her behalf whether he wants to or not.

Ryoji smiled. “I can see that you don’t remember everything yet.”

“What do you mean?”

The boy’s hand came towards her brushing his fingers across her temple and cheek. He was sitting close enough to embrace her, if he wanted. “You’re quite beautiful.” Aila jumped and withdrew.

Nora: Uh, bad touch?

“Wh-what?!”

“Don’t look so nervous.” Ryoji was laughing. “It was a compliment. You’re very pretty…you look just like Her.”

Goeth: Was Minako attractive by cultural standards? I wouldn’t know, I don’t get this stuff.

Ert: She was cute. Not the type of person everyone would be gushing over though.

“Oh.” Aila tugged at her hair stubbornly. There were no words between them, but the ravenette kept a close eye on the girl before him. A bird chirped nearby, but it was so lovely and pure that it sounded fake.

John Freeman: That make no sense.

Ert: It could. If it wasn’t so freaking bare bones.

“So.” Ryoji had been sitting on a rock with one knee loosely pulled to his chest, and the other dangling towards the koi pond. As he started speaking, he leapt to the ground and stood over the girl. “You asked what I’m doing here?” He held out his hand. Aila took it and allowed him to help her stand. She realized that he was taller now, and his face had matured some since she-or rather, since her cousin-last remembered.

“Yes. I’d like a straight answer, too.”

Nora: We’ve been saying that since day one honey, if you can’t provide one for us, why should he for you?

“I’ll do what I can.” Ryoji kept her hand in his, leading her towards the arch. Aila wanted to let go, but her fingers refused to move. Pretty much all of her body was unresponsive as they slowly stalked over the glass. Something was possessing her to stay at his side.”In answer to your question, though, I’ve been with you for a long time now.

Ert: Fuck what? I’m sorry, WHAT!? How does that begin to make any sense? Ryoji isn’t bound to anyone!

I just haven’t been able to get your attention until this point.” They stopped beneath the arch. It looked ready to collapse, but nothing short of sheer willpower kept it together.

Goeth: There’s a diagnosis for this. It’s called “Author only thought of it recently”

“You’ve been with me? How is that possible?”

“You’ll remember soon enough.” Ryoji suddenly gave her a smirk. “Of course, my tongue may loosen if you kiss me.”

Nora: Ryoji could be a bit of a lady’s man wannabe, but he also knew when things were serious and approached them with the maturity that they warranted. For the love of God, he told the main characters to kill him so that they would forget that Nyx was coming so they could live the last few weeks of their life in blissful ignorance, because he thought they couldn’t beat Nyx. From a twisted viewpoint, he was right. Nyx couldn’t be beaten, only sealed.

“N-no thanks.” Aila flushed. Ryoji laughed.

“Anything else you’d like to know?”

“Well….” Aila stared at her feet. The black koi fish had returned, darting around her soles. “I would like to know what’s happening to me…like, why I’m getting all of these random flashbacks.”

Ryoji went very quiet. It was one of the only times that he looked away from Aila. “You are absorbing Minako’s memories.”

Ert: WE ALREADY KNOW THIS! Anything new? We got the who and the what, now how about the WHY!

“Absorbing?”

“Yes.” He met her gaze again. His smile wasn’t quite as genuine as before. “I really can’t explain much more to you than that. You’re supposed to be getting most of the answers yourself.”

Nora: Oh FUCK YOU Ryoji.

“But I don’t understand.” She wished desperately that she could break from his hold, but the world was only willing give her control over her head. She shook it fiercely. “Why am I seeing the things that Minako did? Why do they get so strong that I feel like I’m drowning in them?”

“I can’t tell you all of that,” Ryoji admitted again. “But I can offer you something. It might help.” He turned to face her, caressing her jaw between the fingers of his free hand. Gently, he pulled her chin down and kissed her forehead. “This is all I can give you right now.”

Goeth: It is the fifth decree of stupid plot padding.

Ert: Ugh. “I can’t/won’t’” tell you is a fucking lazy plot device, pure and simple. Basically saying “There’s no logical reason to keep this a secret but Imma do it anyway.”

When his lips released her skin, something snapped in her head-like a rubber band had just released its hold over a door that’d been just out of her reach. She remembered running from something the first night she was in Iwatodai. It was tall and vicious with dozens of caskets surrounding its-.

Aila gasped, meeting the boy’s eyes. “It was you. You attacked me that night…as Thanatos.”

Nora:….WHY!?

Another sad smile filled his face. “Yes. Believe me when I say that I didn’t mean to hurt you, though.”

John Freeman: Playful demom?

Ert: Yes?

“But…this only makes me more confused.

Nora: Welcome to the club, beers are under the counter.

Why did you come after me?”

“The Dark Hour was just about to return. I had to enter your soul before I lost my chance.”

Nora: Because that will somehow help.  And you can do that.  Apparently.

“Enter my…..” Aila shook her head. She was tired of trying to deconstruct his words for their deeper meanings. “Just tell me why you’re inside of my head.”

“I have to help you realize your destiny.” Ryoji squeezed her hand. “I have to do my best to help and protect you, just as I did for Her.”

Goeth: Anyone want to tell him that he’s doing a lousy job? And did NOTHING to protect Minako that involved being inside her?

“But…you’re Death. What does Death want with me?”

Ert: Same thing it wants with everything I imagine. A payment

Ryoji sighed. “I did tell you that you need to realize most of these answers yourself, right?”

Nora: Yeah, and you can go fuck yourself.

“You just said that you’re here to help me! Why are you being so cryptic?!” Aila lashed out, but the boy’s face remained calm.

Goeth: The Sue! She speaks the Queen’s logic.

“I am here to help you, but I can’t do everything.

John Freeman: Less than everything equal more than nothing

Ert: Uh. Yes?

You need to make a choice at the end of this journey, and I can’t have any say in what you decide. If I even began to tell you what was happening, it’d disrupt the path you were destined to walk.”

Nora: Fuck destiny. Lazy plot device. Simply put “This happens because I say so”

He pushed a lock of pink hair from her eyes. “Trust me, I want to tell you everything. But this is just isn’t the time.”

Goeth: Wait until the third act

“Then why did you want to meet me here? To tell me that you can’t tell me anything?”

“No. I actually have something important to say.” He looked over his shoulder. “Look.”

Aila did, and before her were a handful of butterflies that she hadn’t noticed before. They were each of a different color-10, after she bothered counting-but she couldn’t see all of them very well. The two closest to her were red and brown. The red one was beating powerfully, willing itself to fly faster than the others. It displayed very little elegance, but it made an impressive effort to be stronger than its companions. The brown one, on the other hand, flew slowly and silently. Its travel seemed listless and undirected. Nonetheless, it kept fluttering with its firm, but rough edged wings. Each little creature had a color trail following close behind, making them appear to be mirages in the heavenly realm.

Ert: Hm. PORTANT!

“Fate will help you with your journey,” Ryoji went on. “She’s a powerful Persona. In the meantime, look to the guidance of your friends and loved ones. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction, while Fate will be able to push you through to your goals. Oh, and you can summon me, too, if you need. I’ll help you fight off the Shadows as best I can.”

Ert: Summon the avatar of death!? His emotions should’ve been wiped by Nyx now that I think about it.

“But…this still doesn’t make sense.” Aila met Ryoji’s eyes, knowing full well that her time with him was running short. “I have so many questions.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll understand in time.” Ryoji gave her temple another peck. “Just be careful on this next full moon. As it grows closer, so does your destiny…and so does the danger that comes with it.” He gently pushed her into the archway, which overwhelmed her vision with a pearl haze. Ryoji’s hand released hers, letting her fall deep into the fog. When she regained control of herself and tried to turn around, she saw the last of the Cheshire’s smile fade away.

Nora: So, that was pointless.

Ert: This story in a nutshell. Well, I managed to get through without talking TOO much about Ryoji, thank god, because I don’t want to spoil too much of the game for Herr. We’re running out of chapters though, so we might have to start looking for another story before too long. But for now, please join us next week for another installment of love dodecagon

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67 Comments on “1008: Persona 3: Trade Me – Chapter 21 & 22”

  1. GhostCat says:

    Painting your toenails to make the bad memories go away? And if that doesn’t work you’ll move on to waxing your eyebrows and cutting your hair?

    I’m pretty sure waxing does nothing but give you bad memories. That shit stings.

  2. GhostCat says:

    His voice melted around Aila like sweet honey, but held a hint of something seductive…perhaps roses or black silk? She couldn’t be sure which, but she was certain that a part of her recognized this boy. As his dark eyes held her crimson pair, a name curled onto her tongue.

    :collapses:

    Need … Literary insulin…

  3. GhostCat says:

    The ravenette gave a musical laugh.

    First the silverette, and now a ravenette?* What’s wrong with using brunette? That covers anyone with dark hair.

    *(I thought that said Raisinette to begin with, which made for an interesting mental image.)

  4. GhostCat says:

    Goeth: Look, you should be able to know if it’s a few feet, I don’t care how many lobes I cut out.

    John Freeman: Wot?

    Goeth: It passes the time.

    And that right there is why no one will sit next to you in the cafeteria. Well, except Ishi-sensei.

    • Delta XIII says:

      Well, that, and the fact that merely associating with him makes all of us implicitly guilty of genocide.

      • GhostCat says:

        That does tend to put a damper on things.

      • Placido Farren says:

        You guys did do a background check on Goeth before you brought him on, right?

        Right?

      • GhostCat says:

        I think we assigned one of the interns to do it, whatshisname, Jessica. I think he exploded, though. I can’t recall if it ever got reassigned.

      • Delta XIII says:

        Actually, yes. The Agency conducts very extensive background checks on all close associates.

        Surprisingly, Goeth only got a Multiversal Threat Level of Mild.
        And it can’t have been a fluke, we performed that test ten times!

      • Placido Farren says:

        Mind sharing how your “test” works? Like what different levels there are? I suspect that some of the people I work with are hiding skeletons in their closets and, well, better safe than sorry, right?

      • Delta XIII says:

        Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to discuss the details of Agency procedures.
        But what I will say is this: the Agency only considers Goeth a mild threat. That should give you some idea of the kind of things we deal with.

      • Placido Farren says:

        *shudders*

  5. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    http://www.fimfiction.net/story/214364/my-little-pony-friendship-is-magic-fallout-edition
    Ert? You gotta take a look at this. This is some Parallel Realities-class plot regurgitation slash Gary Stu going on on here.

  6. TacoMagic says:

    I love how John Freeman has become one of the Library’s mascots. I think it’s because he simultaneously stands for both things we have here: Bad fanfiction, and snarky reprisals to bad fanfiction.

  7. TacoMagic says:

    Nora: What’s next? Painting your toenails to make the bad memories go away? And if that doesn’t work you’ll move on to waxing your eyebrows and cutting your hair? Don’t worry, I’m sure SOMETHING will work.

    Man, I’ve got some bad memories going on today. Ima go shave a wookie until they go away.

  8. TacoMagic says:

    No Time Available…

    Use temporal rift instead…

  9. TacoMagic says:

    “You’ll remember soon enough.” Ryoji suddenly gave her a smirk. “Of course, my tongue may loosen if you kiss me.”

    Oh no you don’t! Come back here and say you’re sorry to Horatio! In fact, he’ll come over there and tel-

    *Bolt-taped to the Velvet Room*

    Mmm frk?

  10. TacoMagic says:

    “Yes.” He met her gaze again. His smile wasn’t quite as genuine as before. “I really can’t explain much more to you than that. You’re supposed to be getting most of the answers yourself.”

    Translation: Author hasn’t decided why it’s happening yet.

  11. SFY says:

    This rift contains late game spoilers for Persona 3

    Oh shi-
    *Gets sucked into temporal rift*

  12. SuperFeatherYoshi says:

    Bad example:

    A bird chirped nearby, but it was so lovely and pure that it sounded fake.

    Good example:

    Then, impossibly, Joson’s voice came from the radio again. “Lying down on the job, John?” it asked, this time free of static. Now that he could hear it clearly, John thought to himself that it didn’t really sound that much like Joson at all. It sounded… older, somehow. No, older was the wrong word. Ancient. The jovial, familiar tone of its voice was too cheerful to be anything but fake, and there was something lurking deep inside it that was far, far worse than Colonel Earl Joson could ever be.

    When fucking Repercussions of Evil is better written than your story, you KNOW you’re doing something wrong.

  13. Herr Wozzeck says:

    I am being bored out of my skull by these people going in the same circles.

    But Nora, writing more than three characters is hard!

  14. Herr Wozzeck says:

    At first, silence completely enveloped them. This was something that Aila loved about Shinjiro; they could sit comfortably in the same room without words or the awkwardness that would normally follow. With Akihiko, it felt like some horrible truth would try to come out if they didn’t say something immediately. Aila wondered why it was that way….

    You know, from this description, I get the feeling Aila should jump Shinjiro’s bones. I mean, really:

  15. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “I don’t think changing your hair color will prevent those flashbacks,” he stated.

    Thank you, Captain Obvious.

  16. Herr Wozzeck says:

    I thought that love triangles were considered annoying.

    You know. I like the series, but don’t even get me started on The Hunger Games’ love triangle. That was a pretty blah triangle that didn’t even go anywhere.

    • Placido Farren says:

      Eh, I had no problem with it. Certainly better than Meyer’s version of a love triangle.

      • GhostCat says:

        I think the Hunger Games’ triangle was weaker than Meyer’s; at least there was a little bit of tension there. Granted it was primarily between the sparklepire and the shapeshifter and bypassed the damp washcloth almost completely, but it was something. Gale got friend-zoned (or cousin-zoned) early on, so he wasn’t really a serious contender.

      • Herr Wozzeck says:

        That is true. It wasn’t aggravating so much as pointless. And honestly, that’s better than nothing.

      • Placido Farren says:

        True, GhostCat, I’ll concede to that. Looking back, it did sort of die out early and it was sort of a foregone conclusion. I guess I just like Colins’s love triangle better because the relationships of the three involved were based on selflessness and self-sacrifice, whereas with Twilight, the relationships were primarily based on emotional abuse.

      • GhostCat says:

        Personally I like the Hunger Games triangle better as well, I find it far more realistic and relatable that Twilight’s. Twilight is the sort of wish-fulfillment masturbatory fantasy we see too often here in the Library.

      • Placido Farren says:

        Amen to that my friend, amen to that.

      • erttheking says:

        Better than Meyer’s version has got to be the most extreme version of damning with faint praise I’ve seen.

  17. Herr Wozzeck says:

    “Then maybe Minako’s memories will find me unattractive and will finally leave me alone.”

    *headdesk*

    I know she was going for a quip there, but holy shit, author! Learn how to make a character who doesn’t come off as a whiny bitch, if you don’t mind!

  18. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Nora: Can we just read everything that she says in a mocking tone?

    I can do you one better. How about reading it in Linkara’s Superboy Prime voice?

    • Placido Farren says:

      Or how about Linkara’s Drunk Tony Stark voice? After all, that would probably be the state of any reader who’s made it this far in the fic.

  19. Herr Wozzeck says:

    It was turning red and starting to become puffy around the eyes.

    Oh shit, I think he just got dumped into the Martian atmosphere! Ladies and gentlemen, get some help for this man!

  20. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Maybe this was all a lesson she needed to learn to function again…to remember how to get out of bed and breathe in the morning.

    You know, this sounds so pretentious it’s not even funny.

  21. Herr Wozzeck says:

    It was stung at first

    It was stung at… what…?

    *headdesk*

    Author! Verb better!

  22. Herr Wozzeck says:

    The ravenette gave a musical laugh.

    Hey! Hey! We all know musical laughter is soley the domain of coloratura sopranos!

    Exhibit A:

    Exhibit B:

    And in the rare time it isn’t, it’s not exactly musical, per se:

  23. Herr Wozzeck says:

    Ryoji sighed. “I did tell you that you need to realize most of these answers yourself, right?”

    Yes, but that still doesn’t make your actions any less stupid!

    *headdesk*

    Jesus, this is just stupid!

  24. Placido Farren says:

    Goeth: HA! Yeah right. No 20 year old who doesn’t work out is that strong. Unless you’re an exception. In which case I need a sample of your hair. *Turns on electronic razor*

    While you’re at it, get a blood sample and test for radioactivity.


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