chisotahn: Firebird with the text "Firebird's Child". (rainy day)
[personal profile] chisotahn posting in [community profile] ikuzeaibou
Title: Sometimes Things Fall
Fandom: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Characters: Souji
Summary: A vignette exploring the mechanics and in-character repercussions of failed rescues.

Notes: This, too, will spoil you in the face for November. Also ended up being a fill on [livejournal.com profile] badbadbathhouse.




Souji stared out at the fog as it rolled in, covering Inaba in thick, hazy dampness that stuck to everything, that got in everywhere. His mind and expression were blank, almost unseeing.

They'd failed. Again.

He knew exactly when the sirens would begin, from experience; they surged into his hearing right on queue, followed shortly by the ring and vibration of his cell phone. He didn't have to think to know it would be Kanji.

"... They found more dead bodies..."

They'd never failed before this month; the first time (or was it the second? the third? they blended together now in Souji's mind, impossible to properly discern) Souji had gotten sick from pushing himself too hard, and their progress had slowed, and the fog had been upon them just like that, and Kanji had called in the midst of fog and sirens, and Souji had dropped the phone, the pain in his heart so great that he wanted to die.

Thought he had been dying, even, as a wave of dizziness hit him, his vision pulsed and blurred, and he collapsed to the floor with a roar like the incoming tide ringing in his ears- and then it had been morning, the calendar cheerfully proclaiming it to be a week earlier, a week before Nanako and Namatame's bodies were discovered on a fog-ridden Inaba night.

He'd thought it had all been a dream, of course, at first. Stranger things had happened in his dreams, like the Velvet Room, but the next time he'd entered that strange place Igor had given him an odd look, and been even more cryptic than usual. "It wears on the mind, doesn't it?"

A week hadn't been enough, not then; Souji figured out what was happening as time turned in on itself once more, giving him yet another week of captured days, of lectures he'd half-memorized and quiz answers he knew before being asked. The weeks, so similar and yet so different, each shifted a step away from the others by his own choices, marched side by side in his memory, sliding into each other, meshing, knotting into an impossible tangle. The others didn't remember, he could tell - this particular brand of strangeness was his alone, like the many Personas that uneasily shared his mind and memory with the tangled days.

But they didn't need that kind of stress. He could handle it.

Right...?

We'll do it this time, Souji vowed as he felt the dizziness sweep over him again, and he gratefully let the phone slip out of his hand as Kanji's muffled shouts were taken over by the strange ringing in his ears, as the vision of the fog was replaced by wavering darkness leading back into light. This time... we won't fail.

I won't fail.
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let's go, partner!

August 2012

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