chisotahn: Firebird with the text "Firebird's Child". (let's go partner!)
[personal profile] chisotahn posting in [community profile] ikuzeaibou
Title: Ten Steps
Fandom: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Characters: Souji/Yosuke (eventually); ensemble
Summary: AU, longfic; fill for this prompt on [livejournal.com profile] badbadbathhouse; details in the first part, here.


Notes: This will spoil you in the face for events up to August + elements of November. This is part sixteen of sixteen. Thank you for reading. ♥




"Okay, Yosuke - this one's yours," Souji said evenly, bringing his sword up into guard position; the Shadow bobbed and floated in front of them, its oversized tongue lolling. "Just hit it with a wind spell, and it'll go down."

Yosuke nodded, his eyes narrowed in concentration. It was weird, reaching into his own head and finding power there that he could use and direct, but he was starting to get the hang of it. A sharp mental movement combined with physical motion, a twisting leap into the air to shatter the tarot card waiting for him there, and the Persona - his Persona - materialized over him as he landed in a crouch. He still couldn't help watching Susano-o in fascination as the Persona easily called forth a burst of wind that blasted the Shadow into tiny bits.

This is so freaking cool.

"Nice, Yosuke-kun!" Chie called out, flashing him a v-sign.

Then Souji was there, reaching down one hand to help him up; Yosuke took it and got to his feet, then brushed his hair out of his face and tugged his headphones down to rest around his neck in the same movement. "How was that?" he asked, shifting to turn off the music.

"Perfect," Souji assured him with a grin. "Doesn't jumping around like that every time you call Susano-o tire you out, though?"

Yosuke grinned back and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Nah, I can take it. It just feels... right. Like that's the way I'm supposed to do it."

"You learn bear-y fast, Yosuke!" Teddie beamed, bouncing as he shifted from foot to foot, making faint squeaking noises. "I think that's all of them, Sensei," he added, turning to Souji.

Yep, the floor's clear, Rise chimed in. Ready to come back? I think Yosuke-senpai's getting tired.

"I am not," Yosuke protested, but Souji raised one eyebrow at him and he grinned sheepishly. "Yeah, well... maybe a little." A Shadow had smacked him earlier in the fight, and while Souji had healed him, it still ached a bit, and while working with his Persona was amazing, it also took a lot out of him.

"I got it! Sensei, let me do it?" Teddie begged, then puffed up proudly when Souji nodded. "Okay! Go, Kintoki-Douji!" The odd, round Persona sprang into being above Teddie's head; a moment later, they were all standing in the 'strip club' entrance, blinking away the glare from the Traesto spell.

"Man, that feels weird," Yosuke muttered, reaching out to grab at the edge of the stage for balance.

"-short break, make sure you're all healed up, then we'll see what we have time for," Souji was saying, and Yosuke looked up to see everyone else nod; the rest of the team was dispersing, heading for the backlot. But Souji turned, then walked back to join him, sitting on the edge of the stage. "How're you feeling?"

Yosuke quickly moved to sit on the stage, too, then winced slightly at the ache in his side. "I'm mostly okay, I think. It's a lot to get used to, but... man, I could kick your ass for not telling me about it sooner. This is all... it's amazing, killing Shadows, chasing down a murderer, using Personas... I've never done anything like this before."

"Heh." Souji's smile remained, but something in his face changed a bit, his eyes losing focus slightly. "It's not all fun and games, though. These Shadows are easy, since we're just practicing... the real thing hurts a lot more. We could die doing this."

Yosuke bit his lip and edged a little closer to Souji. "Not if I have anything to do with it, you won't."

Souji's expression softened. "We'll be careful, and we'll make it, and we'll catch this bastard and make him pay for what he's done," he said, firmly.

"Yeah. I owe him a wrench to the face for kidnapping me and throwing me in here," Yosuke muttered, putting one hand on the impromptu 'weapons'; Yukiko had borrowed them from the Inn's maintenance closet. "Though, you know, now I kinda wish he'd come after me sooner. I missed out on a lot."

Souji shook his head, a wry smile on his face. "And I wish you hadn't gone through all that to get here - but it's nice that I don't need to hide this from you any more. I hated having to do that."

"It's okay," Yosuke said, then jumped as Souji's free hand wandered down and squeezed his own, tightly. He squeezed back after a moment, and shifted to lean against Souji. "Getting kidnapped, thrown in here, having to face my Shadow - yeah, that kinda sucked, but... well, I think it was worth it."

Souji didn't say anything in reply, but he didn't have to; the comfortable silence was more than enough. Yosuke wasn't sure how long they spent like that, but he was startled out of that easy reverie by Rise's voice - in his head, of all places. Souji-senpai? Are you and Yosuke-senpai ready to go? You haven't moved for a while...

Startled, Yosuke tried to let go of Souji's hand, but Souji wouldn't let him. "We're fine, Rise," Souji replied, an amused look on his face. "And yeah, I think we're just about ready." His eyes flicked over to meet Yosuke's. "How about it?"

Yosuke laughed and straightened up, and that time Souji let him go. Yosuke scooped up his wrenches from the stage and jumped forward in one easy motion, then glanced back at Souji with a grin. "Yeah, I'm ready. Let's go, partner!"

Yeah, Yosuke thought as Souji smiled back at him. Definitely worth it.
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