Chapter 1: persona non grata
Goro Akechi checked his phone for the umpteen time, checking when his appointment with the news station would take place and all he’d talk about was the branded justice of The Phantom Thieves, but today he felt distracted? The train ride was crowded as always and it always annoyed him somewhat but today, he was fine with it. Why?
Something had come up in some of the cases he was working on, but why should he have bothered with small things? He always solved those cases so easily because the answers were always there but wasn’t The Phantom Thieves important to the plans that were made? The plans were unraveling so fast and he didn’t want to stop it. He wanted to be caught up in something else.
But it was different today and it distracted him greatly, that he was so disoriented in the underground of Shibuya station yet, luckily, the passersby didn’t pay any mind to his tipsy walking. Why was he slipping?
Not today. He had to be perfect. That was his image to the world and he had to keep it up for the sake of the plan that was to come to fruition, but he was worried about one thing today-the latest case he was on.
It was simple enough to figure it out but he couldn’t stop the mind-numbing thoughts that swirled around and all because he had glimpsed at something that caught his attention, and that didn’t happen nearly enough. Never, in fact.
No call backs.
Stalling to dial the number again for the fear he’d bother someone, but he was Goro Akechi, the ace detective that was determined to change the world and to think he’d be afraid was beyond him, but he did. The Phantom Thieves had to be stopped and yet, he couldn’t concentrate.
It wasn’t like him at all, but it was all her fault, so why did she pose a threat to him now? Why was he thinking of a simple girl or any girl for that matter? His future was sealed already, so why include something like love or fascination? Frivolous, in his mind but while he knew it, he couldn’t stop pursuing the feelings of hearing her voice again, and that is why he waited between days to hear anything. Anything at all.
Again, no call back.
Impatience caught him and he found himself wandering, almost eating up the time before his TV appearance and yet, he wasn’t in any hurry and didn’t feel like going somehow, but wasn’t it important? Was his persona of the ace detective in line of his true self? Why was he doubting this now?
He frowned deeply at the prospects of losing himself in stupid human relationships that he had no time or energy for, but he was pursuing this one. He was insistent on this one case and the girl that caught his eye.
Then without making up his mind, he continued to his appointment and hoped that he’d forget about her at this rate. Sure, talking about The Phantom Thieves could do that, right? Yeah, he had to convince himself of that fact but how much did he believe in it? He didn’t know. He really didn’t.
And yet, Akechi couldn’t deal with the frustration anymore as he checked his cell phone once again before addressing the audience in his pretend voice; The perfect disguise and yet, his mind weighed and he felt afraid. Afraid? How did that happen?
Goro Akechi didn’t feel such a shameful thing and though, he wanted to believe in that notion, he couldn’t. His time was being wasted by this trivial nonsense and he felt like leaving, almost madly running away from the screen, but he forced himself to sit still, no matter how pained it was.
“So here, we are with the Detective Prince, Goro Akechi!” The male host exclaimed amongst the cheering crowd but Akechi was tired of this all, tired of feigning perfection, honestly and longed to be himself, something that he couldn’t be. Nothing would allow him to transcend that certain aspect of freedom and yet, it was a deep yearning, something that couldn’t be contained.
“Looks like he’s working hard, don’t you see, folks?” The male host joked but he was dead wrong on that again, why would anyone presume to know anything about Akechi, except himself? No, he was wrong, too, more than he was right and so his eyes rolled back in annoyance to what he found most important.
He was tired of the progress of the interview and just wanted to bolt from it and never look back, but with some restraint, he managed to keep his thoughts from consuming him but it was never enough, with his gloved hands on his lap, he tried to place all his hopes in getting through this.
“I am. I still believe that my assertation with The Phantom Thieves are correct: they need to be brought to justice and need to pay for any crimes…”
Then it happened.
His phone was buzzing in my front pockets and so, he just completely shut down.
“Akechi-kun? You were saying?”
“I-I have to go. I’m sorry.”
“What? What do you mean by that?”
“Umm…I have an important case to worry about now but I am sorry.”
Then without approval, Akechi found the floor was darting faster than the loud drumming of his heart, his feet were faster than the science of knowing what love was comprised of.
His heart spoke the loudest of them all.
He had to see her…didn’t he?
“Hello?” He answered this time with some bravado, but still trembling at her answer. “I need to see you about the case. Could you come to Shibuya?”
Then hung up, still hanging on her last words but he sounded foolish, didn’t he? He wasn’t brave enough to say the undefined words in his heart but however unsatisfied he was, he couldn’t go back now and with some prompt, he straightened out and walked the best he could.
He remembered how it was when he started this particular case and he had gone about it the usual way and yet, he couldn’t stop hammering about it.
“Oh! Thank you for coming here today, Akechi-Kun!” An older lady happily cried while gesturing to the open seat on the couch.
“Thank you so much, now, let’s get onto your case, shall we?”
It wasn’t uncommon for him to visit client’s homes when the case was simple but he didn’t know that all eyes were on him, then, and yet, the encounter was fateful? Did he even believe in that?
“Who is that?”
“That’s my daughter-Alix, she’s the same age as you, I believe.”
“Oh, she’s quite shy.” Akechi smiled.
“Alix, please come here.” The older lady coaxed and out before him stood the most conventional girl he’d see, but while she felt so simple with shorten hair and a mane of bright blonde in the middle with it strung up like a cockatoo’s feathers. She was wearing a dress that seemed unnatural on her, but her attitude wasn’t of a shy girl but a girl that happened to be outgoing and Akechi could tell that she had a smile about it. She oozed warmth and it finally dawned on him that, he wanted to feel that too.
“You must be Akechi-kun, that Prince Detective, huh? Thanks for helping out my mom.”
“It’s no problem. I am here to help…”
“What school do you go to, if you don’t mind if I ask?”
“Does it matter? It’s Kosei.” Alix tossed nonchalantly, almost amusing Akechi, slightly.
“Oh, what a prestigious school you go to!”
“It’s okay, I guess. I don’t like it much.”
“That’s a shame. I think you have talents, too.”
“Hey- I don’t want to be rude but why are you bothering with small talk? Aren’t you here for my mom?”
“Oh, I was being polite, that’s all.”
“Thanks, though.” Alix smiled not skipping a beat and it seemed to take Akechi off his guard, if ever so earnestly.
“Honestly, you could do away from small talk and be honest with me.”
“What do you mean?” Puzzled as ever, Akechi kept up the conversation but Alix relaxed her body.
“I can see through your eyes and while you have everyone fooled, I see it plainly. I know the pain and hurt in you…that happiness can’t reach. It’s sad and makes my own heart ache. I wonder if you’ll find happiness in your life?”
“Oh! I’m sorry, Akechi-kun! My daughter says the weirdest things…”
“No, it’s alright. I am happy by any chance as I am part of the legacy of Naoto Shirogane-”
“Stop lying to yourself-”
“ALIX! Stop being so rude to Akechi-kun!”
“Stop faking it and just be yourself. Stop repressing your heart…listen to it. Listen to all of it and know that I see right through you.”
“Alix, what do you mean?”
“I mean that. You may be handsome but you hurt so bad…you make my own heart ache and I just want to hold you till it passes.”
Akechi held up his hand, completely unsure if she just confessed something big, like love?
“I’m sorry. I got out of line…” She seemed apologetic in a lot of ways, but how did she see through Akechi so easily? Was his disguise not enough to be taken seriously?
She interested him so much, that he found himself almost fond of her talking and forgoing anything about the case entirely. Did she really speak her mind regardless of the consequences?
What a weird girl, indeed and yet, he longed to find out more…would it be weird to ask to see her again? Would it be weird and improper to…think of her in a favorable light?
She wasn’t too normal in looks but she carried the air of independence and easiness, like a childhood friend that continued to be around.
She changed it all.
He was gullible after all.
“I won’t take anymore of your time, Akechi-kun.”
He was standing, almost proper and paying the most attention to her, giving her the benefit of the doubt.
“Maybe we’ll see each other again, Akechi-kun. I would love to.”
“Would you call me, if that comes up?”
“Then, I must be going. I have other cases to worry about…”
Excuses. He was free and yet, he couldn’t stand the inappropriateness of her statements as his heart was wringed in pain, pain he held in so long. Alix’s mother was completely speechless and possibly impaired by Akechi’s behavior, as if, he had lost his cool to some girl and yet, he had most indefinitely.
Reality had him waiting in Shibuya, almost playing with the apps on his phone, however sparse they were, but it had been weeks since he last saw her and while she was on his mind, he was reminded of his growing admiration of her, his own confession coming straight from his own heart.
“Alix, you came.”
“Oh, I didn’t know you were waiting this much for me…I’m sorry for the hold up.” She beamed swinging her arms in her side, holding it in a childlike way.
Innocence before him.
“You’re flustered. I like that.”
“Does it give you pleasure to see me, that way?” He accused suddenly.
“I just didn’t think the perfect Prince Detective could be this way…you seem so human, now.”
His mask was slipping further from his grasp…
“I’ve been waiting for awhile…” He slipped out.
“For me? Why? I’m nothing special, believe me, I’ve looked.”
“I don’t think that.” He slipped again but more egregiously and it only softened him up.
“You’re quite cute when you’re flustered.”
“I think I like this side of you better, honestly. I can tell you’re being yourself…there’s nothing wrong with that and I think it looks good on you.”
Praise but it wasn’t just anything praise and unlike what he got from his father, he felt more assured and rested in knowing that she could be so cruel. So cruel to make him hate her, but he didn’t, surprisingly.
“Could I…Could I impose myself on you?”
“You don’t have to ask, silly.”
His face madly redden as his gloved hands reached out but instead they grabbed his chest and held on. No, he wouldn’t do it again, he mustn’t.
Restraint had to be had and he had to show her that she had no power over him, but….
“Do you want to hold my hand or something?” She jumped to the point, almost soothing him from any responsibility. “You can if you want…I never had a boyfriend, well, a serious one.”
“Why is that?” He asked.
“Can’t you see for yourself? I’m so plain but maybe people are too scared of me but I wouldn’t blame them. I am sometimes frightened of myself.”
He never could be and yet, her modesty was refreshing.
“No one would believe me that Akechi-kun held my hand…as if.”
“Would it be obscene to do so?”
“Are you serious?”
“I am. I would love to.”
This was her time to retreat and yet, she didn’t.
“Don’t tell me you love me, now. You don’t know me.”
“I want to know.”
Whoa, what was coming unfiltered out of his mouth? Was it wise to open so closely to anyone? Vulnerability was out of the question.
He without any warning came closer and cornered her but there was no pressure and she made no signs of being uncomfortable, in fact, she was easing up more and more.
Would they really stay here in Shibuya all day, like this? Inching to progress?
“Then prove it to me. Kiss me.”
“Is that a challenge?” He remarked.
“It’s too see how you truly feel…it’s something that I was taught…if someone really loves you, then you can tell how by their kiss…it’s a silly notion for a teen like myself, but I wanna believe in something, now.”
Her eyes widen when his lips touched her’s and it was a long time that he held on, almost if he didn’t want it to end too soon. Why would he really do as she said? Was he stupid or worse a fool?
Then, she experienced it…
Her heart quivered all through her body and she felt so warm, so much that she couldn’t help by wrapping her own arms around his waist and drawing him closer.
“You what? Have I proved it now, to you?”
“Y-yes…but I can’t breathe…”
“Then, don’t. I wouldn’t blame you, not in the slightest.”
It was his turn to be a smart ass and yet, no comeback had an impact from her end, because she tingled feeling numb and yet, elated.
“Could you…not stop?” She pleaded with her eyes.
“Only if you don’t tell.” He whispered honestly.
Tears threatened to fall and blind her…tears that felt sincere and yet, so true but she couldn’t hold anything back. The sorrow was just building up and…
She started sobbing quite loudly that passersby started observing.
Why did it feel this way? Why couldn’t she deny anything? Why did she have to be so bold and brash like that? Who would believe her when she told anyone that Akechi kissed her? Only she didn’t care because it felt too real, too pure to let go.
“Don’t cry because of me. Don’t cry anymore.”
“I c-can’t help it…I…”
Moved by the wind, he perhaps thought that he could have found an answer there, but wasn’t it wonderful to be swept away in such passions? Wouldn’t it hurt to allow it to continue? Didn’t love bring ruin? Didn’t the waves of the ocean hit harder, now?
Being together, being alone…hurt now. It just hurt…and from his dreams, it shouldn’t have gone this way and yet, the gentle illusions of his day to day life felt hollow and dry. Felt false.
The words were collected in her tears and yet, it touched him, almost like she meant to reach his own blackened heart.
Without a second glance, she unconnected from him and ran away, and he wanted to follow her...he wanted to forget this world.
Listened to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, Suteki Da Ne from FFX, Happy Tears from Video Girl Ai, FFIX OST, and The Reason by Hoobastank, and Gullible by Jillian Edwards.
Chapter 3: dulcius ex asperis
Had he been so hasty and mostly likely rash? Yes.
Alix had been right, Akechi didn’t know much about her and wanting to know more was difficult when starting at the beginning but was she willing to do it? Was she willing to give him a chance?
The kiss was too much, no doubt but the words came easily enough, almost stringing together perfectly, even if it was at the wrong moment. Even if the wrong words came to him, he’d figure out to use them properly but was there a way now?
The thoughts of that encounter rolled in his mind for a fortnight and while his phone didn’t ring anymore, the hope was had and maybe against it, he did want it.
He relieved himself of the case that started it all to avoid her but could he really feign illness for long? That’s what it came to while letting the calls go to voicemail but it was always her mom, always so frantic but nothing from Alix. Did she think terribly of him?
Did he impose too much?
Did he suppose too much that she wanted the same like him?
He was terrible at reading people at times and especially romantic options because it never entered his mind that he deserved any joy, all destined for martyrdom. He didn’t live for himself, so thoughts and feels fell under his father’s authority, so why was he wasting his time on something he wouldn’t pursue?
He must have been stupid, crazy, and out of his mind to ever entertain the thought of emancipation.
There was no redemption for his cruel ways and even if he had no guilt, he started developing more and more of it, almost torturing him endlessly. He pushed that out of his mind and tried to study on his studies but it felt pointless and he threw his pen down in frustration.
His bare hands running through his light brown hair, and letting it fall…the abyss was never ending and the wheel was always turning and never ceasing and he thought he should die. He should kill everything in him as the impossibility of love was a mystery to him and he knew it, so why tell himself falsehoods that he didn’t need it? He craved the affection, almost starving and all for the wrong reasons, and she could give it to him but he felt the voice in him was wrong, entirely and to think he could choose, that he had to no longer to repress the deepest part of his psyche.
The blackened, unsympathetic heart that kept pumping his useless body. His useless existence.
He had ruined a person’s life and it bothered him greatly, maybe because she didn’t deserve his interruptions and get involved with a total cruelty that he displayed in the plan.
The plan to blame The Phantom Thieves and even then, he couldn’t stay straight on it.
He felt himself diverting from Shido’s plan more and more that he waited, and more doubt casted his shadow and yet, he was the biggest fool of them all. Nothing matter when it came to finding and keeping love, even if he loathed to think of having it. Love was a nuisance and not necessary in the new world that he planned to bring about, not with the power of his Personas.
Yes, he was mighty with his Personas, but it was an empty victory to have over an enemy, so he must have been sorry to have acted out of character and even if he felt like getting coffee at Leblanc’s, it brought no satisfaction to spy on Akira Kurusu and his activities even if Akechi suspected as much.
That’s why he admitted defeat and went to Leblanc to try to cheer up and if that didn’t that…he didn’t know what to do.
Sakura greeted Akechi promptly and while Leblanc kept a very simple aesthetic, Akechi could appreciate it.
“I’ll have some of your coffee. It’s quite delicious.”
“Coming right up.”
“Oh, you’re here.”
Akechi picked up his head and saw Akira in his school uniform and all the while looking disappointed to see his enemy here. The ace detective that called for The Phantom Thieves to be called to justice and most importantly be tried in the court of law.
“You look sour.”
“Oh, that’s not nice, is it?”
“Drop the act, Akechi.”
“Oh, come on, Akira. He’s a customer after all.” Sakura cut in while placing the steaming famous Leblanc coffee down but Akechi hesitated.
“Are you down because you can’t catch The Phantom Thieves?” Akira sneered trying to rile up Akechi and usually it worked but today, Akechi slapped away the bait and remained lost.
“I don’t care right now.”
“Wow, that’s new coming from you. What’s up with you?”
“I know. Girl troubles.” Sakura chuckled, startling and bringing Akechi out of his daze.
“How can you tell that?” Akira asked for Akechi.
“I’ve seen that look before and besides, I was a young man after all and don’t forget that.”
“Hard to picture that.” Akira had to let his laugh out.
“But it’s funny that the wonderful ace detective has girl problems…I guess he’s human after all and maybe he’ll stop hunting The Phantom Thieves.”
Akechi threw his hands down, slamming the coffee and hearing only the shattering glass after the fact.
“That’s enough out of you. I came to enjoy coffee and instead get bombarded with insults.”
“Bad girl problems.” Sakura mumbled amongst the tension.
“Hey, is Goro Akechi losing his cool over a girl? Wow, do The Phantom Thieves need to steal your heart now?”
“Enough with that nonsense!”
“What will you do, then? Arrest me because I insulted you?”
“That can be done, if you want and it will be so much sweeter, too.”
“You’re bluffing after all and I don’t care what you do, you won’t get anywhere without a probable cause and all because you can’t fix your ridiculous personal problems.”
“That’s not your problem.”
“You’re right and I don’t care if you come here, just don’t involve me in your problems. Grow up and face the reality that no one wants to deal with someone so perfect.”
“Don’t make me laugh. I don’t need or want your advice. You can keep that part to yourself.”
“Don’t test me, Akira Kurusu.” Akechi gritted his teeth while resisting the urge to punch Akira squarely in the mouth. He was basically implying that he wanted to have some teeth knocked out and maybe have some tact beaten into him. It was difficult to say which one it was but without knowing or ignoring it, he was disturbing the other customers, however sparse they were into watching a big dramatic soap opera playing out.
This was not the attention he wanted nor craved. It was juvenile at best and Akechi was beyond that nonsense. He was an adult trapped in a teenager’s body and the world respected his opinion and that was all he needed to live by.
“Do you plan on hitting me?”
“Maybe I will take you up on that offer, if you want to learn some manners.”
“I dare you, then Goro Akechi.”
“Hey, guys, c’mon, you’re scaring the other customers…”
Sakura’s voice was drowned out by the vehement stares stabbing both Akechi and Akira, all avoiding vital areas, but that could change if Akira wanted it.
“I FUCKING DARE YOU--”
“HEY!” Sakura jumped the moment Akechi’s fist landed on Akira’s square face, knocking his glasses asunder and trampling them underfoot. If Akira insisted so highly, then Akechi would deliver on his promises.
Akira touched his bloody nose, almost reeling in horror that Akechi could lose his perfect persona to a couple of threats. A couple of challenges that Akechi often ignored.
“You’re quite the bastard, you know that, Akechi?”
“Hopefully that helped taught you to shut your damn mouth.”
“Whoa,” Akira cranked his head to the side, spying on the incoming Phantom Thieves, everyone accounted for but their expressions were more or least shocked to see blood running.
“What’s going on? Who decked who?” An excited Ryuji asked forgetting himself.
“Hey! Quit that Ryuji! Can’t you see that Akira is hurt?” Ann rushed to the injured Akira, holding his face down, dribbling the blood out.
“Whoa…did Akechi do that? Whoa. Respect for you, man.”
“You’re an idiot, Ryuji.” Ann shot back, angrily.
“She is right after all.” Yusuke chimed in amongst the nodding heads of Haru, Futuba and Makoto.
“Hey! It sucks that Akira got beaten by a wimpy guy.”
“That’s enough out of you Ryuji!” Ann was screaming at this point.
“I’m just sayin’ after all. Akechi has some backbone…”
“It’s not the time for that.” Ann hissed.
And Akechi heard no more as he huffed out of Leblanc’s, almost vowing to never go back, if only the coffee wasn’t so good. Damn it.
Chapter 4: nulla tenaci invia est via
“You’re slacking, Akechi.” Shido replied, certainly displeased that Akechi had caused a scene with his actions for some time, almost giving Shido the impression that Akechi was unreliable when that wasn’t the case.
“I’m doing what I can but it takes time.”
“Enough of your excuses. I want results and you to shape up and stop letting things cloud your judgement because whatever you have going on, needs to end here, right now. We have much more delicate things to focus on and I need you.”
“I understand.” Akechi said in his robotic voice but Shido never once cared or even tried to understand Akechi, his illegitimate son.
“Then you are dismissed. The next phase of the plan is underway.”
Akechi froze when he realized that Alix was mere feet from him, covered in a large assortment of people and it seemed that they were friends because of the proximity they all had to each other, but they were at Shibuya station again, so it was possible to see each other again. It wasn’t improbable by any shot.
“Isn’t that Akechi-kun?”
“Alix! You should ask for an autograph or a photo with him!”
“I’ll pass, honestly. He isn’t so great after all.”
“Did someone sleep on the wrong side of the bed this morning?”
“No, I just don’t…” Alix’s gaze met directly to Akechi’s and she felt ashamed, burying her face into her friend’s shoulder.
“What’s up with you? It’s like he’s your ex boyfriend or something!”
“Yes! That’s what I was thinking, too.”
“WELL HE ISN’T!”
“Well, wouldn’t he make a great boyfriend?”
“Could you please stop it.”
“I’m getting the vibe you guys met somewhere and it didn’t go well. You two should make up! Stop holding grudges and embrace forgiveness.”
Protesting didn’t occur when her friends shoved her in Akechi’s path, all waiting on the sidelines. They certainly were the devious bunch of people she knew but she couldn’t face Akechi after that. How in the hell could he kiss her and not expect her to fall for him? She didn’t want to now, she didn’t have the time for love as it wasn’t in the cards at all
“Sorry about my friends as they can get pushy sometimes. I hope I’m not disturbing you.”
“You’re not. I’ve been thinking about you lately.”
“Please don’t. You don’t want to do that.”
“Please, Alix-I need to understand why I’m feeling the way I am…I got into a fight and…I just haven’t been sleeping or concentrating at all.”
“It’s an easy answer honestly and I’m surprised that you avoid it like the plague. You’re in love with me, you silly dote.”
“Akechi-kun, it has to be this way, believe me. I know the red flags all too well and until you’re true to yourself, you’ll never be happy and I can’t bring myself down that road with you as it’s too familiar.”
And like with Akira, Akechi’s body moved to its own rhythm and it caught Alix in its snare.
“OMG! HE’S TOTALLY EATING HER FACE!”
Flashes of cameras went off as Akechi caught his lips on her’s again, pushing his tongue down her throat, almost as if she would not be here tomorrow.
Savoring the moment and tasting her, too.
The voices of surrounding people gathered around them and almost got lost in the rushing waves of passion.
He had her now, and not on some damn cell, waiting and waiting for her to call and instead he had to make the move to bring her out.
“You’re a fool, Goro Akechi.” She whispered resting her head on his shoulders, glad that he took a chance for her.
“It makes you feel any better, you’re a fool for trying, too.”
She smiled wholeheartedly.
“Then, we belong together, don’t you say?”
“Though, my reputation with the ladies will be skewed a bit after these photos leak, but oh well. I guess there is always downsides to fame.”
Hand in hand, they left the world to its own devices.
Chapter 5: Astra inclinant, sed non obligant
“Hey, let’s run away together, okay!?”
“Where to, though and why?”
“Because that’s the only way to live anymore; To run from it and forget about the world, because who needs it with all the pain it comes with?”
She took his hands gently in her palms and slid off his gloves. “No need to hide anymore, right? Just be honest with me and then, it will be alright, I promise.”
She looked pained, almost if she knew by experience…did she? She never talked about herself, even once and felt that silence was the best way to combat the way she cried before she laughed. She was hiding those tears all the time.
“I want you to do the same.” He clasped his bare hands over her’s and she then propelled herself over and kissed Akechi back. Her feet dangling above the floor.
He had forgotten how much shorter she was to him: she didn’t seem to be even close to 5 feet in the slightest and yet, had enough personality to light up a room but she had her imperfections, too. He certainly did and the dark stains wouldn’t go away but the light was filtering in and he could see the colors more intensely than ever before but did it mean that his other sense would shift?
“I know how it feels to be alone and scared and so I won’t go back to that. You shouldn’t either.”
He glanced away thinking about the obsession with The Phantom Thieves and the plans that had to be accomplished no matter what and then back to her. So where did she fit in? Where could she be included and could he be honest with his involvement in the mental shut downs? Would she forgive a killer?
Already, he was hiding behind his mask and yet, he couldn’t stand what she’d think of him if she knew all he did for the wrong reasons. Why he forced his career to something so plain and void of any real talent? Anyone could be a star and impersonate real sentiment instead of being preoccupied with more finite things.
“You have the right to call me by my first name because you are my girlfriend. That feels refreshing and odd to say at the same time.”
“Okay, G-Goro…it’s still weird on my end, too but in time, we’ll get used to it, I suppose. I intend to stay as long as you want me to.”
“Of course, but where are you going?”
“Oh, home of course. It is quite late and no doubt my mom is worried and I bet, she has called me a million trillion times of course.”
And without a recourse of action, the thought of her leaving now felt dreadful and so, with an outstretched arm and caught the door as she opened it and slammed it closed.
He stood behind, breathing so softly, almost awaiting her response.
“You don’t want me to go, right?” Her was voice was cracking and every time she tried to hold it together, her voice got weaker till she had nothing to speak with. Her muffled cries were the only sound he could pinpoint so accurately and yet, dismayed him all the same.
Did she cry a lot?
It felt natural to her.
“I’m a crybaby, I know. I just can’t ever stop crying. I cry literally about everything. You’ll probably get tired of it. You think what I went through, I wouldn’t be so silly.”
“I don’t think that, in fact, you’re probably a little worse than me.”
“Thanks for that, honestly, but whatever. You’re trying and that matters to me deeply, and you wouldn’t believe it either. The thing is, do you want me to stay here with you? To live here?”
No right or wrong answer but what was once spoken easily was now strenuous to mention all at once.
“I do, so please, stay.”
“You drive a hard bargain, boyfriend.” She said sheepishly turning on her heels and collapsing full force on his chest, burrowing her face close to his heart, maybe.
In the end, memories certainly fade no matter how much it pained, but there were some things that never were wiped away. Love was infinite and would surpass the thing they knew as time and humanity and he had to count on it and maybe it was something small now but it would be more.
Just had to hold on and figure out a plan to get out of this mess and maybe forget The Phantom Thieves but would his mind realign to this new adjudgment in his life? He wasn’t caring about only him but someone else and she was frailer than him, but that brought him to a dilemma most definitely.
She was nodding off and on, desperately clinging and then unraveling to her own instincts yet, sleep would take it back. Time would consume them all and with that, he had things to do while gently putting her to bed, almost backed into a corner figuratively and literally.
Something so small meant nothing at all.
His mistakes couldn’t be undo and now, his heart ached in his chest, causing discomfort and leaving him breathless and even directionless. Things had to change and if Shido knew…he’d take it all away. Akechi couldn’t take it all back and couldn’t hold on to those lofty dreams anymore because they weren’t for him and were ambitions for someone else. They were morally bankrupt and he had been led astray for some worthless praise when love was part of the solution but the other part came from him and what was worth doing.
He was going to get coffee with her, at least and even if he had to endure Akira Kurusa’s tyrannical behavior, he’d enjoy it with her.
Possibly the day after. Tomorrow was his upcoming TV appearance over The Phantom Thieves new changes of heart taking place. They were always so busy. Didn’t they sleep at all?
With that he drew his eyes to a close and sat, waiting for morning.
“Well, hello! We have Akechi-kun back on our program but before we go on about The Phantom Thieves’ latests so called ‘changes of hearts’, can we just talk about what’s happening in your social life first? It’s been everywhere.”
The woman cohost leaned in, ready to take a statement from the very popular ace detective.
“Would you be so kind to let us know the details, Akechi-kun?”
“Oh yes,” It began with the lights, the camera and the studio audience aimed at him and his following statements so prepared for the worst reactions possible. “I’m sorry my dear fans but I’ve found love.” He chuckled.
Immediately the audience went wild and some heard a few ladies cry out in disappointment.
“OOOH! May we have the details, Akechi-kun?”
“I don’t see why not as me and her are posted everywhere online and on newspapers, too. It’s hard to conceal the relationship anymore. I’m sure everyone has their opinion but, I’m quite happy in my choosing.”
“She must really be special to have your heart, Akechi-kun! We should meet her. Is she here by any chance?”
“I’m afraid not but she goes to school at Kosei and is a third year like myself yet, unlike me, she has time devoted to her studies which I certainly envy.”
“Because you’re always solving cases! Getting closer to solving The Phantom Thieves’ identity?”
“I can’t say as the investigation is ongoing and the police handling as best as they can, but her name is Alix Breton.”
“Oooh, sounds French to me!”
“I assumed that too but she hasn’t told me much about herself which is a shame because I’d love to know more about my girlfriend.”
“Girlfriend! What a nice ring that has! Has anything changed because of this, Akechi-kun?”
“A lot has but she has moved in with me-”
That was enough to rattle more of the ladies and they could be heard wailing as he tried to keep the interview strictly on Alix.
“You do live by yourself-well you did, didn’t you? Regardless, we certainly have the photo of both Akechi-kun and Alix exchanging a long passionate kiss in the Shibuya station! It isn’t an ideal place for romantic excursions but knowing Akechi-kun, he makes every place magical.”
“You flatter me greatly.”
“We certainly do! You are after the Detective Prince and we look forward to hearing more about Alix and your developing relationship. We certainly wish you both well and many years together.”
Alix was waiting for him after the interview, all chipper and almost beaming like straight sunlight.
“We got out of class early, today, but how did it go out there? Was there a public backlash or anything?”
“No, nothing like that. It was fine in fact though it is hard to deny now that we’re plastered everywhere. They all certainly got good shots of us, didn’t they?”
“Oh good, god, that’s great to hear. I was afraid of meeting a horde of your fans and being tackled by them. It would have been hard and I would be trampled on by those many feet. Oh well, you said something about coffee? I’m not a fan of the drink, myself, but I’ll go because those cafes tend to be very atmospheric and soothing. You probably need it after today.”
“What about yourself? Did you get hounded at school?”
“Just a bit. The girls in my class were crying a lot and I figured out they were your biggest fans, but oh well, nothing else happened. No one really bothered me. I guess being somewhat relatively unknown helps and not being from Japan originally, too.”
“Your family is from France, correct?”
“Nah, not entirely. My mother’s side is French but my dad is American and he used to be stationed in Okinawa and that’s where I picked up Japanese, though I know I have an accent for someone that isn’t native.”
“I could hardly tell.”
“Thanks. I worked hard on it through elementary through now, and finally when I mastered the language, though I do get stuck sometimes, I decided to go here in Tokyo.”
“You went to Kosei? Any reason for that?”
“No reason why. My parents selected it for me and I don’t know much else.”
His eyes widen when she pecked a kiss on his cheek, standing on her tippy toes.
“You’re always surprised by these small things and I just love it. Please, don’t let that change, okay? I want you to always be happy even in times of great sorrow and suffering. Never lose that happiness to anyone.”
“I won’t with you here. You’ll keep me straight.”
“Exactly, Goro. I intend to and I expect the same from you. We gotta hold onto each other in these times and not worry about the bad things for they are so ephemeral.”
“You sound quite smart, there.”
“Okay, wise guy…that’s enough of that.”
The laughter felt real and innocent, but it could be torn and shredded by dark and terrible forces from his own psyche.
Hand in hand, again, the half empty glass was being filled again and he felt that a happy beginning was coming in with the winds of change and what could he do with this? He embraced the hyper active thoughts and what it called for: everything he wasn’t. So why not?
Bursts of sunlight, his heart spinning, the people in a dance and finally the kindness that he lacked inside, and it was exhausting but he claimed that first prize now and never had to blame anyone again.
So why not? Wouldn’t that be Alix’s line?
He didn’t believe in happily ever afters but she came in and threw up the windows, making him more of a fool than he previously thought.
She tore up the rule book and rewrote all the meanings in his life, and so what could he do with this?
Suddenly, he could have the world’s moving about in the gentleness of varying of colors and sounds; So he had to do something with a love that wouldn’t stand still.
Please, not now.
Alix began tugging him towards the trains and slowly the scenery changed and everything he was not, he finally became.
Chapter 6: Omnia vincit amor, nos et cedamus amori
When rethinking things were brought to the forefront and somehow it caused self-doubt making a conscience necessary. Akechi was struggling today as he slipped into the Metaverse, following the orders given. It was problematic that things around him were transforming and he couldn’t halt the progress. The light was beaming in from the corners of his mind though he was yet to accept the following steps to be himself, if he so chose.
The world was sparse of goodness and only corruption was reeking throughout and it was his branded justice that the world continued turning and not The Phantom Thieves, they were clearly the rogue element and only ruined what Akechi envisioned.
That was why he had to be the opposition to their vigilante pursuits and plundering distractions from the truths in the world, but what streaked was the images of Alix. Why had he grown so soft to accept the love of someone he hardly knew? Why impose that on him and yet there was no denying the complexed views he held now and he wondered if he was going through this the right way.
Another mental breakdown was done but instantly he wanted to fall in a sudden weakness, clutching only thing that kept him human-his heart. He could rip it out now and be done with sentiments but there was reluctance to stop being human for the sake of selfishness.
He quietly slipped back to the real world and resumed the persona of an ace detective and star third year student all the while carrying a diseased secret.
“Oh, she texted me.”
The timing was too brilliant to be a coincidence and yet, wasn’t life full of these things?
Why did this conversation fill in the gaps of hatred and most likely vengeance and make those concepts obsolete? He put his phone up and concentrated on the day ahead of him: studying for entrance exams but was that possible? And already her texting skills were impressive and colorful though he was suspecting she was getting used to being around and showing her true self to him. He hadn’t thought it was possible to honest to someone you cared about.
Relationships were beyond his scope but he had entered so willingly and he thought he had acted brash again, but revisiting the texts around in his mind, he felt mistaken.
And since he couldn’t study, he entertained the idea of going back to Leblanc’s for their delicious coffee but he wasn’t worry about Akira Kurusu causing trouble for him because hopefully that boy knew to not overstep his boundaries.
The familiarity of Leblanc’s proved to be beneficial and soulful as he took a seat at the counter while requesting the famous coffee that he so enjoyed.
Sojiro Sakura made me no comments and that’s what Akechi wanted: a nice way to drink and stir up the thoughts of the early day. Though, he kept trying to go back to his phone, ready to say more back to her and yet, failing spectacularly. Why was it so tough to express oneself?
“I see you’re struggling a bit.”
“Oh, you mean me? I’m fine.”
Lies. All lies.
“Did you ever sort out that girl problems you were having?”
And maybe in a way Sakura wanted to apologize for Akira’s behavior last time but it was over with and besides, Akechi was in a better mood today to take any kind of bait.
“She must be a very special girl to have caught your attention. I guess I would say she’s lucky.”
“No, I’m the lucky one.”
Completely modest in his tone but flashes of the unexpected feelings kept tangling themselves through Akechi’s body.
“I’m guessing you haven’t seen the news?”
“I haven’t really.”
“Well, I did do an interview after all…”
“Oh, I see.”
“Of course, I deviated from The Phantom Thieves coverage.”
“You’re talkative today. Was it the influence of that girl?”
Akechi yanked his head over his shoulder, avoiding more of Sakura’s prying. Was it obvious to everyone?
“I take that as a yes. Love is sweet and then sour. It ain’t easy but worth having.”
“Is there any advice you can give me about…relationships? About girls?”
Sakura flashed a smile, almost enjoying what Akechi was doing: asking for advice from an older fellow.
“Well, I’d tell you that you have to be yourself around them and shower them with gifts. Girls love flowers and candy, well they did when I was young. I guess it depends on the girl, honestly. Just be honest and know that no relationship isn’t a smooth ride and there will be times when you will hit roadblocks but the important thing is not to give up. Assess if the relationship is worth saving and then do your best.”
“Wise words. I didn’t expect less of you.”
“Have you not had girlfriends or something?”
“Afraid so and I’ve always been busy with cases and school. Just never thought about entering one.”
“So, it’s young love. How nice is to have it. She must be special to grab your attention and keep it. So, I’m guessing it is serious? The marriage plans and that?”
“Oh, yes, but that’s a bit too far in the future!”
Serious? Yes, though he hadn’t thought that in the future but maybe he could see it one day.
“You’re quite young to being in a serious relationship but it fits you.”
“I don’t take on things that aren’t serious in my mind. I don’t like frivolous things and that is my philosophy for my life in general.”
“That’s good. Glad you have a good head on those shoulders though I wish Akira was the same. I hope he doesn’t get in any trouble with all this Phantom Thieves things going around.”
“You don’t have to apologize for him.”
“That’s where you were going, correct? Regardless, I don’t care about that anymore.”
“You read my mind but I am glad to hear that. I know that Akira can come on strong and can be a bit of a blockhead but he has a good heart underneath it. Maybe your similarities can bridge a connection to each other.”
Akechi’s face darkened and he held it low. No way, with all this Phantom Thieves business and having the correct clues that Akira was the leader of them and Akechi had to take them down.
“Honestly, I’m much too busy with the things in my life, but maybe one day, perhaps.”
“Again, girls. They really do take up a lot of time from you and whatever else you have going on.”
“I guess I’m going to find that out.”
“Better now than later.”
Chapter 7: Transit umbra, lux permanet
Alix threw her arms around Akechi’s neck, laughing while holding tightly.
He kissed her sweetly almost falling back, himself but grappling with her added weight, he managed to hold on. He didn’t need to ask about school because she was giving off the vibes of delight and even had the most talkative nature, and while they waited in Leblanc’s and her feet were dangling, she began shifting around in her bag.
Sakura came from the corner and greeted Akechi but raised his eyebrows at her.
“Is that her?” Came a very familiar and grating voice-Akira.
“Oh, hello! I’m Alix Breton and who might you be?”
“I’m not Japanese as you can tell but the language itself isn’t too difficult to master. I’m surprised you picked on that because not many people do but, it’s okay. What’s your name?”
“What a nice name you got there.”
Akira was sizing up her with his eyes and noticed her hand on Akechi’s lap.
“I guess it really is. The whole area around us is buzzing about her and I’m not surprised that the prince detective would ever have a girlfriend or take time from his busy schedule. Everyone online is talking about you, the mystery girl.”
“I’m flattered by that but I’m so plain that I am afraid that I don’t have many secrets.”
“As long as they don’t pester her.” Akechi interrupted knowing full aware when Akira was doing-and wanting to put a stop to it before it got out of hand again.
“No. Thank goodness as I’m terrible with crowds as they give me the worst anxiety nor could I stand all that attention.”
“They eventually will as Akechi is mightily popular and no doubt the world hangs on his opinion.” Akira snarled.
“I guess that means he’s important! That isn’t always a bad thing and if that happens, I’ll be prepared somehow.”
“What do you think of The Phantom Thieves?”
Akechi’s hand clenched and he wanted again to lose control but with eyes on Alix, her answer was important.
“Honestly, I understand their wish to clean up corruption but, it seems extreme to force people to change when they should change for themselves. I don’t like how they strip an individual of their free will. It’s troublesome and can be abused.”
“Your opinion is that The Phantom Thieves shouldn’t exist then?”
“I agree with their ideals but I wish there was a better way to find solutions instead of the changes of heart. Goodness, I would hate for it to happen to me, personally.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, changes of heart are frightening, are they not? I wouldn’t want them changing my heart for their own benefit.”
“Do you have something to hide?”
“I can’t…answer that.” She was choking up badly and Akechi stared as if he was seeing her in a different light. Was she too, hiding things?
“Maybe you’d benefit from the change of heart.”
“I …I don’t want them there, at all. I wanna keep that private.”
“Is it that severe?”
“Can we change the subject, please? That’s my opinion and that should be enough. Please respect it, Akira.”
Akechi wondered if she indeed has a palace and if he should visit it. Maybe it was worth doing when things were better and she wasn’t hurting so bad but was Akira getting back at Akechi through Alix?
“Stop teasing her, Akira.” Sakura said pouring another cup of coffee for Akechi.
“I was just curious to what Akechi’s girlfriend’s opinion was. No harm was meant.”
“I have a name. It’s Alix.” She snapped.
“I’m surprised you aren’t being interviewed by the TV stations because honestly, that’s what you’ll be known as that.”
“I don’t want that.”
“You’re aren’t exactly popular either.”
Her eyes were casted downward and she squirmed uncomfortably, drawing her hands back to her own lap.
“I guess that’s to be expected. I can deal with that, easy peasy.”
Akira shrugged his shoulders and went upstairs, leaving Alix in a tizzy and she didn’t seem to break from it no matter how much Akechi nudged her.
It wasn’t until they were leaving that he got his opportunity to say anything to her.
“He’s such a jerk. How dare he bait me like that and then I took it willingly. I’m such an idiot. He was trying to hurt you, Goro through me. He’s such a terrible person bringing up that subject. It hurts that these changes of heart are happening everywhere and it makes me so terrified that I could be next.”
She doubled over, hiding her own frustration and angry tears but no sound was emitted from her, as if she was trying to hold it all in for Akechi’s sake. “I don’t want that. I’m so terrified…”
“What pains you?”
“Goro, you wouldn’t understand…no one does.”
“I can if you talk to me about it.”
Her head came back up and her tears were flying off her face and hitting the ground, as if she was accepting her own weaknesses, but she held herself steady.
“It’s sometimes better to not look at the past and instead towards the future. I do have you and that’s good enough for me. I’m really happy, you know? I don’t remember being so happy like this.”
He grasped her entirely and patted her head, quietly outside of Leblanc’s.
Her tears overflowing and soaking his uniform.
And it was ongoing till he opened his quiet apartment but she clinged to him tightly and while he didn’t like anyone being so close, he accepted it for her. He was becoming a better person because of her.
He began going real slow with the kisses till they escalated with him sucking her neck and her moaning softly. It was through these moments that he could finally have light in his life.
Without words, he carried her to his bed and began taking off her clothes and as they crumpled so nicely around her. Though he hadn’t seen her in this way, his heart was loud in his ears and he felt nervous, anxious that she was lying so bare for him.
He laid his head down on her exposed chest, breathing in sync with her.
Could he really do this? Could he take her innocence away? Did he have permission to engage in these sorts of activities with her? And why did he want to? Yes, he too was naked with his heart in her hands and she could crush it any minute if she chose but she was granting him the chance to have her.
How would it feel?
He unclasped her bra and her breasts spilled out and he slowly went down, licking and sucking on her nipples. It felt so natural. Felt so good.
“I really love you.”
Her face was beat red and if there had been any traces of tears, they had evaporated.
She motioned to hold his hand throughout and he took it.
“It’s going to hurt, isn’t it?”
“If it is your first time, then yes.”
She twitched in preparation even if he hadn’t touched her down there.
“It’s your first time, too?”
“Yes. I promise I’ll be gentle with you and if you feel any pain, let me know.”
“O-Okay.” She mouthed.
He then undressed himself so casually but returned to spread her thighs apart with that unsatisfied desire to kiss and caress everything. Slowly, he pushed inward and while she whined momentarily, he looked up at her.
It felt weird to be this close, this natural to someone as if she only knew everything about him; And he had avoided this part of human relations because of vulnerability and his inability to deal with the pain.
He stopped and lovingly gazed at her closed eyes and silent breathing.
“Don’t worry, I won’t go anymore.”
He then laid with her, his hair comfortably falling around her bare shoulders, as if it was a dream, a light reprieve from the darkness.
Akechi was curious afterwards when Alix had that conversation with Akira, and Akechi was resisting to check into her palace because what would it uncover? She wasn’t all roses and rainbows, was she?
He stood at Shibuya station twirling his fingers all over his phone and as he stopped at the navi app, the determination was strong, though. Her opinions were on the same wavelengths as him and yet, there was trauma there, wasn’t there?
But he needed keywords, didn’t he?
“Alix Breton.” He was stomped but then a flash of brilliance struck him and he then heard his mouth running. “Carnival. Okinawa.”
For better or worse, he was sucked into the Metaverse and while, he stood, the environment had changed and he was right there, amazed to see the palace.
The lights were on and yet, there were no shadows in sight and his clothes hadn’t changed, but it was still and in a matter unsettling. Would he meet her cognition? Sooner than later?
“Who’s there?” He was startled when spotting a crying girl close up-her cognition.
Was that Alix?
Apparently, he wasn’t seen as threat and it puzzled him as usually most cognitions fought to stop their treasure from being stolen. “Why are you crying?”
“It hurts. Make it stop, please.”
“What’s happening? What hurts?”
He bent down, extending an open hand to the little girl and she didn’t resist.
“Goro, is that you. What are you doing here?”
“Why does it hurt you so?”
“Are you going to change my heart, too?”
“Did someone else come?”
She sniffed. “The Phantom Thieves did, but I blocked them.”
“So, it’s true why you would be afraid. They were trying to come in…I promise I won’t dare change your heart unless you ask me to.”
She snatched the edge of his uniform blazer but why she was pleading at him with her eyes? Did she really want that change and did she want him to do it? Would she allow that to happen regardless? Though that meant she got a calling card, too, but how and why she got one? What was her sin that prompted The Phantom Thieves to act? Did he have to leave now and find out? No, not now but he’d figure it out soon in the desolate carnival.
Was it childhood that she was holding onto?
“Goro, I’m sorry. I’m just tired of the pain…I should have died that day.” And now she was rambling on about death and an accident but he wouldn’t gain ground just listening to her wail on and on; He’d just have to trust her and move on.
She let go and moved to his open palm, grabbing it so greedily.
“I’ll show you.”
Still, not a threat nor a change of clothes, so why was she allowing him to do this?
The rides-roller coasters, Ferris Wheel, and even booths were running perfectly but had a melancholy atmosphere hung close to the ground and smothering the girl and obscuring Akechi’s vision, but he had to trust the girl and where she wanted to go.
“Hall of Mirrors, huh?”
With a wide step, he expected the worst in the mirrors placed on every side of him, reflecting himself and while she had detached her grip from his’, he could freely touch the mirrors.
The mirrors were playing video reels of her life, her childhood and of a happy quaint family and while it was full of childhood laughter and sun, it grew moody and dark and a terrible crash penetrated his ears.
And once the mirrors changed, there was a upside down and busted car and a girl that had been flung amongst the flames. Her blood was soaking her face and now, it seemed she was crying blood, oozing the stuff and rushing against her broken anguish. She tripped and now, he could see faces, bodies in the car and her reaching her hand in the shattered windows.
Her voice was muffled and screaming. Screaming. Screaming.
Akechi nearly collapsed while shutting his ears from her mind-numbing horror of death; Death that wasn’t seen and not entirely preventable. Who could see that from the flames? Then without an instant of an intermission, the girl gave up and picked a rather large glass shard.
“What are you-”
It was simply a playback of a past event and he couldn’t change where it could go, but he didn’t think it would go far with the girl striking the shard against her wrists and the blood spewing out and falling into her own blood, gasping for air.
“I should have died, too. Why did you leave me!? I HATE YOU! I HATE ALL OF YOU!”
“ALIX!” He found his voice and hitting the mirrors face first but if he could cry, then he would. He would most definitely. “If this is…we are more alike than I realize but why are you smiling all the time? Why are you…so happy? Why can’t I be more like you?”
Then his clothes changed and yet, he didn’t let a single heart beat get out, while maintaining the false appearance of calm. He couldn’t be when she was dying, killing herself in the streets, a suicide. He pounded on the mirror halfheartedly, almost drained.
Then more scenes were coming with the girl’s bandaged writs and a look of completely desperation, all forgotten in the hospital bed, the only survivor.
She had tried to join her family and even then….she was growing up fast, left on her own as no relatives would take her, and her skin was covered in scars that she put on herself. He didn’t understand the way she handled, how she coped bringing pain to her skin.
He certainly never saw those scars when she was naked but was she concealing it?
“They are here, again. I wish they would go away. I don’t need them!”
“The Phantom Thieves…”
They were here for a second round and Akechi had to prepare himself accessing the dark suit and using his Persona Loki and lurking in the shadows.
Then their distinct voices came through.
“This place is creepy. I mean I used to like coming with my friends to places like these…” Ann mentioned while closely surrounding Joker.
“Man, why is her palace so…?” Ryuji couldn’t find the words.
“I think you’re looking for this word: wretched.” Yusuke butted in.
“Let’s hurry and do this. That calling card helped so much.”
Alix's experiences actually mirrors mine with dealing with Mental Illness, Self-harm, Trauma, and surviving a car accident with my husband. I think that is why I can relate to Goro Akechi so much because I know how it feels not to be wanted and treated badly by adults, though we are different: I didn't let the trauma get the best out of me and fought it while it consumed him, though I can understand why he'd do the things he did in Persona 5. I'm sure someone relates to me as well. I think if I didn't find some positive support in my life with my husband and my best friends then I would have ended up resentful like Akechi. Wow, that's super long and personal XD
Chapter 9: Pars maior lacrimas ridet et intus habet
If anything, Akechi would be the first to snatch that treasure before The Phantom Thieves and more than likely be spared the embarrassment of helping someone that he cared about. And besides, it was up to him to do it, right? He had taken on the role of boyfriend and whatever that entailed and maybe it came with the territory but no one should know Alix’s palace like he should.
“Quit it SKULL! You’re getting on my nerves.” Ann hit Ryuji in the head as Akechi lurked and moved stealthy in the shadows.
“Ain’t she the girlfriend of that rotten Akechi? I can’t believe a GIRL would even go out with that CREEP!”
“Come on, Skull. You’re such a loud mouth. Why don’t you scream to make the shadows come get us?”
“Let alone do that stuff like kissing…and…and…”
“See? You made Fox upset. You should apologize.”
“Hell nah, but seriously, think of Akechi naked-”
“JUST STOP! I AM SO GOING TO KILL YOU!”
“Seriously-sex would be weird….”
“I SWEAR SKULL! ONE MORE WORD AND I AM KILLING YOU!”
“I was only sayin’.”
“Save it, Skull.” Morgana cautioned as no doubt he sensed Akechi, but they wouldn’t be strong enough for him and no doubt that Alix’s cognition would halt them. He was counting on that but they didn’t meet the cognition anywhere and he wondered if she had the strength to defend herself.
So, she, too was in self-doubt and despair like he happened to be…and yet, she was crying out for help amongst the strong current. Hands out and taking in water as she screamed.
Was she giving up so easily? Would it be enough to snatch her treasure?
“I can’t see anything.”
“Oh! The cognition!”
The little girl was phasing in and out, as if keeping any form seemed impossible.
“What’s up with her?”
“I actually don’t know. I’ve never seen such a weak cognition.” Mona explained inching closer and swiping her paw through the little girl. “This isn’t good. She’s mentally unstable and we don’t have much time to get her treasure. It has to be around here somewhere.”
“She’s gone!” Ann exclaimed.
And with that Akechi crept more and more into the vast grounds of the carnival, not knowing exactly where to go but with some luck, he’d find it.
More and more phantoms of the little girl appeared and almost formed a path and was beckoning him. Each time, the facial expressions changed until he found it harder to go on and felt the urge to hold her securely like he could in the real world.
“I’ll only let you have it.”
“Then, show me.”
Then back to the hall of mirrors and this time, the images projected were not of her, but him. His face, words, and even closeness all recorded so meticulously. They were their private moments and her feelings that he could touch with his face.
He basked in the warmth.
In his open hands, he could feel the curves of her body against his’s and even swore that she was here, standing and loving every flaw in him, and now he had to do the same, to save her, perhaps and do more.
“Just reach out and take it.”
As if magic and miracles were occurring, he felt paper in his hands and without looking at it, he held it to his chest. Was it right to look on it? Would it be alright to see what her treasure was?
“Don’t worry. It’s not quite there yet.”
“Look at it as you have every right. It’s blank now but it holds great potential.”
A photograph but like the little girl said: it was completely blank and there was no indication of what could be on it later. This was her treasure. A picture of her past, present and future. It was left unseen and she was yet to determine the significance of it but would she with a broken man like himself?
How wretched and twisted his own heart was then to be loved by someone, making it worthwhile to try for once. He could almost taste the stain of loneliness in the depths of his heart and the tangled time he’d spend with Alix.
“Anyone has the potential to change the course of someone’s life, even a drop of a word or action can be the greatest significance. You just have to use it wisely.”
“And you believe I can do this?”
“More faith in you than anyone else. Love is about being vulnerable and letting the pain in. You are the only one that can change her heart because she allows it.”
“She was against this and I am too.”
“She was always reaching, always slipping away from people and now, she can come back up. She doesn’t have to drown anymore and she can be forgiven.”
And that was love, always rescuing each other from drowning all the time, and being around in those bad times while awaiting the air and sun, the good times.
“You have to leave soon. They are coming here, fast.”
The palace would disappear as soon as he pulled out and no doubt, The Phantom Thieves would pick up on this. He was another Persona user that could bend the mind of anyone he wanted but with it, he let out a sigh and left the Metaverse, so quickly, the treasure in his left hand, protecting it.
He found Alix sleeping directly on her desk with papers and textbooks spread out. The process of her moving in had been complete and all she had to do was unbox everything, though he was surprised at the number of things she had, but again, it gave some life to the apartment. She was the sunshine to the gloomy days and moods he often had and so it evened out.
He draped his blazer over her shoulders and caressed her cheek, outlining it with his fingertips, making sure to remember how it felt. He didn’t want the memories fading now nor the feelings to be left behind.
The endless flow of her tears stained the paper and he thought how odd it was she would be crying in her sleep. Did that calling card hurt her so? He didn’t want to see what was pasted on it and thought better to put her and even himself to bed. It had a been an exhausting day and he was ready to be among the stars, tonight.
Chapter 10: Ad astra per aspera
"I don’t want to do this…” Alix was frowning the best she could to make herself ugly or worse, not ready for TV. “THIS IS torture!” No amount of powder could vanish her mood and the bitter taste it left in the air.
“It was bound to happen, Alix. Please, don’t be too shocked at this situation and besides, you and I are quite a popular subject to talk about. I think we’re the so called ‘number one’ couple or something. I don’t take these things seriously, too much.”
“Then why did you agree to do this? Are you trying to embarrass me?” She accused but with a simple pivot of Akechi’s feet, he scooped her in his arms and like cake work, she went silent as her eyes widen. The kiss was coming and she anticipated it and so he delivered; But he wouldn’t let go, locked as they were, he felt an overwhelming force take control of his body and the way his heart fluttered wasn’t a coincidence. She was the only one to see through him and that was remarkable and she had an interesting look about her that was independent in nature, and maybe, it was the first real time, he felt a human connection to anyone.
“Five minutes till showtime.”
Her eyes were glistening as if she was the princess waiting for a prince for the longest time, and he too, believed in those fairytales now. How could he not?
“We-can’t do this here…” She gasped.
“Why not? What’s stopping us?” He teased.
“You’re terrible Goro! I mean, you’ll being so romantic and that’s throwing me off…I just can’t…you’re just surprising me more every day and I can’t keep up. I keep telling you that I am so plain and void of any real characteristics but you don’t believe me and keep tempting me so much.”
His hand brushed over her chest and he felt swelling that only made him pull away to recuperate.
“What’s wrong, Mr. Prince?” She went back on the offensive.
“Maybe you’re tempting me, have you thought about that?”
“I think you have that mistaken.”
Akechi was caught off guard as Alix pulled his half-exposed tie and landed a sweet and short kiss, and while he thought he could expect it, he forgot the pleasure.
“Akechi-kun, Alix-san, please hurry up. The program is about to start.”
Again, the lights and cameras were going to be focused on Akechi and Alix and he knew the questions were more than likely coming straight to him though he couldn’t keep reeling from the sense of a royal dignity that now emanated from Alix and how flexible she was with her emotions. Was the change of heart coming soon?
“Akechi-kun and Alix-san!”
The procession began.
“Welcome back to our program! Oh, we certainly have our guest Akechi-Kun and he isn’t alone-his girlfriend Alix-san. The viewers and audience are very curious about you. Go ahead.”
The female cohost spat out cheerfully but Akechi watched Alix, and the start of her lip movements.
“I’m a third year. 17 is my age, and my hobbies include gaming, reading, and sleeping. I get by with tons of energy drinks when I must study super late or cram things in. I have no idea what I want to be but I know that I quite love Japan and Tokyo in general. I speak my mind and follow my heart no matter what. That’s my conviction and while it sucks to have your heart on your sleeve, I can’t change who I am.”
“Oh my! That’s a lot of information. Did we all get that?”
“I think so!” The male cohost chimed in.
“Is there anything else you want to share?”
“I…I..” Her voice faltered and Akechi grabbed her limp hand and then he knew-the change of heart had come at such an inopportune moment. What would she say?
“I’ve been holding in a lot of things, like the abuse, the car accident-”
“And how I should have died that day and have carried the guilt of staying alive and then trying to commit suicide afterwards but I was saved. Saved when the flames and blood was spewing out of me. Alone. Unwanted. Frightened that I didn’t die like I should have and watching the flames consume my family, just…made life hard living. Every day, I just wanted to die and was not motivated than my school work to the point that I was barely eating and fighting the urges to self-harm--”
“Alix-san! What are you talking about!?”
“Thank you, Phantom Thieves, for this…I feel so much lighter and more at peace for things that were out of my control and that, while there are tragic things in people’s pasts, we can learn to overcome them.” She got up and bowed.
Akechi held his mouth and almost wanted to yell that it was him, but he couldn’t be outed and yet, the weight was gone.
The entire audience yelled and chaos broke out as Alix stayed paralyzed.
“Oh my god! So, The Phantom Thieves helped you!?”
“And I completely agree with them. I think despite them operating outside of the law on the account of all the corruption and ineffective law enforcement, that their actions are noble and true.”
Akechi’s expression twisted into a dark part and he wanted to out himself but he’d let The Phantom Thieves take the credit for this, but this looked bad…He once thought that Alix was the same mindset as him but with the change of heart came the change of mind.
“I’m sorry Goro.” She whispered softly catching his ear in the middle of the commotion of voices and sounds.
He pulled her back to the seat and gently held her hand and while he didn’t like her opinion, he could still respect it. The Phantom Thieves still disgusted him deeply.
And in an out of character moment, he leaned in and kissed her head tenderly just melting away in the spotlight, but surely, this would be online and the news everywhere and yet, there wasn’t a care in his world. He was only in with her.
Flashes of a happy beginning was gone and he’d have to try to surpass all the adults and be acknowledge for his existence, for he had been denied so many times that it created the vitol and spite he lived on. He’d show them one day and yet, life was quite unfamiliar and unkind to him at times, but with his interlocking hands he could be the man that everyone depended on and he’d be the best damn adult than others around him.
He checked his smart phone again expecting a reply like always from Alix which always brightened his day and the while trying to multitask by listening to Sae.
“What’s wrong with you?”
“Oh, me? Why do you ask?”
“I saw that news that you have a significant other and I hope that isn’t too distracting to you. I need you Akechi-kun on this. We are so close to catching these Phantom Thieves and I would think you would be too. After all they changed her heart and that’s concerning.”
“I know. It angers me that they had the audacity to target someone close to me. I promise Sae-san not to be distracted again. I apologize.”
So, with dashed hopes, his phone went back into his pocket on silent and he regretted it highly. He hadn’t been assuming his duties more and more as the days dragged on and he refused to see Shido even when summoned because Akechi felt the disconnect from the reality and the dream that he currently had.
Akechi was walking briskly in the Shibuya station searching for Alix but was it too late? He saw many Kosei students coming through but she wasn’t with them.
Another textless day and it concerned him for she never missed her daily texts to him and while the phone was empty, he wanted to throw it across the accessway, but with a steady hand, he kept his collected self in a position of power.
He’d have to wait, casually regardless if he was seen repeatedly by students and passersby alike.
Alix was there on the chair that Akechi always occupied but she wasn’t alone-Yusuke Kitagawa were engaged in deep conversation and Akechi couldn’t make out much of it.
“I prefer the impressionism movement of the 19th century with Monet and Renoir though as their impact can be seen in later movements. Impressionists really captured the beauty of the natural world and of people in general during that era, and the use of color-exhilarating!”
It wasn’t coming from Yusuke but Alix’s lips and her excitement was brimming at the speed of light but no one noticed Akechi taking a position near them as they both seemed enthralled.
“I see! A fellow artist! Impressive! I’m surprised that someone as yourself have fine taste of art and it’s refreshing. I swear you’re a girl of interest to my own heart.”
“You make me blush, Yu-chan.”
“You’re too kind, much too and you’re a guy for my own heart, too as I love to talk about art too much. Too bad, it wasn’t meant to be. You wouldn’t be the first or last to make confessions of love towards me.”
Akira appeared and while he wasn’t wearing his usual scowl, he felt at ease.
“You see that happens a lot with me and guys…hah, it is really bothersome that guys actually think I’m worthy of attention. I got used to the love letters pouring from my locker through elementary to middle school. To be honest, I was dense then…”
“You are pretty, too.”
“Are you flirting with me, Ah-chan?”
Apparently Akechi was out of the loop because it felt that she had gotten over her initial displeasure with Akira and was close to them now. Was it the change of heart?
Akechi made a noise till he was noticed and but it was casually passed over by Alix and he struggled to understand her indifference. What had he done?
“I can’t say because I’m afraid I might be hit again, but you certainly shine.”
“Then I advise you not to fall in love with me. It’s an advice that seldom gets followed and it causes problems. It’s the reason why most relationship fail around me, but I am prepared this time!”
“I will try not to.”
“You better promise real hard.”
Akechi cleared his throat feeling uneasy and wanting to hit Akira again but who could blame Akechi? He felt that Alix’s love should be his’ alone and knowing that Akira might be vying for affection made him ridiculously sick.
“But, I can’t reciprocate those feelings. You can’t just change people’s feelings so easy like hearts. Once you fall in love, it is all over and regardless if they feel the same, you keep that feeling and never let it go.”
“Yeah, it’s been hard to form friendships with guys and usually I stay away…but it’s hard to be limited by those sorts of things. I want to believe that I can be friends with anyone. I hate how that choice isn’t mine to make in the end. It sucks that I must choose between friendships or love. It’s annoying and I hate my own attitude towards it.”
Akechi moved uncomfortably.
“But I believe in the impossibility and the simplest of things-love.” Her eyes caught Akechi’s attention and for a moment, her face was quite solemn but there was a tingle of joy in it and sadness, too.
She glanced down, putting her folding her hands to her chest.
Her anguish visible and then putting on her best forward when she looked up. “Well somethings are outside my own control but honestly, you can’t change now and how a person feels towards another and I wouldn’t change it for the world. And besides, I found someone that I love and am loved in return.”
She leaned her entirely body against Akechi, quietly breathing and catching him unguarded, but he finally understood where she stood. “I love you.” She mumbled in his ear and his whole body exploded in overactive feelings that he couldn’t contain, almost wanting to kiss and have her against him for eternity, if such a thing existed.
“And I don’t want it to change in the slightest. I always want to be love with Goro.”
It was his turn to be flustered and being on the spot didn’t bother him but with her convictions of words, he felt embarrassed only because it was the truth, and he couldn’t hide under his mask anymore. She’d expose him more to the humanity he currently had inside.
“I’m getting too mushy, I know. I just can’t help it. I always follow my heart no matter where it leads and somehow, I can’t explain it. It’s overwhelming all the time.”
She without a single pause, kissed Akechi on his cheek as if exciting his senses more and making it harder not to snatch her up. He couldn’t do that nor could he make love to her here, but it was getting so dangerously close to that urge.
“That’s actually really beautiful! Love as an artform and inspiration to create new beginnings! I love it! I might actually use it for my next piece.” Yusuke exclaimed excitedly.
“Go ahead! I’d love to see what you create.”
“Then it is settled! You’ll be the first to see it!”
“Geez, Yusuke.” Akira had to suppress a laugh. “You make it too obvious.”
“It’s fine. I love art a lot and feel calm looking at paintings and a lot of them resonate in me. I can feel what they intended to evoke. And I can also tell the same in people.”
Without missing a beat, Akechi knew she was talking about him-how she figured it all out was mysterious and yet, he was glad that it occurred.
And after bidding farewells with coffee’s aroma lingering above and around Leblanc’s, her feet were deliberating slow and muddled.
“I brought you here today to show you that you can forgive people regardless of the harm they did. I meant what I said Goro and I’ve been a fool for lesser things in my life and I don’t mind trusting you because I know you and I are alike.”
He gathered her in his arms and drove his tongue frantically in her mouth, almost going to the beat of the voices around them. Losing his collective cool, he was unsure to trust again but with a steady change of pace, he felt like he knew her for most of his life.
And back at the apartment, he wasted no time and found the strength to be in a delicate and private emotion as he shone in the darkness and he could only do that with her assistance. No more stealing. No more shadows.
No more disguises, no more surprises and yet, his heart had been tired all this time and finding the will to succeed was only possible through her intervention and yet, he had underestimated the scope of his own resonating heart.
Everything was falling by the wayside and he couldn’t keep it up, as his body pressed against the nakedness of skin to skin.
Her moans were high pitched but he kept going in, harder and harder, thrusting more and more without remorse knowing that they had overcame the roadblock. She was clutching the sheets behind her and soon he drew his head closer to hers and engaged in a serious of frenzied kisses with tongues nearly going doing throats. In sync with her tears of happiness, he too, wanted to cry despite not doing that since he was a child but it felt completely appropriate in this situation, with her.
Soon, he was reaching his climax and the thought of spilling all of himself in her, made it harder to resist but could he risk it? Could he risk what happened to his mother? Could he see himself discarding her like his father did? No, he wouldn’t because he was different person and would stay and fight. Stay and make it official.
Then without heed, he let his emotions take over and allowed him to soak his cum into her and finally with a listless sign, collapsed on her warm body. Whatever came from his moment, he’d meet it at head on and promised that. Promised that his love was not only eternal, but true.
“Goro, you’re so brave.”
“I am different from my father…I won’t abandon you for any reason.”
“Even if I became pregnant?”
“Even then. I am different than the adults around me and I aim to prove that.”
“Spoken so true. So, frank.”
“I aim to be honest with you regardless of anything because you saw through me so easily and I can’t forget that.”
He would stay and if she wanted, stay forever.
I thank myself for typing this chapter without my glasses and being so blind but I did it!
Music listened to: Stay by Lisa Loeb, The Reason by Hoobastank, Private Emotion by Ricky Martin, Kare Kano OST, and anything in between.
Chapter 12: Adeo ne hominem immutare ex amor, ut non cognoscas eundem esse
“Did you hear that they caught that mafia boss that was…”
And with those news worthy topics floating about, Akechi’s romance with Alix slowly came off everyone’s minds and they both could relax though he never was sure if she was being bothered at school about it. He found himself more and more on TV discussing his opinions and thus almost forgetting why it mattered as he always raced to the Shibuya station to see Alix come home from another day at Kosei.
Lately, she was seen hanging around Yusuke as they seemed to have struck up a friendship and today was no expectation but Akechi began to see immediate and then long-term changes-her personality was less and less gloomy and more cheerful.
She laughed more heartily and kept humor in their relationship but at the same time, was quite serious in how she felt and expressed it more openly than before-PDA was a bit nerve-wracking for Akechi though he loved and got used to the surreal display she put on but behind the doors, she was always authentic.
The blank photograph was always in his front pocket and he swore that he saw it morphing into a clearer idea of a future, their future.
Of course, his work suffered and he talked less and less about The Phantom Thieves and focused more on Alix, but of course, he found it in himself to reexamine his actions, pervious and now. Could he really keep killing those people that were in Shido’s way? He was guilty because he saw the kind of trust that she put in him and it ate at his tormented heart and he wanted to push away. He wasn’t to deny the true cost of the relationship that life had become clearer in his eyes.
“Oh no, you didn’t…” She whispered wide eye hanging onto Yusuke’s voice, almost tripping on her own untied shoe laces, but she quickly brushed it off smiling and almost skipping.
“You should tie your shoes.”
“Who are you? My mother? Just kidding. Yeah, I should but they keep untying and thus, I keep tripping and it’s annoying. I hate sneakers sometimes, but I get away with wearing them before I know how to game the system and I think people are too scared of me.”
Akechi honestly was always speechless but like all things, changes took time to understand and he was ready to take her hand again. What did she dream of always?
“It’s okay. I just gotta be careful. I have weak ankles after all….I used to sprain my ankles regularly and it thus…You don’t want to hear that, do you?”
“No, it’s fine. I enjoy you talking about even the smallest of things.”
“Are you being serious?”
“Yes, I am.”
Yusuke now had departed by taking a sharp turn left, leaving them both alone to the dizzying feelings.
It was indeed love and it felt all too awkward though he couldn’t have guessed to wanting to scream to the entire world that he loved her and over consuming and swimming thoughts were enough to almost kill him.
Why had it taken so long to hear it? To embrace it?
“Are you seriously spacing out on me, Goro Akechi?” She mocked in a joking way, almost pressing her hands against his cheeks. “Only I can do that. Just kidding!”
“What do you think of when you…” Why was it challenging to ask about the simplest things with her?
“Do I even have to tell you? Or would you like me to say it?”
“You’re super cute when you blush. You should see yourself…maybe I’ll bring a mirror next time!”
He was taken aback by her kindness and flirty nature.
“Is the great ace detective speechless? Didn’t think I could do that you.” She teased harder.
He snatched her up quickly, so accustomed to her presence that he didn’t think he could be alone anymore and wouldn’t want to be. Why had it taken so long for him to meet her? The fondest memories could be made and he wouldn’t be uneasy anymore.
And she made him more social and be friends with the people that he believed to be The Phantom Thieves but every time he went, they were both greeted at Leblanc’s enthusiastically especially Alix and Akechi could also see the glimmer of envy from Akira, but no one would take that away from Akechi and he’d fight to keep it; Finally realizing too late that it was possible to no longer be a victim and start living.
But even at Leblanc’s, even talking with The Phantom Thieves, she always looked to him, and always had a meaningful expression but he wasn’t hesitant to show his own levity and PDA. He often found himself kissing her way too long and too hard but she never complained and took it all in. Was this a new beginning he found himself in?
“You’re quiet today, Akechi-kun.” Makoto Niijima remarked stretching herself over papers and papers but after all she was the student council president and had duties that went beyond The Phantom Thieves’ activities.
He took a sip of the warm coffee, almost forgetting it entirely.
“Just thinking about things.”
“You do that a lot. I see you haven’t been on TV much. I am guessing that things have been busy elsewhere for you?”
“Yes. I’ve had my hands full for a while.”
Makoto chuckled stopping what she was doing and turning to face all the fussing at the counter.
“I’m tellin’ you guys that it doesn’t work.”
“Nonsense, Ryuji! It totally works!” Ann cried out shoving her smart phone in his face and him grabbing it suddenly.
“You mean that app?”
“Yes, that one. Haven’t you downloaded it, yet?”
Alix sighed taking a gulp of ice cold water-because she didn’t like drinking coffee much and preferred soda over anything else but since Leblanc didn’t have it, she solved the problem with water in its stead.
“Not really. I don’t like those types of apps actually and prefer not to play any mobile game on my phone and besides, I haven’t had the time to do so-”
“What’s so funny, Ryuji!?” Ann accused for Alix.
“It’s simple. Those two are making those lovely dovely eyes at each other and I can’t help but laugh.”
“So, what if we are? Are you going to tease us about it?” Alix asked innocently.
“I guess I can’t. I just didn’t believe…”
“It’s fine. We get that a lot and especially me at school…”
She took another gulp almost obscuring the fact that she wasn’t happy at Kosei much these days.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am happy but in school…it has been less than ideal.”
“What do you mean?” Akechi asked, concerned that her voice was dipping, his fingers now drumming on the surface of the counter.
“Just that it’s been hard on me, lately. People can be so cruel at times.”
“What have they been saying about you?...Or is it something else?” Ann cut off Akechi’s thoughts that he couldn’t yet say.
“I guess it’s really about Goro. I couldn’t escape it, it seems but I still hate the whispering voices and all the backs turned on me. I don’t even talk to my friends anymore save for Yusuke and that really picks me up but knowing that I’m being treated differently…still hurts. I guess it’s weird that someone, a nobody like me can…ensnare someone like Goro…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
“They hate you because of Akechi-kun? That’s terrible!”
“It’s mostly the girls, actually. The guys are congratulating me all the time and it makes me feel uneasy. It feels wrong to me that they’d think my relationship with Goro was a conquest and that I wasn’t worthy of him. People can be so cruel at times.”
“You have to tell someone!”
“And do what? I’m not a kid anymore and I doubt the teachers give a fuck about us in terms of personal problems. I won’t let that bring me down…I just don’t feel happy there. They are sincerely pushing me so hard…I don’t know what to do anymore. I just feel like caving in…”
“Hey! Don’t say that! Don’t let someone dictate your happiness.”
“I just didn’t think that the backlash would hurt me at school, too. I’m already failing a lot of classes…”
Akechi jumped up and for any sense of imagination, Alix wasn’t the most perfect student in her class but she made decent grades but hearing she was failing felt devastating. How could he have not known?
“It’s been happening more and more lately, but I can deal with it because Yusuke is so nice and I enjoy talking to him about everything.”
“Thank you.” Yusuke said.
“I’ll try harder to overcome this but, I won’t let it bother me anymore. I just didn’t want to worry anyone.”
“Of course, I worry.”
“Been through much worse things than bullying. I can always kick their ass by punching them in the breasts and besides, slapping doesn’t work too much because girls are well versed in that art. You wanna go for the most vulnerable area and clearly, I talk too much about things I know way too much about. Hahaha.”
“Wow, talk about retribution.” Makoto sighed.
“I’m quite vulgar, sadly and have no filter anymore because who says I have to give a fuck about things if I don’t wanna? Sorry, it might be an American thing, honestly. Bad habits are hard to break.”
“Yeah, totally.” Ryuji commented.
“Hahaha, but yeah, I seriously hate things that are orderly like uniforms. God, I flip my blazer around my waist and wear pants, god forbid that a GIRL does that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl, guy or whatever you are because what matters is your heart and how good you are. Don’t need anyone telling me otherwise. Short hair is empowerment and I like that freedom. Just a lot of my life has been dictated by events and people alike and it sucks.”
Akechi knew exactly what she meant but decided not to say much, instead listening.
“Is that why your hair is short?” Ann asked.
“Sort of. I go through phrases throughout my life and thus my hair changes to reflect it. I even had pink hair because why not? Life is too short to be anything than ordinary and besides, it is never permanent in the slightest, but now I am growing it out but it isn’t turning out so well.”
“She gets in trouble a lot for her personality and she refuses to conform too well in Kosei.” Yusuke pipped up. “I’ve noticed that a lot and yet, she persists. I like her resolve, makes her glow and she could be the next model for my piece!”
“Whoa, don’t get that far, Yu-chan. You’re making me blush. Hahaha.”
“I’m serious, Alix.”
“You’re so kind, every one of you.”
“That’s sort of how we are.” Ann said happily.
“I’m glad. It is nice to have true friends instead of that whole crowd of people over me. They were completely annoying and besides, I don’t have to hide being me without freaking them out or something. It’s a relief, but I have been slacking too much. I don’t think I’ll get into a good college like I want. Oh well, studying won’t get me anywhere. I kind of want to do things on my own terms and find my own way in life.”
“That’s quite noble.”
“I am glad you think so, Yu-chan. It’s the only way I can be me.”
“So, are you slackin’ off something?”
“Correct, Ryuji. I say fuck school and if I feel like showing up, I will. Things are too controlled nowadays and adults are getting too powerful and greedy. I repeat that I support The Phantom Thieves and all their endeavors.”
Alix said with some conviction but Akechi remained quiet on his opinion and wondered if the change of heart had been a bad idea. He didn’t want to have conflict with her on the subject which would ruin their relationship.
“You seem pensive today, Akechi-kun.” Makoto remarked again.
He smiled. “I’m listening, that is all. It’s nice to hear a good conversation from friends and my girlfriend. Gives me the best idea how she really is.”
“You’re such a sweet boyfriend!” Ann clapped her hands together, celebrating the kind of special connection that Akechi had with Alix but Ann was sincere. “Why can’t I find a boyfriend like that? Hmm…I wonder?”
Akira moved up to the counter besides Alix and was unmoved by words.
What was he planning on doing? Was it something terrible or worse conceited? Akechi was on edge and everyone seemed to be fine, otherwise.
“What’s up, Ah-chan?”
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and I was wondering if you knew what I mean.”
“I don’t actually, so what have you been thinking of? I’m curious, I think we all are.”
“Please don’t be mad at me, okay?”
“Why would I be?”
“Because it might make you really mad and along with everyone, too and while it will hurt, I promise that it means something.”
“I’m…confused? What are you referring to? Ah-chan?”
Screams erupted as Akira leaned furiously while seizing Alix’s face and brushed his lips against her’s and while she didn’t propel back, Akechi jumped in and exerted his body shoving Akira to his back. Red hot fury burning in Akechi’s mouth and the desire to put Akira in his place was gaining traction in Akechi’s mind but with one look, Alix was on the floor, having fallen and taking her glass with her, cutting into her palms, blood dripping and making a mess but she didn’t concentrate on the pain or blood, she took it in stride.
“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND!?” Ann took the initiative from Alix nearly being held back by Yusuke and Makoto.
“What do you think…you were doing...?” Akechi’s voice was quite deliberate and steady but there were compelling emotions to strike at Akira, who was getting back to his feet.
“Alix, are you alright?”
“I’m so sorry, Akechi-kun, Akira’s behavior was quite uncalled for…and I don’t understand why..” Makoto was too, lost in words but Akechi knew the meaning of Akira’s actions.
“I know why. Akira is a big idiot that had to make things fucking complicated. Didn’t you hear my warning, last time? What the fuck is your problem? You just can’t be kissing girls without their consent like that and especially if they have boyfriends. You’re pretty terrible, you know? Keep your emotions to yourself and stop trying to ruin everything.”
Alix’s eyes were being covered in her running blood and she was rubbing her eyes so quickly that hardly anyone reacted except Akechi.
“Don’t you dare take her from me as I will not allow it from you or anyone. She’s part of my happiness and I’ll be damned if I have to take this from you, Akira Kurusu. Your behavior is reckless, dangerous and quite frankly insensitive to everyone involved. You don’t consider her feelings nor mine and yet, you wish to put yourself in our relationship other than to cause her great suffering. I won’t allow you or others to do the same to her. She’s had enough already.”
“Goro…I really love you so much.” Alix’s tears stained the blood that was on her skin, making it run faster. It was a bloody mess from here and no one, not anyone dared to help her up except for Akechi.
And the blood went on his school’s blazer and yet, he wasn’t fazed, just dazed that he spoke sentences that made sense to him and yet, flowed perfectly.
“You just can’t do that to someone you like and expect feelings to pop out of thin air because it doesn’t happen and I’m frightened that you believe that. Things are the way they are and you can’t change that and I know that unreciprocated love hurts as I’ve dealt with it before but you’re quite selfish to think I’d fall for you by a simple kiss. It takes more than that to win my heart or anyone’s for that matter.”
Akira was pensive and seemed somewhat ashamed of his earlier provocations and the anguish it had caused the parties involved. “I am sorry. I just…went..”
“Don’t apologize to me. You owe one to Goro.”
Gasps. “I don’t think I should and I believe that he isn’t a good match to you at all. I think I’m better suited for you and that he can’t cut it. Why should I have to hide my feelings when all you two do is suck each other’s faces? It’s grating on me and I wanna make you see the errors of your way.”
“I think she already chose who she wanted and you can’t be cruel to ignore her wishes and if you really love her-” Akechi choked before clearing his throat. “you should learn to let her be happy in any capacity and not be childish and fight over her. I will not back down to someone that I love, dearly.”
“Goro…” Alix’s eyes glittered with the tears.
“I never meant to hurt you or make you cry…I just wanted to tell you that I love you.”
Akechi’s grip was tighter than ever and he was glaring intensely at the uneasy Akira but with a shrug, he eased up. “I am sorry to you, Alix but I am not sorry to Akechi. I refuse to apologize to what I believe is right.”
“Then I’ll defend her from you as you have no right to change hearts like The Phantom Thieves do. Only through the person can they change their own hearts and that is why they should be tried. They deserve it very much for this reason.”
“I think it’s time to go home for now.” Alix announced bouncing back and showing herself from Akechi’s arms. He agreed and while they left Akira with his barren feelings on the ground, the battle felt like it just begun but with so many forces pulling them apart, Akechi had to be stronger for her and him. He’d have to fight to keep her in his life and even if it meant going against the plan that Shido set up.
The world was different from last time and he embraced it with a kiss on her forehead as she continued sobbing the rest of the way home.
I put a lot of my own personality in Alix because well, why not? Super long chapter and also, I have a lot of Alix's own problems with love. It totally sucks :/
Also, I totally enjoy using Latin phrases at chapter titles. Latin is a cool dead language XD
Music listened to: Nell (korean band) FFX OST, and Xenogears OST,
Chapter 13: Amor tussisque non celantur
Akechi came home to an empty apartment and while all her things were mostly put up, a sense of dread penetrated him and he waited normally at Shibuya Station after Kosei’s students were out and still, no sign of her. Was she avoiding him? No, texts like usual and even though he sent a few-no reply. Was she okay? He thought of going back to her mother’s residence but that struck him as obscene because maybe she wanted space? Oh, he didn’t know and what was worse that The Phantom Thieves continued with their activities and he couldn’t grasp the situation clearly and even so by getting rebuked by Sae on his lack of motivation about the case, though he still found himself blanking out in the middle of conversations more and more, reliving the scenario of Akira’s actions only a few weeks ago.
Alix wasn’t at Leblanc’s either and he suspected she wouldn’t be back there for a while but he sipped his coffee in silence and no amount of talking could get him out of his mood.
Had she really been suffering that much because of him? Especially at school? He hadn’t known the extent of her bullying and cruelty at the hands of other students and her reluctance to fight back against it and her mentioning that it had been going on for a while. Inaction still reigned in his body and he felt shaken and paralyzed at Akira’s declaration and Alix’s indignation.
How could Akira presume to know how Alix felt? Or even consider being a rival in love? Wouldn’t he take in how she felt or was he being too obstinate? Akechi went into a fouler mood than before and tried to push the rushing thoughts from causing more anguish.
He wouldn’t concede to Akira on love or anything because they were rivals, rivals in justice and love, it seemed, nor was he here at all when Akechi came and that suited him fine because he still felt that Akira deserved more than punches for his behavior.
How could Akechi be blind despite changing her heart? She needed more than a change-an acceptance of conflict and ultimately love.
He had relieved her of the trauma but what was left was her emotional pain that he couldn’t dare touch nor break. How bad of a boyfriend he was for shifting the blame onto himself for not protecting her more and yet, he got furious more and more, till he trembled and waiting to be washed in tears, but he never cried, did he? He couldn’t but he was doing more and more impossible things because of her and experiencing extreme freedom but at what cost?
“You’re looking glum again. I know it goes without saying but I’ve been in your position too with girlfriends. Just give her space and she’ll come back. They always do.” Sakura said wisely and despite being lost, Akechi listened. He always had time to receive the wisdom that Sakura had.
“I don’t know what to do about Akira.”
“Ah, that. You just gotta have faith in her and that faith will carry over for her love for you, so corny, I know. I’m getting too old for this.” He chuckled.
“It’s been weeks and…”
“I’m guessing the giving space thing isn’t working? I guess, the only thing left to do is talk to her and most likely it will be fine in the end.”
“No. She isn’t anywhere and I heard from Yusuke that she hasn’t been showing up for school and that greatly concerns me. She’s vanished and so has Akira and I don’t know…I just have a deep seated fear that…”
“If she loves you, she won’t betray you. Her heart would be set if she stays true. Stop making me spout these ridiculous love advices. It’s making me incredibly depressed. I say go to her, if that’s your first instinct. Tell her everything on your heart and if she loves you, she will listen and understand but you don’t know until you try.”
“I’m hesitating but I know it is in fact true, but I don’t want to push her more away.”
“It’s better to go now than never going and having regrets. Damn, did it again.”
With that advice, Akechi sprinted out of the door and took the nearest train lines to where he remembered where Alix’s mother lived. The neighborhood was sleepy and quite normal in terms of simplicity and yet, it began here and it wouldn’t either.
“Akechi-kun!” Alix’s mother came from the side and he had been unprepared.
“Is Alix home?”
“Oh, she is. I think she’s in her room. I’ll let you know you-”
“Don’t. I want it to be a surprise.”
The entrance of the house-the living room and kitchen felt quite like how he remembered it and yet, he was going into uncharted terrorities.
“Her room is on the end of the hallway. Good luck!”
He was careful not to make any single noise upon turning the door knob and from what he glimpsed inside, shocked surprised him. Plushes everywhere and not to mention action figures all lined her walls in shelves and she had posters of bands up on her wall and a few discarded journals everywhere, but he found her peacefully with headphones on and singing softly to herself. Her back turned to her bed, whose sheets were crumpled and thrown aside to the side.
The words were too low to be caught in his ears but her eyes were puffy and strained and she was wearing thick red glasses which made him think twice of her ever mentioning having a pair in the first place.
But the journals were opened and he could see many words scrawled on it: Akira’s name, His name and lastly her own. She had crossed over the repeating names and circled a few but it was difficult to identify because her handwriting got sloppier and made no sense anymore.
“You finally came. I was expecting you, after all. You aren’t the first person to visit me-Akira came. I will tell you what I told him: Leave me alone.”
“I’m sorry if I disturbed you.”
With a quick nudge on the doorknob, he thought this adventure was a failure because she was still rejecting him.
“Don’t leave. Please don’t, I beg of you. Please…stay…”
How odd that in pushing people away that she sought to be closer to him. How weird this was becoming.
“I still love you so much, you know? I just was…surprised by Akira and that freaked me out so bad that I started doubting myself and how I felt. I just ran away home because I wanted to disappear from it all. I hate this is happening and it’s all my fault, too. Knowing that I dragged you into this...I am sorry, Goro. I really am but I am glad you came by. I was hoping you would and yes, I read all your texts, too. Thank you for being so sweet.”
He pivoted to her and spoke clear. “The blame isn’t on you but the other party, here. I can understand wanting to run away but you can’t always do that and I wish you would have come to me, but by being selfless, you hurt me, too.”
“I am truly sorry. I really am. I guess I acted impulsively without concerning how you felt. I can’t help it sometimes as I am really insensitive about these things when I shouldn’t be. I guess I have a lot to learn.”
“Come back with me.”
“It is so lifeless at home. I want you to come back. Stop running and come home.”
She trembled and stood up, wobbling the way to him.
He was completely dead set in his position and with a pat on her head, he consoled her gently by bending down and drawing a kiss from her. He wasn’t the best kisser in the world but he regularly improved on those skills and just was passionate enough to charm her.
No one was perfect yet, she was bringing this revelation to him all the same and it could stick and change his view finally. He was mature enough to understand it and it was through love, as cliched he believed in, it still made him elated that she would return. Maybe he’d go back to his normal levels of concentrations and make some progress on the case with Sae or maybe not, but either way, he’d be able to catch the rest of her tears as she was the reason for him. He could be loved and love in return even with the built-up fury and a sense of injustice towards him. It didn’t matter for her and he felt worse for hiding his alter ego from her and even she trusted him greatly but he smiled through it.
“Let’s never part, then. I want you near me, always and that isn’t a suggestion or request as that is a declaration that you should follow.”
“You’re so bossy but I accept that. From now on, I’ll come to you and bother you if I have problems. Thanks for understanding Goro and that’s why you’re the best boyfriend like ever!”
“I don’t think.”
“Don’t be modest. You came over here for a reason, correct? You wanted to see me and you kept texting me those messages and I couldn’t bear to text back. I felt so stupid in trying but I guess I don’t have that fear anymore. And I’m sorry about my comments on The Phantom Thieves and I think that’s put you in a bad position.”
“It is okay. I respect your opinions and don’t think less of you for it and in fact, I applaud you for staying true to yourself in that regard. I love that independent spirit of yours and I love you, too. I didn’t think you could steal my heart when it was already yours. I have caused you more pain with you involved with me and yet, you stick by me. Why do you love me so?”
She smiled. “I just do and sometimes that’s a good reason.”
He smacked his head against her glasses and they flew off as he wrapped himself around her, cuddling and caressing. Their kissing escalated and soon, he found himself on top and undressed with her lovingly gaze shining on him and it made him easier to make love to her on her bed. It felt much more meaningful and he felt frank to her so much that he wanted to tell her the truth of his involvements with the mental shut downs.
“I have to tell you something.”
“It’s just these mental shut downs.”
“I heard of them. What about them and why do you bring them up?”
He stuffed his head into her shoulder breaking his train of thought and she shrugged it off and held onto him. “Would you loathe me if I knew something about them? That maybe, I knew too much?”
“What is going on Goro?”
He didn’t want to alienate her more but if she found out he was lying then it could be the end of this relationship. “I know who’s doing this and I am an accessory to it.”
“Goro!? Are you saying that you not only knew but you were helping these people?”
“I did more than that, I did it myself.”
And whatever he was expecting, she didn’t deliver and instead cried. “I should be so mad and disgusted but you had your reasons and whatever they were…I wish I understood but no matter I love you always. Now, kiss me.”
How calming but would he continue? It remained to be seen.
Chapter 14: Auribus teneo lupum
Tormented, abandoned and sulking as Alix her laid on Akechi’s shoulder, breathing in harmony but with the revelation in his involvement not only mental shut downs but psychotic breaks, her attitude didn’t change in the slightest and he thought she was seething in unbridled fury but day after day, she retained her positive attitude.
Why was she torturing him?
Asking her why was out of the question and so he was left again unwanted, unsure and left in the empty space of love. Why was he burning with desire and at the same time lonely?
It only took one minute and one second to get it all out but she wasn’t willing to converse with him on the matter and it seemed as if she was willing to be complicit in his deeds and then not.
Akira hadn’t made any movements towards his own declaration of love and yet, it was a calm that no doubt would shake the foundation of Akechi’s relationship with Alix, but like before, faith and trust had been put in her and the decisions she made. The interactions came from her talking to Yusuke and coming from school with him but avoiding the rest of The Phantom Thieves.
The strategy was clear and Alix was using to her advantage and like he predicted she would but she didn’t let up cheerful demeanor and still it caused real concern. Concern from his struggling heart and the riled desire to secure the future together but could it happen? Would his work let him be free or would the trap be set? He was rethinking his plans to give scandal to Shido and the whole killing part but with Alix’s silence on the matter, what could Akechi do now? Could he continue or settle down in life with her?
Twisted and broken that he was, there was a belief that he could attain some kind of normalcy without the Metaverse and actually have dreams. Dreams that was invested with kids and marriage but maybe those things didn’t suit him but he would try for her sake.
And he wasn’t prepared for the standing crowd hovering over a scene that caused a lot of interest and usually he would have stayed out but he heard a familiar voice and tensed.
“You’re terrible you know!? What part of NO that you don’t understand!?”
Alix’s hand quickly flew against Akira’s cheek but he took the pattern of abuse, standing defiant.
“That’s not what you said either.”
“Never mind what I said because what you’re doing is obscene and quite unseeingly unwise. That ‘action’ was totally uncalled for and you know that. What is your problem!?”
“You wanna explain to the crowd what I really mean to you?”
“That is beside the point! You are quite devious and I can’t believe you would try to blackmail me on ‘this’ and I hate you, Akira Kurusu, too.”
Another swipe and after he caught that hand midair.
“I can deal with that and besides love and hate go together.”
“No, they don’t. Let me go, please.”
The crowd got unrulier with vicious voices chanting and Akechi squeezed in with had him revealing his presence to the wailing of girls’ voices. His ridiculous fans that he couldn’t dare listen to instead focusing and reaching for Alix and Akira.
“We need to talk; Alix and you can’t avoid that.”
“If you would stop texting and calling me. Stop pestering me. There’s nothing more to talk about. I don’t care what you think-I don’t love you and never had romantic feelings for you at any time and I’m tired of you treating me like a treasure to be won. You’re quite a terrible human being.”
And like clockwork, Akechi’s fury was embraced in his hands and the contact it came to Akira’s face was satisfying more than the ambitions Akechi had for himself, but it wasn’t done with Akira coming back and landing his own punch and soon, they were both embroiled in a rowdy match with fierce hits, jabs and lastly maneuvers Alix didn’t recognize.
Hands were pumped in the air and she did try to intervene several times but the severity of the situation sickened her and only made her crazier with hurt and besides the crowd was shoving her more and more away.
Akechi recognized by a glance that Alix was deeply troubled and while blocking with his arms, he shoved Akira back forcefully, knocking several people over.
And without thinking, the crowd swelled and she was pushed to the fore front, lunging herself into the oncoming barrage of punches from Akira but with feet grounded.
Akechi caught himself as Alix slumped to the ground, hitting her head with a small crack resonating elsewhere and blood sliding off her cheeks.
“I can’t…I can’t…” Welling inside as she clutched her stomach bypassing and ignoring the head injury and instead focusing on her bruised ankle. She wailed as soon as she tried to stand and then crumpled violently.
The concern swept over the crowd and Akira winched but Akechi dragged himself to Alix’s side, realizing that her injury, not life threatening was quite intense.
“Make the pain go away…make it go away. I hate pain. I hate it. It hurts. It hurts. OH MY GOD, it hurts!”
She was barely conscious and now more than ever, was entrapped in her own dire situation but hardly noticed Akechi’s presence. Maybe he went too far on Akira but Akechi, for his own sake hated that Alix had been bullied in that manner over misguided love.
“Is she alright?”
“She’s not. Her ankle looks like it was devastated and it is really our fault.”
“Why in the hell did she do that!? Didn’t she realize how incredibility foolish that was?”
“She made a point and it was really well spoken through her own sheer disregard for her own safety though I wished she would have thought it all through.”
“She really did try to stop me from…I guess I really can’t win, can I? Against you…”
“There is no winning with love. You must be in the right time and place for it and not even then it doesn’t mean that success can be determined. It’s a roulette and a chance that they might not love you back and you should acknowledge that and move on. Now, help me bring her up. She’ll need to see a doctor right away.”
So, her silence was in fact due to Akira and while the situation felt bleak in a lot of ways, Akechi was glad that she was sound in her heart but her body was another thing altogether.
Chapter 15: Ama tanquam osurus. Oderis tamquam amaturus
Akechi’s kisses were tender, exciting and electrifying and he didn’t have to guess entirely because Alix’s face went deep shades of red and she immediately fought back with her own mouth, a symphony of lips and of sensual moments. Heaving and shying away, he clutched her face and held her still.
She had given him the answer he had waited for but he was still weighed down by her avoidance of the subject of his involvement in the Metaverse, but why ruin this? Why entangle her to filthy dealings? She was pure enough to wipe the fear and lead him through the way.
“Yes, sweet one?” He never thought a nickname was needed but it felt too perfect and too convenient for anything else because they were more than friends; Lovers indeed, boyfriend, girlfriend and anything so certain. Her fingers dangled in his long hair and she relished the easiness of how it straightened. It wasn’t anything but just simple.
“These happenings…you said you did them?”
Here it came and yet, there were no subtle signs of any emotion just detachment.
“I honestly, don’t…know I feel about it. I know it’s obviously wrong to do these things and be responsible for deaths like this but I don’t understand your reasonings or the other questions buzzing in my mind. I wanna give you the benefit of the doubt but…it’s cold. It’s cruel and yet, I don’t want to turn away from you when I know I should.”
She shuddered and he grabbed her shoulders.
“I just can’t…wrap my head over it because I know there is more to this than you’re letting on and I wish you said more. I wonder if it has to do with the other world that Akira was texting about…”
Akechi nearly shook her and frantically thought of something to say but she continued.
“That’s what he was saying and I didn’t understand then and even now, it’s weird. But I feel like there is some obligation to do something but I can’t think what it could be. Maybe logically I could get you arrested but I am selfish and I don’t want to and yet, I suspect there is even a higher power over you or this whole situation.”
He froze. How in the hell did she deduce that from just Akira?
“I guess you’re rubbing off on me. I feel quite smart in it but, I’ve made up my mind to stay by your side regardless whatever you do and if that makes me an accessory, then I understand. I’ve been a fool for lesser things, honestly and I can’t let you go. I can’t see you going anywhere without me and if I have to be selfish, I can take the consequences with it.”
He appreciated the loyalty she was placing on herself for the sake of him and while he didn’t intend to get her involved or anyone for that matter, he had to fall in love and follow his damn heart. This was the problem and yet, he didn’t want to leave either. The time for love to pass wasn’t here and it was true enough to keep him stable. It was everything he wanted and longed for in her. She gave unwillingly for him and rather than hide from it, she was quite adamant in facing it together, but should he show her the Metaverse? Would that even be possible? She wasn’t a Persona user and he concluded that much and even if she was, he’d never let her go against anyone.
He responded in a full-length kiss until she fell into his shoulder, almost deathly quiet but he could tell she was breathing with him in full sync with a full heart.
“You don’t have to say it. Don’t be worried about me. I’ll be fine if I can be near you and while, I don’t understand what Akira was trying to do or you either but I know that I can live with it. I’m perfectly fine with that.”
“How’s your ankle?” Averting the subject at hand and yet, she’d bring it back.
She laughed. “You’re always so concerned about me. It’s fine. I’ve had many sprained ankles in my time but it was the first time getting a concussion. It’s interesting but I’d do it all over again for you, that I don’t mind. I think I’d scorch the Earth for you even if it meant…”
Her voice fell and he didn’t know how to approach her anymore but with some light shaking that could work and that he did, her eyes swelled.
“I might not have the same power as you or anyone but even ordinary people like me can do something. I believe in that much and it has gotten me quite far.”
Quiet determination seemed to be the calling card of the day and yet, she wasn’t unwavering in her words because she believed in the cliched part of her heart and even he did too.
He had underestimated that he too could fall so easily like that and yet, he was certainly glad that he could have the pleasure of doing so. How terribly strange that she’d pick the worst outcomes to stay and yet, it was easy to walk away but she knowing fragmented hearts were the worst and no doubt, she’d do anything to end that.
“Thank you and I love you so much.”
He couldn’t say more or didn’t want to? He had no idea but he wanted to savor her decision the best he could and respect it, too. Wasn’t love like that?
He’d have to show her, right? After all, despite Akira’s blabbering, she needed to see it and who else but Akechi to do it? He figured by now that The Phantom Thieves were pursuing Okumura all according to plan but with some reluctance she’d have to keep trusting Akechi. Love wasn’t certainly anything he’d run from but it’s too pure, too sincere that he’d keep trying to trust the pain and that’s what made him have the insecurities with Akira’s words, but Akechi felt more at ease with Alix’s understanding.
Why did it come to this?
“Then, I’ll show you.” He said reaching around her and pulling her closer and somehow, it would be alright. Somehow, he’d be careful this time and with that, the outside world became visible and he was leading what he thought was the best way.
“Is this…?” She limped a bit but it was enough to get bring him back to focus and while reaching the destination, he stayed back near the Okumura’s headquarters but they weren’t alone in the slightest.
“That’s!” She had put a hand over her mouth to secure an end to not blow their cover but it was not a mistake. Akira and the others were there and talking amongst themselves, but what did it matter? She was in awe and then struck with a melancholy expression.
What had happened between her and Akira that day in Shibuya station? What had been going on? She was quite dismayed and pained in the slightest but with a slight arm grab, she was holding for dear life.
Then the familiar feeling came over him and she had her eyes closed as if reliving the worst memory but standing up to it like him, too. The memories were fresh and yet, he felt a burning sensation to protect her at all costs but was that love’s influence?
The scenery changed and she had to open to the effects of the Metaverse and with some fear, she hobbled forward, her hands taking nothing.
“Is this…are we…? Goro!” She exclaimed nearly falling back.
“Yes, we are. Welcome to the Metaverse.”
It was indescribable to what she might have been seeing but its theme certainly reflected what a space station might be.
“Yes. In this world we change appearances because we have Personas.”
“Think of them as our power.”
Akechi felt her searching for a feeling in his straight face but she reacted soon after by going around and examining his change of clothes, but he had chosen the right outfit for the occasion and besides, if he hadn’t, he would have frightened her.
“You look like a prince except for that weird but alluring mask.”
He drew a breath in and laughed. “Yes, but as you see this world is a cognition.”
“You mean it is in the mind of the person?”
“In a way, yes. They are the embodiment of what the users perceive themselves in reality. This is cognition.”
“And this is where you use your Persona?”
Was she really wanting to be in this? It was quite hazardous for her if Shido found it but Akechi had to cover that part up because her safety was his main concern, not the plan even if she wanted to go along with it. He was heisting on that part for she was ready to be on the front lines for him and he didn’t quite understand it fully even if love was involved.
“I may not get it all, but I know for certain that I am more resolved than ever. Akira wasn’t lying about this world but I don’t know why he told me in the first place. It’s so odd.”
“What did he say?”
She held up her phone.
Artists listened to: Epik High (check them out if you love Korean Hip-Hop)
Why in the hell was Akira doing this to her? Trying to get back at Akechi? More than likely and it seemed like it was working, but there was no changing the past for the present had to be dealt with but how could he do this now? He was at a loss for the first time as he now had to deal with two fronts: Akira and Shido and each was more violent than the other. One wanted to ruin a relationship and the other could kill Alix just by association and yet, Akechi had to keep it together.
She was merely taking in the vast space before her but he wondered if she was pondering anything. He never expected the twists that would occur but she wasn’t showing any outward sign of stress.
“It’s so sad. These palaces.” She remarked to herself. “It is sad to be all alone in these kinds of places that they built for themselves. I hate being alone these days. I’ve always hated and when I was little, I lost my parents in a horrific car accident and tried to kill myself. Eventually my aunt adopted me and to me, she’s my mom. She took the duties of raising me when all I felt was shame, depression and pain. Tried to end my life several times, self-harmed and just landed in a psych hospital for a week but in the end, I got stronger because of it. I wish these people just faced their reality of themselves.”
Akechi remembered her palace and the photograph was weighing on his mind but it felt simple that she too, understood if more than him.
“I just wanted a place to belong too. I just wanted something for me to have, to be real in my hands but it never happened. It doesn’t matter, both my parents were horrible people regardless and I am guiltily glad they are gone, but at the same time, I wished that I had something that was decent in my life. I have you now and that’s something. This is the first relationship of mine that hasn’t crashed and burned. I was a fool for other guys and an immature to think I knew what love was.”
She turned to him with swelling emotions and for the first time, he didn’t have to speak but she wasn’t expecting him too. She never had put pressure on him to be someone he wasn’t and this whole accessory to his crimes made it perfectly clear. Why was she adamant to be involved?
“My mother was in a relationship with a good for nothing man and when she had me, he left and she died soon after. I too, wanted to be loved, to be needed and yet, all I thought was to make my image so perfect that others could not see my pain. I understand all too well. I am needed and loved by you and that’s all I could ask and dream for. I brought you here purposely because being honest and keeping you with me is important. You said this yourself that honesty was important and I’m doing it despite how unsightly it all is.”
“Thank you, Goro. I truly appreciate and love you more for it and it couldn’t be easy to share this. I admit that I was unsure if I could handle this but even if I face consequences for the things I’m involved in, at least I did in part for the love I share with you.”
The urge to take her was overpowering and he had to curb it because otherwise, he’d make the promise to have her again and again.
“You’re fighting it, aren’t you? I can tell. You don’t have to fight how you feel. I feel it too.”
He bolted from his current position, gathering her in his warm embrace and she hid in his hair. His hair that he didn’t care much for but found new meaning with it. She loved it. It was comforting to her and he’d keep it.
“You smell nice. Must be the new shampoo I got. Hahaha. That’s stupid, isn’t it? Trying to make small talk now after all we’ve said.”
“It isn’t stupid and I fact welcome it.”
“Thank you, Goro. I guess I’m not terrible either and I think you tolerate my bad small talk because you’re my boyfriend. Ha.”
“Not true. It’s actually nice to have a light chat now and again.”
He took off his mask and kissed her lightly on her forehead.
“That mask is god awful but I’m glad you have fun in it. I can’t imagine how having a Persona is. Must be great to have that sort of power to do anything you want. To do the unimaginable- good or bad.” She muttered slipping further into him and he only held on.
“Just be still. Now, I can’t leave you here nor can I leave either. You’ll have to go with me.”
The time for her to be a witness was coming and preparing for that knowledge wasn’t the easiest thing to grasp, but with a reappearance of her face, she was more than likely aware of the situation.
“I won’t go like this but please don’t be frightened by my appearance. I promise to be there and take it slow throughout our journey here.”
She instinctively gave him the space and suddenly, Akechi found himself donning the black mask that suited him to his freedom but he was actively spying on her face for any traces for terror. She had none but curiosity.
Her hands were reaching across his body and he felt that perhaps that it was comforting.
“Then, let’s do this.” She announced nonchalantly.
Without another sentence explaining what could be dumped on them, he crept with her throughout the palace, always on the tail end of The Phantom Thieves. She was surprisingly quite adept during this process and she held her own breathing down not to give away the sudden changing corridors and airlocks of the palace.
It was a labyrinth of warped desires but quickly, they had secured their position as The Phantom Thieves attempted to make their promise of rehabilitation but it was short lived as soon as they left Okumura’s cognition and the shot was fired and then other until Okumura’s body vanished.
With the sudden feeling, the reality came rushing back and he cared for her as her body felt lighter and the ground became a viable option to lay down on.
Why was she facing the dark side of murder even if she didn’t believe in it?
“A heart is a heavy burden, after all.”
That he could agree with.
Alix's whole back story is mine minus the car crash killing my parents, though they are abusive and I don't speak to either of them, still I was truly being honest and it was nice.
Chapter 17: Teli saevit amor, etiam in criminalibus rabies belli
The incursion into the Metaverse and lastly, Okumura’s palace wore Alix out but it revitalized Akechi as he watched her sleep from the doorframe.
Still, left with her hanging words, he couldn’t disagree that his heard was the weightiest part of him that continued to hammer at his own conscience. Against the reason turning him irrational and insane, but why was it that way? He couldn’t remark more because he had no way out of it. He was trapped but greatly desired it, too, so why was he whining about it now? Shouldn’t he be grateful for the love spinning out of control and weaving itself to him and her, like the red string of fate. They were bonded and tied together forever, if it was beyond any concept of time.
The days passed and with it came suspension and then calm before the storm, and she was spending more time at Leblanc’s, chatting with everyone including Akira. Had she forgiven him so easily? She had no regret as far as Akechi could discern and while he felt on edge waiting for anything, he tried to focus on the scattered conversations while stirring the contents of his coffee with his gloved fingertips.
“Oh, I didn’t notice you there. You must be…?”
“Haru Okumura. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Alix Breton! I know you through Yusuke as your name pops up in his conversations all the time.”
“I am flattered, honestly. I didn’t think Yusuke thought so highly of me. I mean all we do is talk about art and stuff. I actually find that stuff interesting. Gosh, I am so weird.”
“Oh no! You’re perfectly fine!”
It was all cheap laughs and through the charade, Alix smiled-god forbid that she wouldn’t smile this honestly in her life but he knew that it all too well, but at least, she was enjoying the vestiges of the celebration…while they lasted. The true battle was already waging and The Phantom Thieves wouldn’t be merry for a long time after this moment but Akechi would allow it now that the ceiling was shattering overhead and they hadn’t noticed. They couldn’t with their own hubris and how good the plan was coming along.
He was always brought back to Alix’s face and her constant fragility but she still shocked him at the most inopportune moments and he welcomed that.
If only more time would be still for him and Alix, that would be wonderful, almost chilling.
Why hadn’t he met her sooner? Why couldn’t he have done so a few years back?
His soul yearned for her touch, for her simple gesture was precious and he’d lock it away in his mind and take it out when he was truly in the depths of hell. He’d need that light with him, extending to his face.
“Is everything all right, Akechi-kun?” Makoto asked folding her hands into her lap.
“I was just listening to the merriment around me and am glad that Alix has found such esteemed friends especially Akira.”
A shot that would land if only Akira let it as the feelings were too raw and would seep in.
“Yes! I thought that I wouldn’t make any friends-well true friends here and especially at Kosei. It’s nice to have Yusuke with me and how could I ever get tired of hearing his art? I have high hopes for him and his dreams touch me, too. I wanna have the same passion as him.”
“Stop flattering me, so.” Yusuke made it a point to say.
“It’s true! I don’t feel so alone anymore and that’s the important thing. That is the most important thing to have-however stupidly cliched it is. Friends are important to a lot of degrees. No man is an island.”
“You’re too kind, too, Alix-chan.” Haru giggled.
“Nah, I don’t think so, honestly. I’m just me and I can’t change that.”
“Give yourself credit.”
“I guess so.”
Alix’s lips widen but it wasn’t a smile she was producing and Akechi knew what it meant. She was merely playing the scene to her advantage and maybe she got it from him? Had she been watching him closely?
“This is too nice…I feel like this won’t last but I think I’m being cynical somehow. I just don’t want to forget these moments with you all.”
It was heavy, if dissolving in her and no doubt the future that would dawn on them but it would be a rude awakening to the whole world. To The Phantom Thieves. Eventually the group dissipated and all that left was Akira, Alix and Akechi, too but it was tense and suffocating.
Whatever excitement was in Alix was silenced and all she could do was avert her eyes and get up clumsily. Akechi’s head turned and the sound of breaking glass resonated as the scene came full circle and he found himself standing up defensively.
Akira had forcefully seized Alix and locked lips and for this, Akechi found himself knocking Akira off with enough bravado to shock the ace detective. Why had he found the strength? Jealously. He knew it boiling inside and no one would stand in the way of taking what was his’ and that meant going against the leader of The Phantom Thieves head on. Without the law. Without justice and that was dangerous.
But it wasn’t over as Akira bounced back and blows were exchanged, and all Alix tried to do was scream and put them apart, but unlike last time wasn’t able to get in the middle. They wouldn’t allow her too.
Soon, it all cooled down and Akechi marched outside with Alix following behind and all he could do was ask himself, WHAT IN THE HELL was he thinking? Every sense of rationale and even sense left him when he saw Akira infringing on Alix’s boundaries.
How frightening and confusing love happened to be and the more he touched the curves of the feelings, it only proved to be undefining infinite. Love surpassing justice and rationale and he definitely stood for those things and yet, tightening his heart, he felt it wasn’t fair that he’d have to experience this. Was this how being ‘needed’ or ‘wanted’ was? Would he continually accept these cruel turns?
Alix was quiet the way home on the train and while, she stayed close, distance permeated from her aura and yet, Akechi wanted more and more to grasp her and never let the light of day touch them. Never let the falling rain be the end.
The way to the apartment was quite subtle but there was nothing discreet about the overflowing of his heart and mostly likely his loins, but resisting all that, he pushed Alix down on the bed, hovering over her.
A crooked smile playing on his lips but with her sighing, he closed the gap and was trapped in the deepest parts of his desire and swimming against the strong current. He’d cherish these moments before it all came crumbling down with the unfolding events yet to play out; But would he be able to keep her?
He had to hide her away, his moon as his bright rays were enough to hurt them both but he’d keep holding on.
Music Listened to: Marina and the Diamonds, Britney Spears(no judgement XD), Persona 1 OST PSP, Blue Seed OST and whatever else I failed to mention XD
Chapter 18: The Golden Trio
Akira, Alix, and Akechi
Chapter 19: Name Pronunciation
I just thought about this as if you were wondering how to say her name.
Alix in English speaking countries is pronounced as "Alex" and in French pronounced as "ah-LEEX," In regards to the story, she pronounces her name in the French way. Of course, her name is different and so the many characters pronounce it interchangeably with French and English but she doesn't mind.
While waiting for the press conference for Okumura and his subsequent mental shut down, Akechi couldn’t stop thinking or living in the moments with Alix and he often found her curled up against him, but was it enough? Would this be shattered when Okumura was dead? The faces of The Phantom Thieves…he’d want to see it and no doubt, it would be wise to get rid of them and their misguided justice. The justice that had to involve changing the hearts of people that weren’t willing to change on their own. They had to be put down when they threatened the plan, but still, the satisfaction of seeing Akira falling from his pedestal felt more than devious.
He’s pay for trying to steal the only thing that mattered to Akechi and while he thought that, she was trying to wrap her arms around his shoulders, half asleep and he accepted that. He wanted that.
Heavy and hot, but it was the breath that got him. The breath of knowing that she was breathing in the same as him. The way she wanted to be, the way it never seemed easy to take and yet, why did the plan matter now?
He found bliss, and would he hold onto it? Would she pay the consequences for her decisions, too?
No, he wouldn’t let that come to pass and when he revealed to Japan that Shido was his father…it was the payback Akechi wanted but now, considering the changing circumstances, would he continue that path?
The doubt filled him.
Doubt and yet, she was the dream.
The morning passed, and he found himself up and dressed while she put on her Kosei blazer and finally her shoes but she hesitated slightly. Something was on her mind and too often, he saw it carefully, but she usually hid it from him.
“Do you think…?”
“Are you worried about what we’ve done?”
“I don’t know…what will happen…”
“You saw what I did and that should be a clue to what will happen. Okumura won’t survive but are you having second thoughts?”
“No…not that. I just thought that I’d never do this for someone like this, but I guess that’s how love goes, don’t you think?”
He sighed but he didn’t know at all but with some risks involved and not thinking, he whisked her away in his arms and she accepted it gracefully. How could love be so cruel to them both?
“You smell nice, don’t you know?” She mentioned but he was taken aback to her words. “I feel so peaceful here and I don’t wanna leave at all. Isn’t that juvenile?”
“I don’t believe so, because I certainly know the feeling, too. So much has changed, and I just wish to take it all in and I never thought it possible, either.”
Her lips curled upward.
“You’ve certainly opened up, you know? I appreciate you trying to be yourself and finding worth in yourself. You found the spark, the reason to be to be yourself in the end. We aren’t perfect but while we can make ourselves cry, laugh and even hurt, it is worth it to live in the end, and while cliched that is, it is something I know.”
Her change of heart was going well and while he kept that photograph in his pocket all the time, waiting for it to transform into clear picture but so far, nothing, well at least when he last checked, but maybe now it was different.
Maybe he could peek at it again…maybe when she wasn’t here but it was difficult to tear himself away, but it had to be and while he lamented on it, it had to be done.
They had to act normal before the press conference and feign ignorance and catch those Phantom Thieves and ruin their reputation in one fell swoop and bring them to their place: to nothing at all, but it felt truly juvenile now that he found the longing too much to handle. The longing for love’s soft caress.
A caress that Alix was willing to provide.
While they parted ways, Akechi’s head swirled and he found himself wandering the Shibuya’s station almost dazed and feeling vertigo come to him almost instantly. The reason had been simple and yet so clearly thrown away, but he had to retrieve it so suddenly and when he spotted Akira Kurusu waiting and the desire to approach was overwhelming and bring Akechi’s frustrations full circle, but too much trouble had shown up and he couldn’t afford another public brawl with Akira. It just had to wait…
“Look, I didn’t mean to…make things more awkward than they had to be…”
“You don’t need me to say it, Akechi as I know what you’re thinking, and I know you loathe me for all I’ve done; But simply I believe you aren’t who you say you are and lying to Alix is quite…”
“She knows everything about me because for her honestly is what she wants; and I doubt you’re honest in all respects. I guess you never consider her own equal in that regard.”
Akechi got steady in his stance and waited with bated breath on how Akira would come up on this but would it be enough to forfeit it all?
“You don’t intend to give up, do you?”
“Can’t you see that you’re ignoring her wishes and in fact-”
“You’re not the right fit for anyone and knowing that she believes in the righteousness of The Phantom Thieves proves to me that you two will ultimately be ruined. How could Goro Akechi’s girlfriend even agree to The Phantom Thieves’ existence even if she claims that they changed her heart? You are no doubt, suspicious and even ashamed when you are so vehemently against their ‘justice’.”
“You’re reading too much into the opinions of others and while, Alix has differing opinions that she broadcasted on t.v, it was not, mine to make and I truly respect her views on what she considers ‘just’ and I don’t think it shall pull us apart like you claim.”
Akira cracked a smile, even if the intent was devilish.
“You’ve really changed, Akechi and you let it happen to you. You allowed to change because of a girl, but knowing the effects of relationships that I didn’t think you could form, it surprised me that you would jump to one with another human being.”
“Usually, I accept discourse on various subjects but what you’re suggesting is vulgar and even incorrect. Anyone could form relationships if they aren’t twisted in nature but if you excuse me, I don’t have anymore time to dally with you and you best try to stop getting in the way of us.”
Akechi’s back turned and while he was going opposite of the station’s bullet trains, Akira shouted at the top of his lungs.
“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I MEAN TO HER!!!”
With a slam, it would be a tiring fight to get Akira off, but those hollow words kept echoing in the recesses of Akechi’s mind. What did Akira mean about Alix and her feelings? More conjecture? Most likely. More likely but why did he reveal the Metaverse to her? What was the intent behind that?
Akechi could take and run with it, but he decided it wasn’t the time for dilly dallying on the same page as Akira Kurusu, the leader of The Phantom Thieves and soon the reckoning would be upon them.
Finally a new chapter! I have been dealing with health issues and general laziness XD
Artist listened to: Utada Hikaru
Chapter 21: More Group
Goro Akechi and Alix Breton
Yusuke Kitagawa, Alix Breton, and Ryuji Sakamoto
Done by Naido
And like clockwork, Okumura’s eyes began overflowing with the dark tears of death as he finally collapsed, and the channel was interrupted. Akechi waited to hear or see a reaction out of Alix, but whatever she meant to say from this point forward meant that she had regrets but who could blame her? He’d been doing this for 2 years now and it had been so painlessly easy that he could scoff at the work of both psychotic breaks and mental shut downs, but this one was different. And maybe she couldn’t understand the magnitude of the work he and Shido were planning.
“So, this what a mental shut down looks like…You did this.”
“You’re right. “We” did this though I wasn’t expecting this to be so fantastically dreadful, but I guess that’s how it goes. Goro,” She paused as if tangling more into her feelings. “There’s more to this isn’t it? There is an end goal, right? You wouldn’t do this for your own gain, right?”
“I can’t be honest with that.”
“Is there someone ordering you to do this? Will you tell me that or…?”
“It is better not to know because if you did, you’d be further jeopardizing your life-”
“Aren’t I doing that now!?”
He sighed, readjusting his tie and standing further over her and like a child, he attached to her so fast, that she tried to spring back but his pressure was enough to ease her. Easing, careful.
His gloved hand played around her growing hair and finally grasping nothing but the very light strands of her ending hair; and somehow, he wanted to experience it, so with a moment, the glove came off and he felt the whole thing.
His breathing slowly circled around her and she gladly stayed still before being tempted to throw her arms around his waist, almost imparting the wisdom that he sought.
“C-Can’t we…stay here…?” She cried carelessly.
This was fleeting before them and soon if they could, they could forget it all…maybe her proposal of running away felt rational in this moment and certainly reassuring. Akechi didn’t have to deal with the fallout with Shido and somehow the investigation of The Phantom Thieves could be out of memory if they just ran.
If they continued running, turning their backs to the wind.
He gritted his teeth, for the dull pain was striking his very core.
“I promise after all this, we’ll leave this all behind. I promise that we’ll go far from here…just us.”
Why were the words escaping now? Why was he being so irrational, but he couldn’t think at all and no concise conclusion was coming up. No take aways from the situation except to run. Except to forget the world and be on their own terms. Make it together. This felt extremely appealing and yet, he knew how ludicrous it was, but he couldn’t banish it entirely, for he was a different man away from her, so distant and ice cold but even then, he wanted to put his hands on that fire. He wanted to be warm too.
He wanted to lay down and just take her away from all this nonsense. Who cared about justice or even changing hearts? Let Shido deal with it on his own and just leave one day without saying a word to anyone, all with determination and dashing to that starting line.
“I want what you want and if you want to leave, then we will do that. I want you always to be happy even at the expense of my own moods.”
“You’re silly. I want that too, for you. It’s funny how contradictory it all is as we want the best for each other. Goro,” Tiptoeing at the highest point, she landed a kiss that was wet and lavish that he had to reciprocate back, only with more confidence and no intent to stop, hands roaming and tongues reaching to the back of mouths, slobbering over each other.
Then as the passion heated up, he found himself carrying her over the threshold to the bed, marking the feelings in his actions; and as the clothes fell to the way side and soon he was on top pushing himself into her. That was how close he could get to her, so close and yet, there was no rhythm or rhyme to his heart. It just was. It just had to be.
Sweat beaded off his brow but somehow with a lot of vigor, he continued shoving himself forward and always, he looked at her fact, even if her eyes were shut, there was enough of the feelings in the air.
Almost like a fog. A thickening fog.
All tangled up in each other, almost ready to say the wrong words but with a hushed whisper, they were in sync, almost throwing away the responsibilities of the day to be together. Almost too vulnerable for their own good and with a closing happiness, and which they both had to exit from but not now. Not as pleasure rocked them both, with Alix’s fingers digging into his back and then lightly trailing down.
If it was so simple as to forget then they both would…
If it was so simple to say no to the world, they would, and slowly, Akechi understood the tricks of love.
I apologize for writing such a short chapter but I seriously can't think. My cousin died the other day...and yeah, I was super super close to her and it is a nightmare to my family and my aunt, whom I've always considered my mother.
It didn’t hit her, it didn’t hit him that everything unraveling but as the media changed and The Phantom Thieves were branded as criminals, but did he really believe that? Things really ramped up but with Akechi appearing more and more on television, his heart was always pounding. Always floating away with him but with some luck, Alix seemed to anchor him and yet, there wasn’t doubt from him that she could do so.
It was another t.v appearance but it was the preshow and he was seated in his chair in the dressing room appropriated for him, the one he always used. The one that he got ready in, but what was he readying himself for? Another condemnation on The Phantom Thieves and a sweet, sweet revenge on Akira. The one Akechi always dreamt up and while this was occurring, Alix didn’t stay away from Leblanc’s but, how could she not? Did she figure out that The Phantom Thieves was led by Akira and his friends? She gave no indication and wondered if she had figured out Akechi, that she would immediately pick on Akira’s double life, but it seemed only that Akechi knew.
Soon, she would too.
“Come on.” He said distracted by the fidgeting of his striped tie, but the changing image in the mirror, he abrupted stood.
“Alix...what are you-?”
“You’ve been on t.v more and more, and I just thought-however, stupid, that I should congratulate you, so I got these for you. I knew a lady at a flower shop and she gave me these.”
In her arms, a large plastic wrapped around a bouquet of roses-redder than the sun at sunset and possibly conveying the envious of true love.
“I don’t think you like flowers, but this is customary to give them to a star-at least that’s what my American t.v shows say.”
“You watch them too much, even now.”
“I wish I did still, but this is fine. Goro…”
Her eyes were meaningful and large but with a simple tug of the inners of his heart, he rammed his body against her and the wall all the while with his tongue tasting her scarlet lips. Her lipstick smearing on his plain lips, but his tongue was rolling all over in her mouth and she was squealing but began moaning. His breath felt hotter and soon, he was unbuttoning his blazer and throwing it off.
More and more, his white long-sleeved shirt was going to have the same fate, but could he really do this now?
A quick smirk and look at Alix’s closed eyes, made it possible for him continue, almost now unzipping his pants and lifting her dress and even her.
“Oh, Goro.” She mumbled running her fingers through Akechi’s tangled free hair from top to bottom.
“I love you and want you badly, all the time. Shhhh.”
Then as he entered, she shuddered, and he felt the sensation through his own nerves, completely together. Completely one.
His own groaning was trying to reach top and echo through the room, but he held back the pleasure and began thrusting back and forth, and his fingers trailing over her bare shoulders now. Her naked body, and his’ following soon.
He kissed the scalp and began holding her warmly, fingers now digging lightly into her skin but never harming. No marks. No pain.
She returned in kind to grabbing him and pulling his hair, but no signs of aggression on her part, as they both knew what felt right and wrong.
“Is this the wrong time…”
“Alix…” He muttered. “Do you wish me to go on my knees for you?”
The motions were beginning to quicken but his mind was buzzing, and his heart was resonating to the sounds of footsteps in the hallways.
“Too soon? Nothing is too soon for you.” He smiled cruelly but it was a kind cruelty and one that she enjoyed so much. “Not now, but it is soon. Soon, my sweet Alix.” He cooed.
The climax was erupting for them both and soon, it ended with them flat on the floor and them huddling with no space in between; And what felt like eternity, he kissed the sleeping Alix, resting his head on her shoulder.
The bouquet, all the while under foot, were crushed and bright red petals scattered around them, almost a scenic way to end love making. Almost a way to find serenity.
He gathered her up and carried her to the chair and gently put her head on the dressing room table as both arms were laid down carefully and to make sure, he kissed her goodbye and stepped outside into the blazing spotlight.
When he returned, Alix was gone, and the bouquet was further stepped on and the petals were breaking up and then he noticed a note written in English.
English that he could understand and yet, a certain dread filled the inner parts of him, and with that, he took off and while he could fathom the idea that Akira could spill everything including The Phantom Thieves’ membership, but Alix shouldn’t know. She knew enough and yet, if Akira dared do it, then the position would be harder to reverse, and her world go bottom out.
Her world and yet, he was worrying too much but knowing how Akira was reckless, the secrets would come out, but at least, none of The Phantom Thieves knew Akechi’s involvement in any of the mental shutdowns or psychotic breaks, and he would take it that way.
If he could only touch the external parts of his mind but it felt floaty and nonsensical to be honest and while he ran inside Leblanc’s, the scene was playing out upstairs. What laid there?
Angry voices repeating over and again the seriousness of the situation seemed masterful and quite subtle, but Alix was never the one to dismiss the ideas and feelings of others; That was what Akechi feared.
Akira’s voice rang out, and with some shuffling, he had snatched Alix out of the moment, and grabbed her against her wishes but she didn’t fight, didn’t stutter any response except the silence of eternity.
“How could you-Why didn’t you say anything to me!?” She broke down right as Akechi made him move upstairs but crept to the edge, waiting and perhaps misunderstanding entirely.
“Would you believe me otherwise? I wanted to know that I am doing some good in the world. Can’t you see that?”
“I know. You helped me so much-”
“Huh? You mean…?”
“Your change of heart didn’t come from us, though we bet it was the black mask that did so. You could have died…You could have and yet, I wanted to be the one that saved you.”
“Akira, you’re ridiculous.” She sneered.
“You really believe that, don’t you? This is my secret and that’s why I led you to the Metaverse.”
“You can’t be serious…and yet, your face says all. You don’t know the great lengths I went to not face it, but in the end, you were ridiculously stupid. You put your friends and yourself in danger-if my heart didn’t change, would I be here?”
“You would. Now, I ask this of you, please, please, never forget what has been done and whether or not if we changed your heart, it happened, but I want to thank you for saying you believed in us, in front of all of those people and opening my heart a bit more.”
“I don’t get you…like at all.”
“You don’t have to. You don’t have and yet, I’ve felt my peace here.”
“Didn’t I say that I could? You aren’t struggling anymore, are you?”
“That isn’t the point. This cannot happen, and I cannot accept your admission to anything…I want to tell you that this isn’t right and that I am frightened for you. That I want to save yourself from this all.”
“Don’t be heroic at all. Be yourself.”
“Easy for you to say, but I worry about you and…”
“You mean Akechi? He has you, doesn’t he? What more can a man ask for?”
Alix bit her lip.
“Don’t be stupid, Akira. I know what I want, and you cannot change that and yet, you persist. Why?”
“That’s not what you told me…”
“Forget what I said then. It doesn’t matter anymore.” She shook her head.
“Just, please. We talked enough at this and strained ourselves to the point of exhaustion and yet, you wanna believe that a chance exists. I don’t understand that notion and yet, you make no sense in the slightest.”
“I can’t help it. I wanna believe, I wanna hope for something more.”
With a stain of the lingering moments, he tipped her chin upwards and this time, she returned the feeling, almost swinging her arms to his side.
Then like the moment, she pushed off.
Akechi spun his heels and left, defeated and dejected. What was going on? Why was this…? No, she wasn’t…? He felt the ugly jealously and like before, it roared and before he knew it, he was falling apart against the walls of Yongen-Jaya, almost burying his heart, straining this time, too.
It wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle and yet, he couldn’t, couldn’t blame himself for this all.
Alix Breton's Font: Crafty Girls
Chapter 24: Maybe?
Where I shamelessly plug in wonderful artists that make wonderful art for me <3
I commissioned all of these :D
Chapter 25: proditionem praeveni proditione
The proposition had been set with The Phantom Thieves at Shujin’s school festival and like that, Akechi had the position to out Akira’s actions more and more, but how could Akechi reconcile Alix’s own indiscreet behavior? No, Akira had broken the last barrier by taking advantage of her to a clearly extreme degree but what was set was the plan. The plan to go on and Akechi had to keep hoping and believing that the end would be in sight and Akira would get the death he deserved.
Akechi didn’t change but in fact, embraced Alix more and more as he felt that her being an accessory could soil her even more, yet, her face was completely a mystery. She had some regrets in the beginning, but could she really be at his level? Though, she didn’t speak of Akira, Akechi knew that she was bothered by it entirely through her changed demeanor, but she confided softly to herself, only.
“Why d-do you that!?” She burst into tears.
Akechi snapped to attention.
“I knew you were there and still did it.”
Her face hidden.
“What has gotten in me to hurt someone I love? I just wanted to shut Akira up and him being the leader of The Phantom Thieves…really hurt for some reason, and you weren’t there, until, I did that. Why did you have to do that!?”
She was slumping down but by some grace, Akechi caught her, her arms locked with his’. She wouldn’t fall without him, so that they could rise together.
“I needed you and you weren’t there…I knew you were come, too, so I left that message. I left the letter, so you would come and save me.”
She rolled against Akechi’s chest and hid her face more, with her hair growing wildly and falling tenderly around her neck.
He swept a hand through it and caught some strands then had a handful which he yanked on, and snatched her against his hot lips; lips that wanted some sensation, and which he could find in her. She had warmed him when he had been luke warm inside and now, she was reaping what she sowed, and he’d take all she was worth and more.
His hands roaming against her bare shoulder now, and soon her bare chest against his’. The clothes were not causing any more friction against them and again, he could be naked against and hold her. He could just love on her like he should and there wasn’t a talk of forgiveness as he already gave it freely to her, and knowing her too intentionally well, and Akira’s penchant to act rashly, just made the process easier for Akechi; But he didn’t forget how he felt that day, gasping. His jealously was a monster, a monster that he hoped to lock again.
One, he’d use to kill, used to enact vengeance but with a sway, he held fast and still; His hands grasping her small body and falling back onto the bed, her hair and his’ tangling together.
“I know, and I should have been there, but now, I am. Just be quiet and listen.”
Poking her cheeks, the tears halted.
His lips fell back into place to her’s ; and happy tears just sprang up, and he tasted the salt and heaviness she was experiencing, almost enjoying and reveling in her sadness, as it brought them closer, still.
“I have every right to feel like you do. I have every right to take you…”
Moments and he felt powerful, as if the choices had been of his own volition and for the first time, he wasn’t being followed around by obligations or subjects to whims except to his own, and finally, the chains were lifting; The strings holding him were being cut, and soon, he’d make it known that nothing mattered, but did it? When everything dissolved, he found himself inside her, pulling her closer more and more, feeling the inside of her constrict and then contract, almost by magic, almost by instinct.
He couldn’t stop and didn’t want to.
Even when he heard his cell’s notification for text, he continued, pushing onwards, hoping perhaps a pregnancy would happen immediately and then he’d use that pretense to marry her; Though he knew it was too soon without it, but he wanted it to happen, and wanted her to feel the joy he didn’t-a family-a domestic life.
He could slip into that.
Without that, he spilled all of himself back into her, drawing her flimsy body against him, feeling the numbness that followed intense pleasure. Throbbing pleasure.
“You mentioned that you wanted to run away and my promise to make it happen; I have another thing I wish to add: Marry me. Let’s do it soon.”
“Goro, yes.” Her words were muttered but with an unmistakable calm, he pressed her further against his chest.
“I already did it. I already got your gift-your ring. I planned to hand it out for Christmas, to you.”
“Goro.” She whispered, her fingers tickling the soft spots of his arm. “It isn’t like you to be impatient.”
“Maybe not, but some things are too precious to pass up.”
“Goro Akechi.” She said pushing her head up and staring at his chin and beyond. “I love you too much and we’re in this together, you know?”
“We are, and the next phase of the plan is coming along.”
“Do tell me.” She detached and began picking up her discarded shirt and draping over her shoulders but Akechi was quicker and found himself all wrapped up in her again. “Is there anything I can do?”
“I think I have most of it covered but, I want you to get much closer to…Akira. I want you to…”
The plan forming was almost too real and out of ear shot, and while it was happening, Alix was containing a smile. Was she truly enjoying this? Did Akechi make an innocent girl worse than a beast?
“You won’t hurt…Akira, right?”
Akechi’s eyes shot back at her, and the sensation of hate made him redder than when Akira took advantage.
“I don’t…want…to see him..hurt, at all. I know that you’re scheming these things, but, I don’t want anything to happen to him. I know, it is silly to think that about a guy that has been harassing me constantly with his overtures of love; but he’s still a good person.” Her eyes now darting away. “Promise me, Goro Akechi, that you won’t dare harm Akira Kurusu. That you will just bring justice to The Phantom Thieves and get them disbanded as you said.”
“You have to!” She cried flinging the shirt off and pushing him away; her eyes now wet, almost caring for that stupid bastard Akira, what a sorry way to accept defeat but Akechi wasn’t admitting much.
“I have to get rid of him.”
“Not like that! Goro Akechi!”
“Please don’t hate me as I can’t promise Akira Kurusu’s life.”
“I wouldn’t hate you…I’d just be really sad and if, it has to be, then I can’t say more than necessary…it is just that I …”
He crumpled her up in his free-falling arms.
Embracing the feeling till he felt exhausted, and knowing that he wouldn’t leave her.
Chapter 26: Malum quidem nullum esse sine aliquo bono
Eyebrows furrowing but with a simple change of the upper lips, Alix found herself in the company of Akira, again, but this time alone while Sojiro busied himself by going in and out of the back kitchen. The aroma of coffee was stinging her eyes, but only because she was trying softly to herself, and Akira’s hand was extended out and gripping the very tips.
“I had to see you-I had. I can’t let anything happen to you-or Goro-I just…”
“Does that mean, you love us both?”
It was quite sudden but with some careful pushing, she retained her form, so she wouldn’t be a mess; but wasn’t that what Akira wanted? The reciprocation? The very thought of him dominating her mind but she wouldn’t call any of it love, for she wasn’t entirely sure, but she knew definitely knew Goro was her source of happiness, if not all. How did a single person take up all the space in the known universe and yet, have dark spots everywhere?
“I love Goro Akechi, simply-but I deeply care about you-Akira Kurusu.”
He grinned madly. “You love us both and denying it will not end up well. It looks like my pursuit worked fine.”
“N-Nonsense!” She snorted. “You’re quite the stupid one, here. I told you again and again-”
“Yes, I get it. You love Akechi, but you still care about me when you shouldn’t. It drives you crazy, doesn’t it?” He leaned towards her. What a cocky bastard, he was but he was also handsome in the dim light of Leblanc’s.
“Akira Kurusu!” And that was all she said as he kissed her, drawing his breath in and sticking his tongue in her open mouth and receiving a response back. Her tongue turning and twisting over his’.
“This is w-wrong.” She gasped. “You’re making me a bad guy, Akira.”
“I saw nothing wrong with that, did you?”
“You’re too carefree, you know? Regardless, I am here for a reason, today and no-I didn’t want to be bugged but rather, tell you and maybe say-Be safe. Be careful, because I feel like something bad will happen to you, and I rather that not happen but I can’t prevent it and it might happen…”
He replied with another tender kiss but instead on the lips, and parting slowly.
“I promise you, that I’ll be alright and whatever worry you have, it is all for nothing.”
“You’re something, you know that, Akira Kurusu?”
“I’ve been told.”
He had impressed her heart but it wasn’t love-at least true love and even if she felt guilty, she knew that Goro needed this but, it felt muddy and yet, her concerns were valid and she couldn’t stop thinking about Akira or Goro. Why was her heart torn? Why was she crying steadily?
“Hey. Hey. If Goro fails you, I’m still here.”
“You’re so stupid, Akira.”
“I try to be and only for you and it certainly worked, didn’t it?”
She was a horrible human being for saying and doing these things but, she couldn’t stop Goro’s preemptive actions and she’d be powerless then but at least, she could spend some quiet time with Akira and celebrate his silliness; Celebrate and cherish what time he had less but had he considered her warning seriously? No, but she did try so hard and yet, wasn’t foolish enough to betray Goro. Not from this. Not any of this, but could she hurt Akira, then? She was fighting back from saying more and it was better this way.
She got up, clinging to herself and exiting Leblanc’s.
“I love you.”
A voice rang out, but she couldn’t understand if it came from her or him, but wherever it came from, it was true. It was true for someone.
Akechi’s voice was gone as soon as the bullet entered in Akira’s head and a grand satisfaction was being shown but it was through Akechi, and only him. He was losing a rival, but it was an unwanted rivalry that he wouldn’t miss. A rivalry in goals, ideals and love.
But how would Alix react to the news being broadcasted all over Tokyo? Surely, Akechi knew that Akira cared about her, but when Akechi had sent her on that little mission, he didn’t expect to be furious in jealously, so much that his stomach was nauseous and rumbling to the high heavens. The agony of knowing that she could be in Akira’s arms or even kissing him, was dreadful, simply dreadful and worse, the desire to kill Akira was increasingly prominent despite Alix’s wishes. Akechi would be the one to favor and possess her affections and it was perfectly fine-fine to kill a rival that was meant to bring him down.
The end was higher and closer than he could dare dream.
Masayoshi Shido would pay but with a calming grin, Akechi put away the silencer and laid the gun in Akira’s limp hand and left, almost feeling the churn in his stomach; but it had to happen, and then the news would be blasted through t.v and…
His grin vanished and the sickening wave of nausea hit him, as if remembering Alix’s words.
“I don’t…want…to see him…hurt, at all...”
Though there was some wonder what was said before Akira’s death, it wasn’t meant to be good in the slightest but Akechi could put this behind him and finish what was begun at his birth, but did he have to let her go?
He felt chilled, and almost had to catch himself, but he had to be presentable, and always ready, ready for anything, but he knew that Alix would be besides herself-Yet, what could he do? The plan to destroy The Phantom Thieves existed from day one and she only got into the mix because of him, Goro Akechi.
“Akira Kurusu…you did that intentionally, didn’t you?” He asked himself, realizing now that Akira’s actions towards Alix was to be the foil against him, Akechi, but why did Akira bring it that far? Did he fall this time to his own machinations? He must have fallen hard, and cracked open his skull…but now, that was a reality to gasp and to smother in. “I should have seen it then, and now…it’s over. No more nuisance and yet, you did manage to succeed, didn’t you? Bastard.”
Alix’s face remained in Akechi’s head and nearly he faltered when he found outside’s changing seasons, the time that could be rejoiced at and yet, felt void of anything.
“I should have protected you better…I should have known better, too.”
The war wasn’t over and maybe Christmas could come and go without the interference of The Phantom Thieves. Christmas, would be the time to propose.
Alix nearly fell over but with some luck, she was saved by arms of passersby’s and while, no one seemed to notice her sobbing, they began recognizing her-that’s what t.v did and who could forget Goro Akechi and his girlfriend?
They were still the stars and yet, blasting on the biggest screen with the newscaster completely stoic reporting the latest news.
But going repeatedly, and hearing the words that Akira spoke so tenderly, and it was her that told him that she loved him and that he had been right the entire time. How could her heart be torn in two? How could she savage the feelings, the deepest parts of herself? How could she face Akechi, now? How could she be an accessory to murder now and look at herself now? How could the mirror lie further?
“Yeah, you’re right…I didn’t think she’d…”
Ripping and being sewn back together then forcing the seams to burst forth-her heart was gone and she nearly collapsed again, but she couldn’t let go and no wonder why she wouldn’t try-Akechi and Akira were different and yet, she was pulled to them both in separate ways, but could she really be faithful anymore? Why was she breaking her rule of being loyal? What the hell was wrong with her?
She couldn’t let go and from her mouth, came a scream of despair and tears that seemed to drown out the whole world and hinder any ability to walk or stand and so hands grabbed her failing body and her imbalance felt stronger than ever, so why…why try anymore? Could she go back to Akechi or run away? Run away to Leblanc’s? With an added vigor, her body sprung to life and she found the beat of her own running heart going away from her, yet, she had to know. She had to feel anything at all.
The familiar street of Yongen-Jaya came up and she almost felt breathless, pushing open the door, greeting the scent of coffee and home, almost forgetting herself.
Puffy eyes, maddening fluttering heart, and she sat down at the counter, her arms covering her arms.
“Are you…alright?” Sojiro Sakura inquired, surprised at the sudden reaction that she brought in, but she couldn’t talk with the tears choking her but she tried and struggled. Tried harder than most.
“I don’t…know…” She mumbled in between the breaking sobs.
“Hey…you aren’t…this ain’t a break up with Akechi is it?”
“N-No, it’s about Akira.”
“What happened with him?”
No, the secret couldn’t be real. The secret she had to protect.
“I already know and I know that he’s dead.”
“I couldn’t protect him! I warned him! I tried my hardest…what’s wrong with me?”
“Nothing.” Sojiro said pulling the conversation back to reality. “But he did talk a great deal about you, and no doubt, he left a few things for you in his room and while, I could-It’s better if you go.”
Her feet were jelly and yet, she found the courage to enter the attic and remember the musty smell of life in his room-the scent that she always felt against her-the scent that permeated his body, the one that she loved.
Though, everything felt ordinary in his room, her eyes searched a wide area until something caught that glance, and with steady steps, she approached the carefully wrapped box, Christmas themed with a green bow.
Her favorite color-how did he know?
Clutching the note, she took the box with her, down she went, till she felt the wild urges to rip at it, and found a smaller box-a jewelry box, one that housed a ring, but it wasn’t grand enough to be an engagement or wedding ring but a simple ring, she believed to be a promise ring. It was a sending of love, a meaning long known then hidden.
Akira Kurusu's Handwriting Font: Ak-Japonesque at Freejapanesefont.com
The calling card for Alix Breton (if it had been sent)
Had fun with this one:D
Font: Earwig Factory Font
Chapter 29: Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit
Akechi didn’t expect the worst when he came home, alone and without light to the apartment, but with some urgent signs, he realized that Alix was gone to Leblanc’s-where else would she be? She was certainly close to Akira and while, Akechi knew that this had been one big game that he unwillingly participated in and knew that it only tore Alix more in the direction of someone else. The opposite direction from his standing.
Goddamn, Akira Kurusu.
Why was he doing this to, Goro Akechi? The world-famous Ace Detective? The next and upcoming Detective Prince? He deserved those accolades, but they were wrought with deception and loneliness, and those were the things that he did to survive from but, Alix, Alix, Breton. Why that felt stunning was unbelievable to him, and it was that his worth derived from: his ability or inability to properly love and maybe that’s why Akira’s plan worked. Maybe, maybe, it felt that Akechi lost the war instead of a single battle because while he took down The Phantom Thieves’ leader, he was left standing over nothing-a pyrrhic victory. Something he didn’t take any pleasure in when it meant losing what he found value, priceless value in.
His eyes were wet, but he wasn’t crying and so what was this frustration? Was losing the war worse than leaving Alix behind, leaving any sort of love he couldn’t have found elsewhere?
He straightened up, wiping what little dignity he had and alerted himself to the petite footsteps of her.
“I…guess..he’s not home. Man, this is worse than anything…but what can I do? Why are you asking too much of me, Akira? I can’t accept this and yet, I took it.”
Akechi’s head tilted but no more movement or sound emanated from him, only the stifling noises of his clogged-up breath, and he saw her the slowed steps ground to a half, and a necklace with a small ring bouncing down from her neck.
She quickly swiped the ring into her fist, and breathed into it.
“You’re asking too much…you know that? I can’t love someone like you…not fully, if anything at all. I love Goro Akechi and that’s who’s heart I intend to be strong against. I don’t care how much you profess your heart to me, I can’t go away from how I feel. I should just throw this away…I was already promised something already.”
Quivering and now, full on trembling, her sobs were echoing around Akechi, and the impulse to sweep in, felt too much and was too overconsuming.
Already, he knew what she meant-the ring-the gift of marriage for Christmas, the one he wanted to give-the one that his heart achieved.
She ripped the necklace off and with a heavier heart, pocketed it, sighing harshly, before slumping and carrying her head in her arms, all the while bringing her knees closer together.
“I’m sorry, Goro. I’m sorry for hurting you in this and I’ll do what I can to give more love to you, even if it takes an eternity or if my life gets exhausted in the process.”
“I don’t want that.”
“G-Goro.” She squeaked, falling all over herself to stand and instead as he appeared and took a moment to be besides her on the floor, holding his own knees to himself and leaning his head on her warm shoulder. As it should be and now that Akira was dead, then they could find the harmony again but how should Akechi approach it now?
His gloved hands, now vulnerable and with that, he gripped Alix’s limp hand and she returned it with strength.
“No one said it was easy.”
“Is that, so, Goro?”
“I learned that much from you and this whole experience.”
“You’re catching on and therefore, I didn’t want to fall in love anymore because it was debilitating, but you changed me, you know?”
“No, you changed me and gave me worth and a reason to live other than revenge; I see that now with you and thus, I can’t hold back anymore.”
Love wasn’t too bad, at least with a moment’s sincerity, he could now envision that photograph, and it didn’t matter anymore. It didn’t concern him because it felt open and the endlessness was flowing from her eyes.
Her head lifted.
“Will you marry me?”
Perhaps, love meant something and made him crazier than before and yet, he couldn’t help what his heart desired, what it was inside.
“Goro Akechi.” She muttered in an enlightened state but with the moment seeping in glorious light, she took his head in her hands and kissed him as hard as she could-her answer wrapped into the moment.
Perhaps love. Perhaps love was something he’d keep to himself and know with that, he knew he had been incorrect all the time as her heart really didn’t belong to him. Her heart was sealed in that kiss and he accepted it with ease.
Perhaps love was just as wonderful as he didn’t imagine and now with widened eyes, he held on.
“You’re silly proposing marriage like that, but I am not too surprised at how you feel.”
“Is that not..?”
“But I’ll be your fiancée and no matter how long the engagement is, we’ll always have the promise of marriage.”
He smiled and thought, perhaps love could be in anything, that he could walk alongside it.
Chapter 30: Puella in somnio
“Say it isn’t true, Akechi-kun!” The female cohost exclaimed bringing her hands together, in a clapping gesture but without the noise; But Akechi was smiling, this time, not feigning and instead clenching Alix’s hand.
“I’m afraid it is, but I plan on this engagement to be a long one until we can legally marry.”
“Oh, yes! You’re only 17, aren’t you, Akechi-kun?” The male cohost chimed in.
“What say you, miss Alix?”
Alix’s voice piqued up as a sense of sincerity piled on her, the kind that couldn’t be bought but instead given so freely. “I am only 17, myself, but yes, I agree with Goro, that our engagement will continue, and I couldn’t be happier, too!” She blushed.
“Akechi-kun and you make the cutest couple, I say! We wish for your many years of happiness when it is time!”
The bright lights were off and most of the audience were leaving except some lingered like a group of teenage girls but Akechi smiled, waving a hand and pushed his way back to the dressing rooms and muddy brown hallways. He was used to this now but surprisingly, he found Alix in his dressing room and all the while, just casually playing with her shoulder length hair.
Her hands now reaching and taking Akechi by his tie and bringing him into a sensual kiss; reciprocating right away, his heart was beginning to throb and with a sudden slight of hand, he pushed Alix close to his chest, almost bringing a close to the riveting pain.
“Now, we can be happy.” He said with a sigh.
“We always were, but if you mean that, then, yes. We don’t have to worry about anything, but I ask-will you still go on with the rest of your plan?”
“You don’t have to say your reasons-I already know. Oh, Goro, let us just forget this and still run away.”
“You still wish to do that?”
“You promised, don’t forget that.”
His gloved fingers longed to be free and with much obligation, he released them and soon, they were caressing the side of her cheeks and roaming through her hair. It was too precious and almost so good and yet, as her hair slid between those same fingers, he clasped her tighter still.
“I did, didn’t I?”
“No more public appearances, no more of this madness, either.”
And her voiced echoed all the way home in the now damp air that was threatening to get colder, and even with Christmas closer and closer, the hope that had spread in him, took off. What would it find? Who could predict the future?
Would he have an ordinary life now? Yes, he could, yes, he would and be damned if someone could rip it from him and even though, Akira had tried, the example was made-intimately and professionally.
Their loving making was intense with her, exploring the undiscovered spots of his body, riding him, and just feeling her mouth on him; Akechi felt like bursting but he held on. Held onto when she tasted him yet again, putting his cock into her mouth and sucking, then the stroking came, and he grabbed her during and just let the moments pass before entering her again.
Being over her, was a power grab, but he was tender throughout and when all was done and he cummed inside but continued to grasp her so tight.
“I love you.” He whispered, nearly struck at the beauty of it all and wanting not to release.
Sweet kisses were planted on his neck and he returned it back harder, and harder till, he felt his cock pump back up and the urge was strong, but he wanted to be quiet with her, more.
This passed too, and he was lying in the bed, sprawled and glancing at the ceiling-so why did it feel unique to him? Why was he now, noticing the signs?
Alix was sleeping, clinging onto the sheets but with a small sigh, he felt her movements, her motion and soon, with hands clasped, his fingers spread throughout her now, fallen hair.
And that was how it began and ended, didn’t it?
How the days passed into legend…how the world revolved and yet, he knew the sudden shift in feelings, would end up faltering by.
And it wasn’t until he crossed the busy streets, that his cell phone rung, but it wasn’t a voice, but heaving, and immediately, his stomach dropped.
His body took flight and with the streets blending in with the lights, he knew exactly the worst thing has occurred.
Goddamn it. Why had Shido done what he done? No, Alix wasn’t safe; Not with Shido’s hand clencing her throat. Not literally but it was there. It was there, and a frantic pace caught up with him, till he found the familiar beats of the ground, and buildings.
Till, he had the momentum to tread the rest of the way there.
Lost in nightmare, lost in his own hallucinations; He could only summarize Shido’s approach to Alix and whatever problems her existence caused, but Akechi wouldn’t do that, never harm anything.Not that he hadn’t cured her, but the fact, that he wouldn’t dare hurt her in this reality, this world. In no world.
And like that, his hands caught the photograph and briefly the image was clearer than anything.
Chapter 31: What is Right
Alix and Akechi
Affirming what the truth could be…Akechi was dazed as the scene played before him, but why had the sensation tided over her and leave him completely paralyzed? And why was he entangled in such raw and beguiled feelings?
Her hands were tied as the rope dangled behind as she stood, with a puzzling look and Shido was in his chair with his hands on his chin and expressing a most undetermined annoyance.
“You don’t deny it, do you?” He snapped.
“Whatever we discussed has nothing to do with Alix.”
“That gives me my answer.”
Shido pressed harder.
“You know that you put this plan in jeopardy!?”
“There isn’t any plan anymore.”
“So, you’re bowing out, and yet, you wish to stay unharmed? It can’t be.”
Akechi froze. “Yes, it is possible.”
“You’ll foolish. Very foolish, and yet, she’s be the casualty that you sought.”
“I didn’t seek anything, but you did. I strived to end my powers’ usage.” Akechi exclaimed, not excitedly but rather plainly, his fingers dropping and the warmth receding from his ears. “Her palace is no more, and I made sure, myself, before The Phantom Thieves.”
“Boldness equates to happiness, don’t you think, Shido-san?”
“I don’t think, I know.” Shido cried out, more pissed than ever as the defiant Goro Akechi stood before him, with Shido showing Akechi how to properly use his powers but now, with Akechi’s involvement with a mere girl, he was leaving, unscathed.
It wouldn’t be so.
“You thought of every angle, didn’t you?”
“I do try to be prepared.”
“Since, I have the upper hand in this situation, I find that I must pull a check mate.”
Yes, Alix was collateral here and Akechi hated that thought, that mere disregard for her existence, her life now being played with dishonest hands. The ace in a lost hand but with some trick, Akechi could win, couldn’t he?
“What do you wish for me to do?”
“You’ve seen my calling card.”
Waves of remembrance flooded back to Akechi and the big screens in Tokyo had been taken over The Phantom Thieves and knowing that Akira bested him in the end, resonated deep hate. Deep loathing, but that was then, and this was now. Akechi could still get out.
He could take Alix and run away.
He could take everything far behind him, and just grasp her hand; It would be all right to leave, right? Yes, they could just run and no doubt, keep the pace as long as she was by his side.
If he fell, if she fell, then they’d get back up and make it to a new place with new dreams.
A new life.
“You’re asking for me to finish the job?”
“You FAILED! That isn’t tolerable in the least, and since you’ve decided to leave, I have to take it in my hands. Akechi, you will intercept The Phantom Thieves and kill them before they enter my palace. Take them down.”
“Or you’ll harm her, right?”
“Yes. You’ll a very capable boy.”
And glancing back to her blank expression, Akechi knew what she probably thought-one last time but when he thought he could end the influence of Akira and even The Phantom Thieves, he was giddy inside but…her life depended on the end.
Shido was a worthless man.
He always would be.
“Alix, I’ll do this and then, we’ll be free, this I promise you.”
“GORO! Please, don’t-!!”
“Your life means more to me than anything present. I can’t promise that I’ll be back, but I’ll do what I can.”
“You have to promise! You have to! I refuse to let you go in by yourself!”
“It’s dangerous this time.”
“I don’t care! I won’t let you go alone!”
“Alix Breton.” Akechi mumbled aware that she was too reckless.
“Goro Akechi, my name is Alix Akechi. I promise that will happen after this year and I refuse to let you do this for my life. It isn’t worth much, this gesture, but I won’t let you face the worst. I must face him to end this.”
Akechi’s body stiffen.
“Then, if she’s willing to die, then I can grant that request.” Shido laughed.
“I wasn’t asking for permission.” She vehemently spat. “I know this to be the end of this chapter of a larger story, but I won’t know if I don’t go. Goro, please understand.”
“Alix, I suppose if you stay close, then, it shouldn’t be a problem and if she’s with me-Shido-san, then I can’t go anywhere. I too, have grievances against The Phantom Thieves especially the leader.”
Her eyes glistened with her tears.
“Then, the agreement is set.” Shido retorted.
With Akechi’s back against the ever-growing smirk produced by Shido, Akechi knew that this had to be the last time. It had to be.
Good for nothing man.
Good for nothing father.
Listened to the Openings of Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
Chapter 33: maxime splendent stellae obscurissima nocte
The words were sufficient and as they were played across Akechi’s mouth, the madness overtook him but his eyes darted over to the quiet Alix, but as she stood in awe, almost reaching out to Akira and to Akechi.
What did she think of the ultimate power that Akechi had?
It was difficult to decipher her facial expression and yet, with a high squeak and a plea, the situation felt sharper.
“You can’t do this anymore, you have us.” Akira’s voice brought itself closer.
“Bullshit. Bullshit.” Akechi spat.
“And is your time with Alix so meaningless? Surely, you see that we don’t blame you entirely. This is all Shido’s fault.”
And like that, going back hours before, Akechi recalled Alix’s strife and suffering at the hands of Shido and how she had to cooperate for her life sake and still, she chose to be here-chose to share the same fate as Akechi, but did she really deserve it?
“I know I said that I’d do this, but, I won’t lie and say I’m not scared.” Alix sighed and gripped her wrists after freedom caught up to her brain, and yet, she was trembling.
Akechi grabbed her shoulders, staring at her squarely in her eyes before shoving her into love, warmth and reassurance. He caressed her head with kisses and mostly, it was for him because he knew that this would be the end, this time. Akira wouldn’t get away, but, did she really want to kill him? She had hesitated before but now…
So, the long passionate kiss was drawn out and had him touching her breasts through her shirt and finally trailing down…his own heart throbbing and his cock rising but, like everything, it ended.
It always ended…
And now the fruition of all his plans were in play and this time, she was more than willing, more desire to let it happen but was she culpable now? Would this scene go smoothly? No, Akira was a nuisance, a gnat and now, Akechi could squish him, but as the words left, he was in regret and mourning-mourning what could have been if they had met sooner.
If he had met Alix sooner, too, would it be a different take on his life?
“I don’t need any of your bullshit friendship talk!”
“I know you don’t, but we are offering a hand to you. Why not take it? For not your sake but Alix’s?”
Lost in fury, Akechi lashed out-as if mentioning her name was sacrilegious.
“DON’T YOU DARE! I’ll kill everyone one of you and she’ll watch. We’ll end this together.”
“You’re dragging her into this? You’re quite terrible!” Ann screamed, and while the screams were muffled out by Akechi’s intense laughing, Alix’s body moved. It moved without a second thought and she stood at the crossroads, between Akechi and Akira, now both extending out their hands to her.
If choosing what was right rather than easy could make everything tremendously better, would she accept the consequences? Oh, she’d take it all in and suffer, too as she was not only a masochist but sadist too but was that right?
“I knew for awhile. I’m not innocent, either.” She spoke softly, as her eyes were averted from the disappointed face of someone she had hated but now loved so quickly. “I’m just as bad. I’m an accessory to his crimes and thus, I wanna share his fate, too.”
The other Phantom Thieves were in shock, as if rudely awaking to the divine devotion of true purity but, to die together was better than alone, and Alix was taking that in her heart. She wished to fulfill the prophecy as she was chosen to suffer, too. A martyr for the wrong causes, a martyr for love, for unwavering love and loyalty, but did Akechi want that same fate for her?
She wasn’t trash like him and undeserving because he could see in the light that she had a future other than with him, other than what this moment proposed and though, he never could give her the ring that was intended, he could call her something other than what was acceptable-his wife. In name only, nothing officially but did it matter? He had his mind and heart made up, and if he’d die, it would be alone. If he died, he’d bring Akira with him.
“I j-just didn’t know what to do. I j-just wanted…I don’t know but I know that no excuse can make up for the fact that I tried to get you killed, but instead I warned you, because I cared deeply for you, even love you, but I must stay true to what heart says is better. What is easier to accept.”
Akira’s hand swiped the air and like that, before them, Alix was in the middle, her eyes now looking upward, and body unsure and uninterested but in the heart, it wasn’t like that.
Parting and weaving words with her tongue, she let the tears speak for her; and they were cold and heavy-freezing and icing up her face. That was the only language she knew and was universal-agony, unrelenting and punishing agony, and the kind that love only brought when things turned sour. When the sun set in her heart and she lost herself.
She had a beating heart and had needs and wants like the need to live with Akechi, happily. She wanted the future that he never saw beyond Shido’s election. She wanted all the basic things in life: she thought she deserved it. She deserved it simply for being human and if she lost the happiness, would she bounce back? Would she stick to living lifeless? Would the gathering of loss keep her wallowing?
Sometimes there was a stab in the dark, and who would claim the loss? Would would claim the deed?
“You won’t.” Akechi found the will to say.
“You deserve a better man than myself. Not a broken man that cannot give you a future. A future where you will forfeit happiness and no one needs to die with me. I will kill The Phantom Thieves and if I fail, I’ll be alone.”
“NO! Don’t you dare-I said-I promised and you aren’t a damaged man-you have dark secrets but we all do and it doesn’t matter because we can do this together! And you will live and Akira will too. We cannot let Shido do this to us!”
“She’s right.” Akira replied quietly.
“I don’t care about it anymore. I don’t care as I’ve made up my mind.”
“Then why are you reaching to her?”
Akechi’s eyes widen because instinctively he wanted her by his side, but this time, he had to pressure himself to let go. He had to be cruel but was it within himself to do it? No, the sobbing was enough to shatter him and with that, he took the moment to keep extending his heart out.
It wasn’t about choice anymore but destiny, and that, he had no future.
He had no way to describe how short his life would be and so, he’d take whatever remaining moments and use them to his advantage.
“You still care. You want to live, too, and so come with us. Let’s defeat Shido, together.”
“No. I don’t care about that anymore. I may be responsible for all the mental shut downs and psychotic break downs but, I am sure to continue on this path, alone. Alix,”
“Go with Akira. Go with him and let him love you in the ways, I failed to.”
“You a-aren’t a failure. You m-matter to me, Goro Akechi. You matter, and I want to spend Christmas with you. I want to be your wife and I want to keep that happiness for us and run away. You promised. You promised that.” Her faltering voice running in circles, but with some chance, her exhaustion set in and she nearly fell until Ann caught Alix, the pain squirming on their faces and knowing the conclusion was set.
The tears waking up the solitude in Akechi and knowing to harness the power, the desire to kill and like that, Loki appeared over head and he lost sight of Alix in the shuffling on shadows and the onslaught of his own attacks on The Phantom Thieves.
Without a warning, Alix broke free from the spell and as the clashes went on, she sprung into the middle again and with profound effect, grappling onto Akira and then Akechi, pushing them together and then releasing. The best was yet to come because she wasn’t done-she never could be when any life was on the line, on no man’s land.
“Alix!” Akira found himself shouting while yanking onto her hair and pinning her down immediately, but like a vicious and unrelenting animal, she constantly snapped and wrestled with the inevitable. The inevitability of being alone again, of finding what was lost then losing again.
Then spinning down, Akira wisely held onto her failing body, her falling senses; and the care, the tenderness was evident in the touch and yet, she was unwilling, uncompromising to surrender but with the blurred faces of Akechi in her eyesight, she fell into the deepest parts of the darkness. The light swallowed by that dark, that pitch endlessness.
Akira was motionless, his arms full and striking a touch on her fair skin, her braid unkempt and frayed; with ease a kiss followed, as she dangled from his arms, almost dying for the sake of love. For the sake of saving Akechi and his damaged soul.
Akechi was prepared and like it could be and how it should be, the dying wish was fulfilled and as it all played out, the wall came down as the cognition of himself sprung up. How convenient and how coy that Shido thought of Akechi like that, but with all good things, he had to remind himself that death was only a part of forgiveness and without saying much, he yelled back to Akira in uncertain tones that he had “won” this game and that Akechi was imparting wisdom to Alix’s care.
“Take care of her and love her which, I failed and show her ways that she could have a future.” His voice was quivering and almost down, but with a remembrance, his time with her had been so short and yet, he realized the gravity of the feelings in his own heart. What should he do now? From the start, the uncertainty and then to the last words, the last wisdom, Akechi could redeem himself.
“I will. I will if she lets me.”
“Oh, she will, so don’t underestimate her in the slightest. I did and look at me now.”
Wasn’t it wonderful to die now? Wasn’t it wonderful to stop Shido? And all the while, the story had come to its close and yet, his yearning, his desire wasn’t met by this sweet sorrow; Not the only currently playing in his body, not the one that was beyond redemption.
The ring. The photograph. The proposal. All gone. All vanished in the air of death.
All gone. All dead like him, right?
All the dreams that had faded from his mind and the memories-were beautiful and almost did he cry, almost did tears threatened his well being, his composure in defeat.
With no hesitation, the shot was fired and then silence.
Chapter 34: disce quasi semper victurus vive quasi cras moriturus
The morning crept in, but all Alix could do was wake from this living nightmare, but as she soon found out…it was the cruelty that led her to sit up in Akira’s bed. Disheveled and lost, she began retracing the steps in her mind, but it was useless and besides, she didn’t want to wake up the sleeping Akira on the couch. Why hadn’t he held her? Why had he stayed by her side throughout the night terrors?
She sniffled before being swallowed by unfastening light cries.
Akira’s voice was quite influential and soon, she paid attention and whatever he had to say-she hung on the very still air, but it was blurry and inconsistent all in all but the sentences that piled together became meaningful.
“Go with Akira. Go with him and let him love you in the ways, I failed to.”
Goro hadn’t failed in any sort of way, but I guess being broken as he was-no, he wasn’t. There was always a little if not a lot of brokenness in people, not just him, and to be selfish to claim that-he was asking to die and yet, he did.
That got her. That entangled her senses and with a hushed tone, Akira was besides her, stroking her cheeks, almost ready to kiss her again, but she didn’t hesitate and initiated it readily. She needed comfort and yet, she wasn’t ready to let go.
Soon, she was in his hair and while, he wasn’t Goro Akechi, she still loved and cared about him, too and it was all his fault for being so damn persistent and playing this game with Goro.
It was a game up into real emotions were brought up, and all the care in the world didn’t matter but she remembered Goro’s own lips and the feeling of their love making so steadily, that she was wetting Akira’s frizzy black hair.
His hands were steady on her back, no force and yet, he was a comfort.
“I don’t want to lose anyone anymore. I don’t want to lose you either.”
“You won’t. I wish I could have saved Akechi...”
“It’s alright. I know you tried but he was so fucking stubborn in the end, but I guess, you’ve taken to heart his words. I just can’t forget them.”
“Is that so bad?”
Reassured, she wouldn’t give up on love and if she had to spend it with someone else, she loved, it wouldn’t be so bad, nor would she waste the opportunities given to her. Nor would she give up on herself, either, but she’d live the best she could. And it would be with Akira.
She chased the sleepless dreams, and soon, with heaving, she really did feel Akira and did she really clutch his unkempt and sleepy bed hair, but it was okay. It was okay, and she’d let him in fully if Goro accepted it already. Why had he been so selfless then?
Why was he willing to concede to Akira? Yes, it was for her and the sake of happiness.
“I can’t stay here, long.”
“Please, don’t go. I cannot lose anyone else-I told you, I refuse to lose you, too. You’ll live and not be selfish, either. I will and cannot let you go alone.”
“You’re so thoughtful, and no wonder Akechi felt the need to protect you. I know more about you, and know that your nature is sorrowful and yet, you had and have the slightest bit of hope in yourself.”
She grasped his limp hands and held them to her breasts.
“I meant what I said that day. I love you, too and that is why I don’t want you to keep fighting. You don’t deserve any of it.”
More wet and warm lips on her cold forehead or was she burning up? She couldn’t regulate what her body was doing anymore and yet, it was clear that she had forgotten or maybe remembered, that she had a clear mission and seeing Goro’s face so sharply in her mind forced the pain to resurface.
With a clear sigh, she sunk further into his black hair, but perhaps it didn’t have to end, but he’d have to go and finish the change of heart of Shido, unless it happened already and she had fallen to sleep?
“There’s more we have to do. More than ever. We have to change the people’s hearts.”
“Mementos.” She breathlessly and cowardly admitted as she had heard that phrase from somewhere and yet, it felt foreign on the tip of her mind. Why and how did she know of it?
Did it have to do with the Metaverse?
“Now that Goro entrusted you to love me, so please come back to me. Please live. Please, don’t disappoint me, too.”
A phantom of her imagination and of her heart.
“Hey. Hey. He did that because he really loved you and even if you couldn’t save him in the end, he wanted you to end up not alone. And while, I started this as a game…as a way to get back at him, in the end, I knew what was real; And this is real. This is how reality works as you and I, but this task…”
“But I will come back to you. I will do everything I can to fulfill his wish.”
“Akira,” Her grip loosened, and her face remained downcast. “He wasn’t a bad man or a bad person. Yes, he did those things and they were inexcusable, but there was humanity in him and he was just hurt. There was a child hurting in him and that’s why…why..I wish I could have met him sooner. If I could have ended this sooner or just…”
Akira nodded his head.
“I already know. I already know but, you will never forget him, I’m sure.”
Her eyes glistening with water.
“Oh, before I forget, Sae Niijima dropped this off along with spare clothes for you…it’s from him…”
“I know what it is.”
And the ring box wasn’t wrapped but a bright blue bow was tied around, and it simply wasn’t marked with a name but as Alix took the box to herself, Akira thrust a letter to her.
Font used for Akechi: Celestina
And see that
Leaving you was
The hardest part
And I’ve killed all that was
And yet, you made me gather
All the feelings I lacked
And took me to an effortless way
for a simple man
A man deserving of
A better and unrelenting tomorrow
It’s too bad
That I’m no longer being honored
Would you stay true to your words?
Would you stay true?
Was the worst
I’d ever do
And I’d have to it once
For the things I’ve accomplished
Why did I go back to the source?
Why did I falter in my heart?
Could I fail you
And yet, pity myself?
Leaving was the worst thing
And yet, I want you to stay true
Despite the living
Despite the goodbyes
The hidden rain soaked tears
Promise me that you’ll move on
that you’ll not hold the grudges
that my death won’t leave you
find me in a puddle after the rain
find me in the mirrors you glance at
the streets you cross
and so, glimpse into the future
leaving was harder than this
I couldn’t prepare myself
and yet, my apologies to
leaving too soon
before realizing my potential
before marrying my ideas of love
and of a demanding life
A demanding weakness
an unwavering death
But leaving was the hardest thing
and still, I regret
still, I regret dying without you
and still, leaving was the hardest
Did I mention that I'm a poet, too? Because I am :D
Chapter 36: Puella in somnio
It has been ages, maybe weeks after Christmas that Alix began living again, even then it was still a half life. A life meant to be shared.
She'd wish so hard for any signs of Goro Akechi but none and finding it hard to believe that he truly was dead. Gone and left unmourned except for her. She re read the note again and instead of sobbing like she always did, the tears were drying up.
Was she accepting of it now?
Akira was kind to her in the mean time and she hung out with him until he left for prison or some sort of horrible place but his friends pulled through and cleared his record. Lucky.
Did they not see the anguish in her, too?
What Akechi did...what he did remarkable and cruel yet so perfect in his eyes.
Then as she, one day, saw a slumped figure by Leblanc's and without considering why, rushed to help but her shock astounded her.
"G-Goro!?" She cried as he clung to her and she realized how alone they were outside the closed cafe.
"Alix," he gasped and she kissed the tip of his lips before falling back into his arms.
He was alive?
What miracle was this in this cold?
Goro Akechi was alive.
Chapter 37: Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit
Goro Akechi wasn’t fazed as much as Alix, but his death had been greatly exaggerated to the point of misrepresentation. A misrepresentation that cost him so much and consequences would follow him. His deeds as the black mask would surely land him in prison or worse, a swifter death yet she protected him fiercely in his once livable apartment. Emptiness at every turn.
“We’re meeting with Akira today. He’s leaving soon…”
Did it mean Sae-san, too?
His once ally in the Phantom Thieves of Hearts case.
“We will figure out something so you can avoid jail time.”
“Alix,” He started again in the fifth hour. “I deserve it.”
She shook her head vehemently, denying his deeds but for the moment, it could be easy to mount a defense based on being used and lied to by Shido but that could only go so far. This was Japan after all. Yet, convincing her was beyond his understanding as love was blinding her but if talking to Akira would yield some results then it was worth putting up with this happiness. This one that she solemn cried from.
Soon, Leblanc emerged slowly from the light and Akechi straightened himself up, now at a disadvantage as Akira and various members of the Phantom Thieves littered the café yet, Alix pushed through first.
“I guess, we should get started.”
Akira nodded as the discussions flowed from one another, but it was stilted as Akechi figured it would be.
“Akechi-kun, what has happened,” Makoto slowly continued. “We’ve talked about it all before you both came, and the crimes are definitely egregious.”
“Is there no hope for love?” Yusuke interjected.
“It’s more than that, man. Akechi really did a number out there and for how long, we don’t know.”
“Quite smart to say, Ryuji.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah. Anyhow, what was the consensus?” Alix asked eagerly.
“It usually ended with jail time and a stamp on his permanent record, honestly, seeing how it all is now…and seeing what we’re really fighting for? I don’t know anymore.” Makoto took the lead.
“Tough to call when love is on the line! How glorious!” Yusuke again took the second spot in the discussions, but it was merely semi-permanent because all of what they discussed was true. Akechi had done all these things and called himself a detective when, he was the cause, but Alix was determined if anything to find a better solution than jail. Separation wouldn’t be the cause or the effect of anything even if she continued to dream so beautifully.
“Is there any way?” Alix asked quietly.
“There might be one way. It’s tricky but using Shido, who already confessed can talk about Akechi, but he might need to plea-maybe no jail time or permanent record, but he definitely will lose his public image, if he cares about that anyhow.” Makoto didn’t fumble too much.
She was perfect.
“Is that fine, Akechi-kun?”
“Yes.” He replied instantaneously.
“I’ll talk to my sister and see what can be done but for now, let’s keep him clear and watched. Can you do that Alix-chan?”
“Then there shouldn’t be more to discuss other than that. We don’t need to worry about anything more since,” Those words were hung on and forgotten after the meeting and Akechi and Alix discreetly made it back to the apartment.
“You do so much for me, what is this kindness,”
“I love you; don’t you remember anything?” Alix asked swiping a few hair strands off his dry cheeks, but grabbing her hands, unfettered by gloves and for the first in a long time, taking human contact for the breath of fresh air it was. She was warm and even soothing in her gentle caressing.
What was in store for him, regardless?
“What did you intend with that gift of yours for Christmas?”
“An engagement ring.”
Akechi didn’t believe how he gathered the money to get it but it was a modest ring, a modest teardrop citrine ring with white topaz around. She wouldn’t want to as she cried over his note repeatedly, each day.
“I would propose marriage on the grounds of my heart.”
“Does it matter if it doesn’t come true?”
“It matters highly. As I’ve said in the note, that’s my true feelings I was unable to convey.”
“You conveyed them enough. You’re still here.” Alix breathlessly worded now careful, too though Akechi couldn’t blame her. He was afterwards passing his love to Akira for her to be more than just happy, gleeful but he had forgotten you couldn’t change the heart so readily. He couldn’t make her have a change of heart because hers were in stone and no Phantom Thief ought to mess with something so precious.
“Do you wish to stay with me even now? Even if my public persona is destroyed?”
“Yes. That isn’t a question. I could never say no to you. I shouldn’t have to.” Alix cheerfully answered now crossing her legs and leaning over Akechi. “Goro, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?”
“You’re even more beautiful than before.”
Akechi wasn’t the first to cry or admit anything even if anguish irked him deeply but seeing her devotion or at least seeing the contents of the box being revealed, he was grateful at least this last day in paradise. At least with her and the acceptance of the marriage proposal he never finished.
“Then I’m yours.”
Then it was an oath, a contract and like that, he felt the waves of satisfaction swell over him and their naked bodies falling into each other. At least, he never had to think twice in expressing who he was sincerely.
At least he’d never think twice on it now.
Chapter 38: Dum spiro spero
Akechi was found fumbling inside with all he’d ever done whether it be the mental shutdowns or the psychotic breaks but in his lone corner stood a small if determined Alix, his fiancée, basically now, striving for his freedom. She was doing all she could with the help of the Phantom Thieves and Sae even if Akechi didn’t see them again, the work had begun and how mighty it all proved to be. Alix’s shoulders were so broad, but could she stand the help?
Why wasn’t the world changing? Why did everyone believe in Shido, still? The Phantom Thieves weren’t done but it didn’t mean that Akechi was out even if his Personas were quiet inside.
How long had it been since then?
He wasn’t exactly counting the days so peacefully as he sat in his apartment as no appearances were scheduled, no come backs but who would blame him for staying away? No one.
“You’re leaving again?”
“Yeah, I guess, you could say that. Will you…do you want to go out?” Alix asked slightly messing with her braid as it was quite long at this point and he wondered if time really passed him by. Where had he been? Where was death standing in relation to him?
“I don’t think it’s wise-”
“A disguise is necessary, don’t you think?”
“Stop it. We had this discussion, Goro. Do I need to repeat myself?”
A kiss followed as he embraced her tenderly, even still, she was preventing the inevitable, his incarceration which he rightly deserved but her will to continue inspired him slightly.
There could be hope within this love of theirs.
“Don’t cry anymore. Don’t cry because of me. You’re doing all you can and you’re exhausting yourself, aren’t you?” He cooed checking the scarlet cheeks of her with streaking tears creating a pathway down and splashing down on his jacket. “Why you won’t give up…but you’ve always been obstinate, haven’t you? Alix, after this is behind us, let’s begin over.”
“G-Goro, you’re s-saying that now?”
“I want our relationship to be better, stronger and maybe, I’ll keep my promise to you sooner rather than later.”
How jumbled that could be with her being foreign but if they put this behind them then, anything was possible. Anything was possible even the change of heart he was experiencing. Someone cared finally about his existence and all pretenses of perfection shattered right then and there, just by a slip of vulnerability that he couldn’t have possessed revealed itself.
“I promise that, dear Alix.”
“You need to stop being so sweet, you know? This is so mushy, and I can’t stand it normally but, I’m doing all I can, but I promise to you that I’ll fix everything. I swear it.”
Her tears quickened and he couldn’t keep up with the ferocity of it, but he allowed that moment to reach onward for he understood the importance of touching the deepest part of the heart. Was the Phantom Thieves full of this knowledge? Is that why they continued to change hearts after hearts?
Was he missing that the entire time he fought for and against them?
Was it within his sights now?
He grinned almost conceding to that secret knowledge and fully having it in within his heart as the wheels changed. As the wheels in the depths of despair began to light up.
“Let’s go together, I want to see this new world.”
Nothing was ephemeral in this world, nothing needed to be done, nothing was passing by anymore for feelings were unchanging.
And like that, they entered back into the world, hand in hand.
Chapter 39: Vice versa
Dabbing a few fries downward into the gooey mess of ketchup, Akechi couldn't finish the rest and instead abandoned them quietly, while Alix stuffed a few inches of the burger inside her mouth. Eating as if it was either her last or malnourished but that was beyond his own conclusions.
"So warm." He concluded as her fingers interlaced with his; at least a bit too loud but being midday and out of school, no students were around. They were in their societal trappings.
If only they'd all met him sooner. Met her sooner.
Kisses abound and too stunned to answer the anger inward, not at her but all she was either accomplishing or not. He wouldn't raise the questions but guessing now left him worse off feeling.
"Was that too much? I'm sorry."
"No. I quite enjoyed even savored it."
Another seamless kiss this time, he returned to his seat, not at all flustered. What was he achieving other than feeling the tightening of his pants but easing down, he relaxed his grip.
Their fingers now spreading a part.
"I didn't mean to. I really didn't mean to pry but I had no choice but to dig."
"My past as a bastard child."
"No. The strange occurrences of your powers. It was two years ago, and then Shido. Did you intend to...?"
"I did. I'd take him down by the truth gained from my existence."
"Has that changed?"
"I didn't account for you. Yes. But should I really be held accountable for all my deeds since then?"
"I would say yes but the plea deal that is being crafted is immunity, as I've spoken of. At least I cannot remember."
"Beloved. I am a vile human living on revenge and death, how is it that you still...accept my marriage proposal?"
Alix bit into the last of her burger.
"You still deserve love and understanding and no one is beyond that. Goro," she halted swallowing the last piece. "if I was to fall pregnant, would I be in the position to be abandoned by you?"
"I am not Shido. I honor my love and dignity for you. Alix, beloved, please give up this."
"No. I don't give up on that or on you. I only ask not because I am, but because of how different you are from him."
He kissed her again, a bit more subtly before taking that same unattended hand and pulling her through Big Bang Burger.
The air was crisp and stiffling but pressing on, Akechi found that same vile against her by the wall. He had to go somewhere, just not be in Shibuya anymore. Be back home, maybe? Home with her.
His lungs were enflamed but refreshed by the briskness of wintery weather but she wasn't so much with her slight snow boots and thick brown wool coat.
"I nearly choked on there. What was the hurry?"
"No. Call Sae-san, arrange our meeting with her, and we'll go from there. I'll help you out."
Akechi put the cell back and smiled briefly kissing her delightfully. It would be okay if he was brought into it a bit more closely plus ask for additional paperwork for Alix's citizenship. She needed to be in the register for their marriage to make any sense and keep her here after Kosei.
"I fear you will hit an impasse soon and I want to fix that. Alix, if you wholly believe in me, then I should too."
"Goro Akechi, I can work on my language skills a bit more if I aim to live in Japan also thank you for doing this for you."
"For you, too."
Chapter 40: Quid pro quo
“Akechi-kun, you do know the great lengths I’ve come to see you?”
“Yes. Yes, I do. That much I can deduce due to my status changing.”
How could he not forget his own implications in the Phantom Thieves case and his own betrayal towards Akira, plus the murder charge on his record or at least still floating above it and what did Akechi accomplish? Nothing. Shido was taken down not on his own accord but by through Akira, which Akechi still lamented on highly, but at this point, what else would shattered dreams of revenge get him?
“It hasn’t changed yet but know that you’re still responsible for your part.”
“Of course, Sae-san, the thing is, I wish to marry-”
“Marry? That’s the least of your concerns, Akechi-kun. What brought this up?”
Sae drummed her fingers on her desk now eyeing Akechi with a new fervor and he couldn’t dare blame her for the commotion of the past few months and the many changes of hearts that Akira had proclaimed as the prize for the Phantom Thieves.
“I have limited time and wanted it to be known that I kept my fiancée here after her tenure at Kosei.”
“The International girl?”
“Yes. Can you please look into it?”
“Why aren’t you worried about yourself? I could come and arrest you anytime, Akechi-kun, so why should I do this favor for you?”
“Because, it’s all that I have left.”
He wasn’t being unreasonable but with the colder months hushing in further in and Japan trapped in them, he needed at least to assure himself in these moments with her, but could he?
“Just humor me, Sae-san, I want at least her citizenship be initiated by the time of my arrest.”
Arrest. Consequences. Funnily, he accepted that if it meant that Alix was taken care of but what of himself in the process? His image torn asunder but he could laugh at that and just take a moment to scoff at his vanity. Did it matter now?
“I can do that, for you, if it means that much, Akechi-kun.”
“Thank you so much, Sae-san, and allow another slight favor, too. Just give me a heads up when my arrest is made and don’t make it public, all right?”
“I can try on that.”
Hilarious how hard he fell from the pedestal all because he got caught in his stupid notions of revenge for himself and a girl that transformed his outlook. Now the waiting game began but he wouldn’t spend it in isolation.
“And if possible, I hope she waits for me.”
“I’m sure she will, Akechi-kun.”
Sae gave a big sigh before trying her best to smile genuinely, but who could anyone trust him anymore at what he did? What he gave? What he torn from Sae from the beginning of this investigation? It was a heartbreak waiting to happen but not for him, for her instead at their friendship.
At least Alix would be taken care of during this whole escapade that he began months and months ago in spring. Who knew that love would be the catalyst for change? For metamorphosis?
Peace of mind entered him, and he was glad in that moment. Glad in all his failings that he did something good for someone.
Chapter 41: Exactam Eam
“This is the last time that we’ll see each other.”
Clutching onward to the future he didn’t quite trust nor believe in and maybe didn’t believe he deserve to be in; still, his hands were growing colder amongst the fluttering snow around them.
“I’ve done what I could, and you’ll stay in Japan long after my arrest.”
“I guess there’s no more I could ask for you, not that I wanted to.” Alix said swiping at her own frozen tears cascading downward and agonizing. There wasn’t any room to persuade either way to any side and she didn’t strive for that effect as Akechi’s phone buzzed.
The police were on their way and precious moments lost to them only stifled the nagging fear in the back of his throat but considering what he accomplished in a few days of lasting freedom, he couldn’t be more grateful. Maybe to her and Akira, most of all.
“You didn’t ask for anything more.”
“I didn’t want anything or anyone but you, always, Goro. Regardless, I’ll wait for you.”
And avoiding the trappings of dramatics, he happened to be petrified by his own inability to express more but his heart certainly experienced it all. His heart happened to brush back the tears that could threaten all his image but what was purpose in an image, in a trap like that couldn’t be true to his own reality?
He was bestowed by Persona, but even that failed in the real world.
“Let me savor you a few more times.”
“Goro Akechi, with pleasure.”
Lips tasted so fine and strawberry was a flavor he noted from her lip gloss yet, he welcomed the very existence of her tasting so wonderfully. Of her being his.
As the door was kindly opened by him, the police surrounded him and while he began to be separated from Alix, his demeanor became even unglued and worse off being distraught.
Inaudible but his heart swelled, and he pushed back as the cuffs came on, and as she was shoved more and more from his view.
His heart cried out:
We’ll be back together again; I promise that much.
I promise to come home to you.
We made that promise, didn’t we?
It’s our oath that soon we’ll have the life we’ve always wanted despite our mistakes and misdeeds. Just us, together.
Goodbye, Alix Akechi
Chapter 42: Nil satis nisi optimum
Dizzying were the lights of Shibuya and the constant raining of snowflakes against the tight determination dripping through her tears. Through Alix's tears were the moments that concerned her and as the winter months were shutting off, she had to make the absence count though worse for wear with now shortened brunette hair, no longer swinging through those tears. She couldn't barely breathe as she reached Sae's changing offices but with Alix's citizenship almost granted and no doubt by the grace of Sae, and possibly more of a divine intervention.
"Sae Niijima! I need your help! PLEASE!" She spotted the former prosecutor and with a sloppy and short bow, tears continued to strike against the very echoes of Alix's pleas.
"Alix Breton? What are you-?"
Sae halted her progression and instead, joined the same privacy that Alix managed to create in such a timed space.
"Please. Please. Release Goro on probation, he didn't mean to-"
"Your faith in him hasn't shaken, has it?"
"Why would it?"
"Don't you know I'm doing the same for him? He was once a good confidant and friend of mine...maybe even still."
"So that means, they still arrested him, though!" Alix cried a bit louder.
"Standard procedure, but thanks to you and someone else, he'll only get probation for a year and once that's over, nothing on his record."
"But hasn't he been accused of all the mental shut downs?"
"No one can prove-you know about that world?"
"Goro told me."
"Well, he has own faith in you. Go home, now."
Sae almost passed by but with a word of moments also passing through, Alix caught Sae's arm.
"Please forgive me. Who is this someone else?"
"It's okay, well, you would have to ask him these things yourself. He even got his own probation reversed by me and in turn is doing more for Akechi-kun."
"Thank you, Sae Niijima."
"No, thank you, Alix Breton."
"Why are you thanking me?"
"He seems different now."
No, Goro Akechi completely metamorphosed into that beautiful butterfly and with that release, Alix sobbed happily with Sae gone.