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Amaxophobia

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Minato fidgeted with the seatbelt as he stared out the back seat window of the team's borrowed van. The 9 passenger van was just enough to fit everyone, Koromaru included. The dog was laying across Ken and Aigis in the row across, Junpei getting attacked by his tail as Ken was petting him. Yukari was behind the wheel, with Fuuka and Mitsuru in the front with her. Minato sat in the far back next to the right side window, Akihiko in the middle and Minako on the left side.

He hadn't been in any kind of car for years, the trauma from the crash his parents died in having been too much back when he was still recovering from the shock. He would always walk to school or go by train, even if going by car was easier. Now, sitting in the back seat with a steadily growing sense of anxiety, he wanted nothing more than to be out of the thing as soon as possible. His twin was unphased. She had been at a friend's house when the crash happened.

Minato attempted ignored the increasingly distressing images his mind conjured up, the ones that lingered in his head longer than he wanted. He took a shaky breath, seeming to catch Akihiko's attention. "Something wrong?"

"N-No, don't worry about it." Minato replied. Akihiko gave him a skeptical look, but didn't question him further. Minato heard Yukari curse from the front as a car passed her on the two lane road, honking the horn in hopes the reckless driver in front of her would get the message. Minato flinched slightly, surprised at the sound but doing his best to hide it. Akihiko's hand slipped into Minato's, giving it a reassuring squeeze. Minato looked up at him for a second before quickly looking away and returning his gaze to the window. The unpleasant images were slightly less frequent now.

"Yukari, the GPS says to go left" Mitsuru said as Yukari turned on the turning signal, the right light blinking.

"That street's always busy, it would take us too long to get to the restaurant."

"If we go the other way then we're driving right past the restaurant."

"We can always turn around."

"Yukari, let's just go the way the GPS says. It's faster than going right."

"But it would take longer because of how busy that street is at this time of day."

"Yukari-chan, please, let's not argue." Fuuka piped up meekly.

Yukari groaned loudly." Fine! We'll go left!" She yelled before sharply turning left, Minato hitting the side with a thud as the others voiced their shock. Koromaru yelped as Ken clung to the dog in attempt to keep him from flying head first into the door. Aigis was for the most part unphased, and was the only thing keeping Junpei upright. Minako grapped the handle above her head to keep herself up. Akihiko, with nothing to stop himself, was leaning heavily on Minato, pressing him against the side. Everyone was quickly able to return to an upright position once they were going straight again, Junpei grumbling about Yukari's reckless driving. It was safe to assume she heard the comment, as she slammed on the breaks, causing Junpei's head to slam against the seat.

Minato practically had a death grip on Akihiko's hand, finding it harder to breathe. He was almost certain his face went pale. Ken quickly took notice, having a clear view of the blue-haired teen. "Arisato-kun, are you okay?" He asked over the now yelling Mitsuru and Yukari in the front seat, Minato flinching a bit as if he was snapped from some kind of trance. The others looked over at him, some more concerned than others.

"I-I'm fine, don't worry." He quickly replied.

"Minato, you said that earlier, but right now you're squeezing my hand so hard your knuckles are white." As if to drive home the point, Akihiko lifted his hand, bringing Minato's white knuckles to his attention.

"I... My bad." Minato relaxed his grip, seeing his knuckles return to a normal color. Akihiko let their hands drop back on the seat, sighing.

"Mina, we're almost there, okay? It'll be fine!" Minako chimed from Akihiko's side, leaning forward to see her twin brother. Koromaru leapt off Ken's lap and padded over to Minato, putting his paws up on his knees as if he was telling him the same thing. Minato pet the dog after a few seconds of him sitting there, surprised when he got on the seat and plopped himself on Minato and Akihiko. The dog barked as he looked up at Minato, headbutting his open hand.

"Koromaru-san says that he will help you relax until we are at the restaurant." Aigis translated. Minato looked back at Koromaru with a surprised look before a faint smile took its place, petting him the same way Ken had been before.

"Thanks Koromaru. That means a lot to me." Minato said, letting his head rest on Akihiko's shoulder. Koromaru barked in response, most likely saying "you're welcome!" Minato laughed softly.

"Yuka-tan, could you quit the crazy driving?! You're givin' Minato a heart attack over here!" Junpei yelled over the two girls still arguing.

"I think a panic attack might be a more accurate description..." Minako added, a small hint of anger in her voice.

Junpei went unheard as Mitsuru and Yukari kept bickering loudly in the front seat. He sighed in frustration as he let his head thump against the back of the seat. "They're not listening. Of course" He grumbled.

"I shall attempt to relay Junpei-san's message to Yukari-san and Mitsuru-san." Aigis announced, turning to Fuuka in the front seat and repeating Junpei's earlier statement. Fuuka tapped Mitsuru's arm to get their attention and relayed Junpei's message, Yukari's face flashing with guilt for a few seconds before she looked at Minato in the rearview mirror. "I'm sorry, Minato, I didn't know. Are you doing okay now?" She asked.

Minato looked from Koromaru in his lap to Akihiko at his side before looking at Yukari in the mirror. "Yeah. I'm okay now." He replied.

"Maybe Mitsuru-senpai should drive on the way back." Fuuka suggested. "N-No offense to your driving, Yukari-chan!" She quickly added.

"No, it's okay. You're probably right anyway. Is that good, Mitsuru?" Yukari asked the red head next to her.

"Of course. I don't mind at all."

Minato felt Akihiko's arm go around his shoulders and pull him a bit closer, and he felt like most of his earlier anxiety was gone now. He slept the rest of the ride.