"You never wanted to kill anyone"
/====================( - Mikage-cho E - Haunted House - )====================\
| Before it was torn down to make way for the SEBEC building, the old |
| abandoned manor near the industrial district colored many a Lunarvale |
| child's memories. Mikage-cho has brought it back, if in far less benign a |
| fashion. |
| True to form, it matches every expectation of a haunted house - an old |
| Japanese home with rotting wood floors that creak with every step, the |
| white walls turning yellow with the passage of time illuminated by lanterns |
| that shouldn't be lit. Darkness covers large portions of the dwelling, |
| making it difficult to navigate without bumping into the damaged walls |
| every few steps. |
| As this is where the SEBEC Building - and the DVA System - stands back |
| in the other world, the dimensional fabric here is very weak. A few SEBEC |
| scientists, abandoned by Takahisa Kandori, have taken refuge here to |
| continue their research... or simply find a way back home. |
|===============================( - Players - )================================|
| Rena Kinukasa [U] <Kiyohime> |
|===============================( - Objects - )================================|
|================================( - Exits - )=================================|
| Out <O>: Mikage-cho - East Side |
How long has it been now? Weeks? Maybe months? Maybe he was always in this hellhole, and what he thought was the real world was nothing but a fantasy. A nice dream to let him escape from the horror of..
Fumiya's own hand strikes his cheek to snap him out of his depressing thoughts. (Get a grip man...) He thinks to himself. (Bad as things are there's no point in getting caught up in depression.) He isn't /that/ scared. He believes that. But even if he's not really 'frightened', he still can't settle down.
His clothes barely look neon anymore, and his hair is filthy. His shirt's pretty ripped up too. But, despite outward appearances, he's still in good physical health with no major injuries despite the time he spends looking for demons to fight.
He spends most of his time wandering. Today, his path takes him to the Haunted House. His pace slows as he approaches it, his head tilting. "Huh... don't think I've been by this way yet." He ponders aloud. Maybe the Necronomicon is inside.
It'd been a rollercoaster ride of a two weeks for Thora. It was hardly over yet and Thora knew that the biggest drop was going to be coming soon. She had to be ready. She had to settle things. More importantly, she'd need all the help she could get.
Her days had been filled with fighting and forging, bribing demons to her side and slaughtering those that wouldn't comply. It was a cruel and brutal method that would have no place in the real world-but here she could do that. What she'd never tell a soul no more was how much she enjoyed it.
Things with Tohya had been settled. There was another person she wanted to speak to, his absenses throughout the week which hadn't gone unnoticed. It actually worried her a little and if Thora could pick up on these things, then it had to be serious. Thankfully, the familiar resonance of Fumiya is not hard for Thora to scent and soon enough, she's loping after him along the path to the Haunted House. "Hey!" she calls out, not being the one to sneak up on people.
Fumiya hasn't been trying to convince demons to join him. Mainly because the thought hadn't crossed his mind, but he isn't sure if it's something he would want either. Things are confusing enough for him right now as it is.
His slow pace up to the Haunted House is halted abruptly as soon as he hears Thora's voice. As large as the town is, even larger now that both sides are opened up, he still can't help but run into people. He used to be so much better at hiding; but hiding in a big city like Port Island is a little different than hiding here.
Slowly he turns around and manages a grin. "Hey. What brings you out here?" He asks. "Is there some big bad in this place that needs busting up? I could be down for that." Fighting the demons out there, particularly the ones that look nothing like people, has worked well enough to keep his mind off of things.
A shame, really, because some demons would definitely be impressed by Fumiya's dancing skills. If only enough to give him some helpful items before going on their way.
Given her stride, Thora is quick to catch up. Unlike Fumiya, she actually looks a good deal cleaner than she was days ago, having taken advantage of the utilities of the west side. She's still pretty roughed up at the moment due to fighting all day, but not the kind of roughed up that comes with having to chase down demons for basic things such as food. More notable, though, is the giant girl's hair. Rather than keeping her braids pinned up underneath themselves in loops, they instead hang down and are intertwined with blue ribbons. It's more than just to look nice, though: they're gang colors too. "Well, there is that." Thora admits. She's had a 'raid' or two on that haunted house. "Though I've really come lookin' for you."
She keeps walking ahead of him and into the haunted house without a moment's hesitation. "C'mon. Fight and chat."
Fumiya certainly /can/ 'dance crazy', but he hasn't been in a dancing mood since arriving at Mikage-cho. He's mostly been taking items from the demons he's defeated, who knew there was a better way?
He keeps his gaze on Thora as she makes his way up the path to him, kind of hoping she has business elsewhere. But when she confirms she's going in to, and with him already heading in that direction he's not about to conspicuously turn and walk in another direction. He sighs, as quietly as he can, and keeps heading to the house himself.
"Don't got much to chat about..." He says, keeping his head down, hoping Thora will get more hung up on the fighting when it starts than the chatting. He's not sure how much longer he can keep it to himself, is what's worrying him, and he especially doesn't want to bring it all to the surface in front of Thora. If she presses it he may not be able to help himself.
What Would Jesus Do? What Would Michael Jackson Do? What Would Fred Savage Do? ....What Would Ash Do?
"No, I think you're wrong." Thora says bluntly after stepping across the threshhold. The house inside is still and silent. The sound Thora's chains make as she moves around within seems magnified and almost echo-an effect Thora does well to ignore herself. "I think we've gotta lot to chat about." Once within, Thora turns to face him and rests a hand on her hip. She actually manages to look a little...concerned?
"Fumiya-san, something's been eating you. I've barely seen you around, you don't talk to anyone, you haven't even tried to go to the West side now that we've busted it open." Or so Thora assumes due to his state of dress.
She tilts her head to the side. "At first I wanted to think this is just how you were dealin' with being trapped in this hellhole but I'd like to think I know you pretty well. And this ain't the Fumiya I know."
Damn, why does she have to be so 'on the nose'? Fumiya does his best not to look uncomfortable at Thora's comments before speaking up when she mentions the West Side. "I've been over there!" He protests, latching onto the one thing he can truthfully say is false. Though the East Side is a little quieter, he finds, since the tunnel opened up.
"Well maybe you don't..." He retorts, almost immediately regretting it. (Come on man, she's only worried.) Fumiya sighs through his nose and falls silent again for a few moments. "I just..." He stutters, trying to gather his thoughts. "...I just gotta deal with this myself until we get clear of here, that's all."
He can do that much. He's done fine since arriving. Fine enough, anyway. He keeps repeating that thought to himself, but he's probably been doing that too much lately. Like anything that's repeated over and over it starts to lose all meaning when done too much.
Thora's spent a good part of her life depressed. She knows depression and antisocial behavior when she sees it. Not only that, but in the past few days in this place she's learned that depression and antisocial behavior is very nonconstructive in situations like these. Self pity wasn't going to get her out of here any faster and it damn well wasn't going to help Fumiya either. "You hardly look it." she fires back in a blunt fashion, turning and poking a finger through the moth-eaten rice paper walls of the house.
"...Fumiya-san, I've seen the best and worst of you. Don't tell me I don't know you, especially after all we've been through together." Thora seems a little cross about this but she doesn't, as many people tend to fear when interacting with her, lash out in a violent rage at this. She just seems frustrated and a little hurt.
Like a hound to the scent, she homes in on Fumiya's 'this', "What is 'this'?"
She's pretty sure it can't mean /here/. No one person could just deal with the 'here'.
And Fumiya's spent most of his life not really depressed. Frustrated, irritated, resentful, and petty at times, sure. But never really depressed. It's just not something he's used to, and he never really thought he would /have/ to get used to it. There's a lot of things he probably thought he didn't have to get used to when he got his Persona, it just goes to show how little he thinks ahead.
Fumiya stays silent when Thora pushes a little harder. He does feel a little bad about nearly taking his frustration out on her as she tries. Fumiya shakes his head, trying to ward off the desire to put it all on the table.
"It's nothing, alright?" He says, a little desperately. "I can deal with it. It can't be worse than what you or anyone else with these powers have gone through. It was just an accident..."
People feeling bad about hurting Thora? Well that's a new one! Not being psychic, she can't really tell this which is probably good, it'd only make this encounter that much more awkward.
His silence says enough though.
"It's not nothing, look at you." Thora actually gets a little scowly-but remains where she is. Thora sees no reason (or productivity) coming out of physically threatening him. Past experience has shown that it wasn't such an effective tactic against Fumiya.
His phrasing makes that scowl disappear a little. 'Not anything worse?' 'These powers?' 'Accident?' "What accident? What happened?" Like a dog with its teeth sunk in a steak, it doesn't seem like she'll be letting go of this so easily.
Fumiya almost bites his tongue when he realizes he said too much. Maybe he really /wanted/ to tell someone? Fumiya stops walking and remains silent, keeping his lips tight. After a few moments he locates the nearest object he can sit on, and does so. He places the top of the barrel of the shotgun he has always been carrying around since he landed at Mikage-cho, and leans on the handle.
He takes a deep breath. Alright, fine. Here it is.
"It happened at the SEBEC Lobby, when we were causing trouble." He starts, keeping his grip tight on the handle of the gun. "At first it was just pure carnage, you know? Our job was just to get the attention of security, I thought. But it didn't take long for things to get out of hand. We got way more than a few guys with nightsticks. On top of this brute that took a few of us on single-handedly there was a swarm of guards armed with guns. And, honestly, I was expecting them to have guns... but I guess I really wasn't /ready/ to face like a dozen people shooting at me." He sighs again, shaking his head. "It's funny how fighting a shadow is different. It's something terrifying, but also fairly abstract, nothing like you see in your life beforehand besides in manga or animation. But being shot at? That's always been real..."
The truth will always come out. Especially when the KDA is involved-that is their whole quest, after all, to find the truth. She's also hoping that explaining it will help him get a little bit off his chest. When he clams up, Thora pessimistically believes that that will be the end of that. Perhaps she shouldn't have tried to push so hard.
Eventually he speaks. Thora leans against one of the struts in the paper wall and prepares to quietly listen. "Less than human." Thora adds on the point of shadows. Or maybe they were more than human? Of course, her own opinon does interfere a little here-she loves fighting other humans. "So you were being shot at. Then what happened?"
There had to be more, this doesn't really ring of 'accident' yet but she does have a suspicion as to where he's headed.
Fumiya tries to keep his hand steady, but despite his best efforts the shotgun rattles a bit. Part of him still really doesn't want to talk about this, but now that he's started there really no stopping it now.
"I stalled them first, thanks to a stupid trick with a fire extinguisher. I guess that's why they got their sights on me first. But I wasn't the only one they were shooting at, a few of the others were there too but they were occupied with that big guy. Especially Shiki and Itsuka." Himeru was there too, but Fumiya never did get her name yet. "So when they opened fire I was really the only one able to do anything about it in that moment. But I really didn't know what to do..."
He stops for a moment, his jaw clenching. As his teeth grind together he tries one last time to stop the story right there. But it doesn't do any good. "So I... I just used my Persona. I never really thought of using it on regular people before, let alone an attack that strong. I guess I panicked at that moment. There was probably less-potent things I could've done, a weaker attack, but..." Suddenly he lifts the gun up for a moment and slams the barrel back down on the floor. "But Murugan blasted the lot with an Arrow Rain, drove them all back into the elevator they came out of. I just wanted them to stop shooting at us..."
His hands start trembling a bit, as he remembers the worst part. "Blood just started pool up at the base of the door. A lot of it... maybe. I can't even remember how big the puddle was, but for any at all to seep that fast out of an elevator door.... I.... more than one had to bleeding badly. Probably all of them. There was no sound out of the elevator after that either."
His breathing becomes a bit more shallow, and he keeps his head down while looking at the floor. He really didn't want to look anyone in the face. "Goddammit, I never wanted to /kill/ anyone..."
Thora cringes when Fumiya brings up Shiki and Itsuka. Those two weren't getting out of this unscathed either, Itsuka especially from the looks of it. She was hoping to catch up with at least Itsuka too but at this point Thora knew she was running out of time. Hinata was there to support Itsuka anyway and as far as Thora knew, Souji was being rather mopetastic and not very helpful himself. What the hell, boss?
That aside, now is the time to listen. Fumiya paints a very graphic image of what ultimately amounted to an attempt to defend himself gone horribly wrong. At least that's how Thora views it-self defense, he was totally justified in killing those guys! But thanks to her conversations with Shinjiro, this is not an acceptable line of thinking for people that are respectable parts of society, she knows. Thora goes quiet, looking at the ground too.
"You never wanted to kill anyone, Fumiya-san." she repeats, as if trying to firmly reinforce this thought. "That counts for something." She doesn't look as she talks, still staring at the ground. "There's always that danger in this...line of work, I guess you could call it."
Silence. One of those akward ones. Thora struggles to find the right words. She had a feeling whatever eating Fumiya was serious but she didn't know it was this serious. "When we get out." she says suddenly, looking up at him and trying to meet his eyes, "We're going to visit a friend of mine."
Finally, after getting it out, Fumiya nearly sobs. Some bit of foolish pride keeps him from doing so entirely, but it escapes just a little.
"I just couldn't think of anything else to do..." He says, not really hearing what Thora was saying. "I don't even know for sure what happened, even though it's pretty obvious to me they're dead. I guess I spent the past two weeks here out looking for them, maybe." He really didn't want to spend that time around people. "But I think what gets me is not knowing what they knew. I mean... yeah, maybe they were in on Kandori's scheme and were a bunch of scumbags... but maybe they weren't. Maybe they were just doing their job and really shouldn't have clocked in that night." What really gets Fumiya is that he might never know.
It takes a few minutes for him to calm down once he stops talking. He doesn't feel any better, at least not yet. He finally looks up a little, though still not making eye contact with Thora. "A friend? Who's that?"
"You never wanted to kill anyone." Thora repeats again, still trying to emphasize the point to Fumiya. A person had to hear something seven times before it got through their head, right? "Keep asking yourself questions like that and you won't make yourself feel any better. You gotta look forward, figure out what you can do about it /now/." The giant teenager lets out a deep breath after that, as if just putting those words together was a great exertion.
"Shinjiro Aragaki. He's got a lot of experience. He's seen situations like this." More like /been/ in situations like this and caused them and guilted over them and eventually faced catharsis. If anyone knew how to cope with the burden of accidentally murdering someone, it was him. Pushing away from the wall, she walks towards Fumiya and puts a firm hand on his shoulder.
"It's gonna take time, Fumiya."
Of course he never wanted it. But he never thought something like this would wind up happening. Why was he so careless?
Fumiya tries not to react when Thora puts her hand on his shoulder. It was mostly about pride, how he insisted he could handle all of this. How he was ready, and how he would be a great help to the KDA.
Yeah. Great help.
Though his head finally snaps up when Thora mentions that name. "Shin---- Aragaki?!" He stutters. How could he forget that name. It's been ages since he last ran into the guy, lucky for him they didn't part on bad terms or anything. Though he did push him. A little. And he's the guy who Thora thinks can help? "I.. uh.." The moment spent worrying about meeting the personifaction of the Angry Smiley again almost brought him back to his usual lighter mood.
Though Thora's last comment brings him back down to earth, and he sighs again.
Fumiya had been so eager to throw himself into danger too. Thora could really be snide about this right now but there was no point in kicking Fumiya when he was down. Fumiya was her friend now and right now, Thora could use all the friends she could get. Same with Fumiya, really.
"That's right. He's a persona user too." Thora confirms in a firm tone. "Like I said...lotsa experience. Until then, though..." She looks down at him as he sighs.
The weapon of the Ongyo-ki is set aside so she can put her other hand on Fumiya's other shoulder. Thora crouches a little so she can look at him from eye level. "We need you with us, Fumiya. We need your help to get out of here."
So Aragaki had a Persona too? Looking back that makes sense, Fumiya never really reflected much on the odd people he met /before/ he really knew enough about Personas and Shadows. Plus Aragaki was kind of a badass so he probably has some really powerful Persona, and he seems like the kind of guy who just 'knows things'.
Alright so Fumiya heard Aragaki's name a lot from all the wannabe thugs in Port Island and was affected a little by his reputation.
Fumiya fidgets a little, almost backing away from Thora when she goes to move in close. But he's already gone this far with letting it all out, no point in pretending he didn't just say all that stuff. It's all still pretty confusing to him, he really doesn't know how he 'should' act. He just knows it hurts.
"You need /my/ help, huh?" That sounds like a load, but he can appreciate Thora's effort. He doesn't feel there's much he could do to get them out of here besides be a little extra firepower when the time comes to break whatever needs breaking. "Well, just point me in the right direction when the time is right. I'll fight with everything I got."
In the supernatural world, Shinjiro's reputation was equally badass.
Part of Thora breaks a little on the inside at his cringing. She's used to that sort of reaction around people, even if it's just a friendly or reassuring gesture. It still hurts to see it though. It's the price she had to pay for her own reputation.
"We need everyone's help. If we don't work to get out of here, we're going to die here." Thora lets go and retrieves her weapon. "You know, after talking with Shirou a week ago, I realized something. The only person that's going to make me stop moping is me. The world's not going to rearrange itself because I feel bad." She turns away, looking deeper into the haunted house, spotting the glowing red eyes of a poltergeist not too far away.
The demon had been sitting there, watching the whole time apparently. It seemed confused.
"...sorry." she finally says, "That's all I've got."
Moping, huh? This is moping? Fumiya wanted to believe he was trying to make ammends, somehow, for what he did. Like torturing himself would do that. Like cutting himself off from everyone would help set things right.
You know, pretend that him and his problems are the most important ones around. That his issues deserve that kind of attention from himself and others. Like he was always doing before.
As Thora turns away, Fumiya finally stands up. He tosses the shotgun to the side, the heavy, though unloaded, firearm clattering to the ground. "Don't worry..." He speaks up, predicting the obvious question. "I never used it. I never even loaded it. I only had it as a crutch." It was fun to play pretend, even if he was just running from his problems. Fumiya tries to sport a cocky grin, but he just can't bring himself to do so, though. This all still hurts a bit too much, but it's not as bad. He can, at least, move forward on his own power for now.
Spotting the poltergeist himself, he cracks his knuckles. His expressions is still glum, but there's a faint trace of a smile there. Even if it's hard to see. "Well, I'll be there to help set things right. Whatever I'm capable of, anyway."