Warnings: mentions of injuries, implied character deaths
Created for the Tropetember Event - Gaia's Lament
The darkness surrounding Yu was heavy, and only provided him silent company.
The heaviness encircled him in a foggy embrace. He lingered in the shadows behind his eyelids, waiting for his brain to piece the waking world back together and fully come awake.
For a moment, he forgot where he was.
Yu opened his eyes. His bleary blinking shook off the indistinct images. He mulled over pieces of clouded memories, attempting to recall what happened moments before. His hand grasped his head, and unknowingly pressed the rim of his glasses closer to his skin. He forced his head to make it all sensible, as the fog grew thicker around him.
A gasp released from his chest. Feeling the sudden weight of his body. Any limb he moved to adjust his position sent shocks of pain through him, and his skin stuck to his clothing. The fabric touched bruises on his skin, adding to his labored breathing.
His most recent memory became clear. He realized a moment ago, he was fighting. He was pushing through both the mental, and physical pain inflicted on him, and his Persona. He forced himself to keep wielding his katana, its blade glistening against the pale, flickering street lights of the distorted Inaba. His jaw was clenched, preventing him from speaking, from diverting his focus with pointless chatter. Even a single distraction could put him, and the entire Investigation Team at risk, at death’s hand.
Yu scowled at his recollection. His head turned to his sides, wondering if anyone else was in his vicinity. However, there were only distant sounds of crashing blades, gunshots, and indistinct yells. He turned his gaze to his hands, noticing the small trembles between his breaths. He exhaled, deeply, and released it.
Although his mind raced with other concerns, his gaze focused on the almost static filter of concrete beneath him. Slowly, his surroundings became visible in his vision. He was still somewhat disorientated, as his wounds ached, but he forced himself to stand. His body refused the thick atmosphere from cloaking his figure.
Yu moved towards the standing wall of the collapsed house he was in. He moved past the small, split in half, table, and the torn couch. The wall he approached merely had a door frame, leading into the rest of the area. He blinked, and something cold and slick was wrapped on his neck.
He glanced down, and his hand reached towards his neck to tear it away. It was police tape; a vibrant, scorching yellow against his eyes with bold letters used to cordon certain scenes.
It was a bright contrast to the backdrop of crimson and black, of his surroundings which swallowed up the silhouettes of dilapidated remnants of the town of Inaba. As far as he could see.
The fog fought to obscure his sight in all directions. He adjusted his glasses, making sure they wouldn’t slip off. The weight of the atmosphere, tangent and almost unbearable on his shoulders, made keeping upright its own challenge.
The tension intensified. His senses cleared and took over, however it only made him freeze in place. He only wanted to feel his surroundings, feel what had once been a mere town, now he called his new home.
Worry. Pleasure. Elation. Concern. Calm. An odd sense of bereavement deep down in his chest somewhere. All he was, and all he wasn’t in one moment.
They all slipped away. Leaving numbness.
Yu knew exactly where he was. The other side of a television screen, fighting the sole person responsible for causing havoc in the small town. Fighting to let the truth be heard. His gaze caught the glint of his blade nearby, and grabbed it amidst the rubble.
A part of him was shocked he held his calm composure, almost rid of all emotions that took up his mind. The setting would have caused some alarm, but he found himself not giving any of it a second though.
The area, the town, was filled with gloom. Crumbled buildings threatened to become dust and more debris. Vehicles abound were mauled and unsalvageable. Street signs were twisted and unreadable. Then the sky was nothing more than swirls of crimson and black, contrasting against the beige, ruined ground.
Unknowing eyes would only call the town strange, a glimpse of what once thrived with life. But to Yu, he called it a tragedy. A misadventure he so happened to stumble upon.
Briefly, he saw his reflection in his katana’s blade, and behind his gray eyes, there was hope.
He let go of the police tape from his other hand. It fluttered to the ground and rested on the debris. His head raised, and he began walking towards the commotion he heard earlier. The katana was heavy in his grasp, but it was no lighter than his own body. Yet, he managed as he trudged. The various noises became louder, desperate for a miracle.
The air was cold, and his bare skin shivered against it. He was miles away from what his home really was, and he sought to get rid of the calamity that plagued it. He intended to bring back comfort, and dreams. He wanted nothing more than to stand on smooth, concrete pavements again than debris and ruin.
The memory of calamity around him would be tossed to the side in a moment, but its sensations of loss would linger until Yu’s labored breathing ceased.
His eyes swept over the environment one more time, doing his best to take it in all of its detail carefully. He paused at each building he recognized, until he had turned to where he woke up from. It was the Dojima household. His home where his memories of Inaba started.
He paused to make a sharp inhale, and a shaky exhale. The sight made his heart pump, skipping in disjointed beats out of fear. A chill crept up his spine, even if he immediately disregarded the possibility of seeing his uncle’s, and Nanako’s corpses beneath the remaining rubble of the household.
When he turned back to where he was approaching the commotion, his gaze narrowed at the sight of a disheveled suit and glinting firearm. His fingers wrapped around his katana’s tsuka tighter. His body tensed.
Gray irises behind the thin lenses of his glasses met fiery gold. The latter was accented by malice and eerie pallor. Something was off, but he didn't care. All he wanted was for the nightmare to end.
Clinging to his lingering warmth of home within him, Yu faced down the man who threatened to destroy what remained of his home.