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Trickster of a Trade

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When it first happened, Ryuji can admit he was pretty impressed. Shocked and scared shitless, but more importantly, impressed.

After all, how was he suppose to react when this giant blue flame of light had consumed a stranger, that later turned into a friend, appeared from nowhere after ripping off a mask that hadn't been there before, and stood before him, was a figure Ryuji had never seen before, yet Ryuji could feel every bone in his body shaking, heart racing when he heard his laugh? And better yet, when the flames disappeared, the stranger's outfit was entirely different from the Shujin Academy uniform, and Ryuji had been seriously considering whether or not he was completely straight.

But the show didn't stop there.

Ryuji kept his eye on the figure above him, noting the wings, the horns, the top, and of course his face. He wasn't entirely sure if his face was made out of fire, but was just covered up by a mask, or not, but upon looking into the figure - Akira's Persona - face, his heart stopped. There was something dangerously alluring about the red flames beneath the black that had Ryuji gasping for air. It was bright and pretty, but cruel. Oh so very cruel, and when Akira unleashed his chains, a smirk on his face - that had very similar qualities as the smile on his Persona's face, he thought. Both dangerous, confident, defiant, and something akin to evil, but not quite - Ryuji watched as his Persona's wings spread, wide and full, and Ryuji was almost fooled into believing he was an angel.

Well...he wasn't wrong. It's just it wasn't the type of angel he was expecting.

Looking back at it, he should've known Akira's persona would've been that. Akira followed the stereotypical quiet student down to a T; rarely speaks and when he does, it's soft, rarely angry, always helpful when needed, and despite what people may think, because of that damn police report, Akira wasn't the type to get into trouble, least, not willingly. Very protective of his friends, got good grades, and, after getting to know each other some more, could be very humorous in his own, sarcastic way. If none of those traits didn't signal the red flag for danger, he didn't know what will.

He should've expected it, really, that not everything about Akira is what it seems to be.

And of freaking course his Persona was good looking, as far as Personas goes. Akira, Ryuji can admit, was a good looking guy, so it'd make sense as to why his Persona was too. He just didn't think it'll bother him so much.

Flash forward to where they are now, and Ryuji was cursing himself to hell and back for being so distracted whenever Arsene came out to play. Every time he catches even the slightest glimpse of the Persona, he's reminded of the feeling he had the first time around - unable to breathe, his heart feeling like it's about to beat out of his chest, frozen on the spot, becoming prey to an unknown enemy yet still feeling very safe even if his mind was screaming alarms. It was getting ridiculous, and he hated himself for it.

First of all, he thought to himself, once upon a time while in his bedroom. It's a Persona. My best friend's Persona. He's not going to harm me because, well, we're friends, right? Akira wouldn't hurt me. He'll never want to hurt me. This is what he keeps telling himself, again and again. He wants to believe it, forced himself to, and eventually, him being jittery and anxious whenever Arsene was around started to quell. He could finally be himself again before anyone noticed the difference.

Or so he'd thought.

In what was suppose to be a typical route in the Metaverse, there had been a tiny slip up that really shouldn't be a problem, but for Ryuji, it had open a whole can of worms.

They had just finish defeating a bunch of shadows when he realized that Arsene was looking directly at him, not disappearing in the flame of blues like all the rest. Akira cocked his head to the side, looking at his Persona as everyone paused.

"Arsene?" He spoke, but Arsene did not hear him. Instead, he continue to look at Ryuji, who stood frozen, a sense of dread and thrill racing up and down his spine. There was something in Arsene's face that made the blond quiver, and run and hide, because within those flames of red, he could see himself. He could see himself lay bare, wrapped in blankets of fire, not burning him, and chains wrapped around his wrist and ankles, with Arsene hovering above him, gently touching him, making the blond blush, and Ryuji stumbled, falling flat on his ass. Immediately, Arsene disappeared in blue, and everyone else looked at him with concern.

"Are you alright, Skull?" Inari asked, as Joker pulled him up. Faintly, he was aware of Akira hesitating, letting his touch linger, before falling away completely with a hitch of his breath. Swallowing, Skull nodded, eyes never leaving Joker's, and Joker's never leaving Skull's.

"What was all that about? Joker?" Panther asked, looking at her leader. Like a spell has been broken, Joker blinked and turned to her, shrugging his shoulders.

"Arsene's been acting weird lately." He muttered, low enough that they had to strain to hear. Ryuji couldn't help but swallow roughly, realizing with dread what that was suppose to mean. At least, what it means to him.

"A shadow, perhaps?" Inari inquired, but Joker shook his head.

"No, something else...." He left it there, grey eyes looking directly at Ryuji, but Ryuji refused to look at him. He tried to keep his heart steady, but he couldn't. Not now.

You couldn't been normal, couldja? Just HAD to go and fall for your best friend's Persona! He thought. Strangest part is, he wasn't sure whether or not he liked that.   


Chapter Text

That night, Ryuji couldn't sleep. The blond was tossing and turning in his bed, mumbling and twitching every now and then. It appears that the boy was having a nightmare, and if you were to ask Ryuji if it was, he'll certainly agree. Because, how else would you explain the things that were going through his head at the time being?

He had open his eyes to a strange place. The walls were small, smaller than his room, and cold and blue while gentle music plays in the background. Getting up, he realized he wasn't in his pajamas anymore, but instead a black and white jail suit, and that the 'strange place' was actually a prison cell.

"W-What's going on?" He muttered to himself. There was a whooshing sound, startling him out of his thoughts, and when he turned his head, he saw a certain Persona floating there, wings gently flapping. Ryuji's stomach twisted as his mouth suddenly turned dry.

"Hath thou finally returneth to me?" Arsene asked, staring down at the blond in the cell. Ryuji swallowed, feeling his face go warm. He has no idea what the Persona was saying - was that even English? He'd have to ask Ann - but he had a feeling he wanted something from the boy.

"A-Arsene," He started, stepping closer to the gates of his cell, nearly closer to the Persona. "What are you doing? Why am I here? And where is here exactly?"

"Here is the Velvet Room. A place whither thy friend oft visits, in search of new Personas," Arsene replied, getting closer to the cell and spoke lowly, as if there was someone else in the room and he didn't want them to hear what he was about to say. "I hath brought thee hither."

Ryuji paused, once again not understanding anything Arsene was saying, but he did hear the word 'brought' which meant....

"Y-You...?" He choked when Arsene nodded his head confirmation. "B-but why?"

"Thou interest me," Arsene admitted, and if Ryuji didn't know any better, he could've sworn the Persona was narrowing his eyes, not in anger, he felt like. "I hath felt thy heart. I know of thy feelings since the day we've met," Arsene stepped closer to the gate, and suddenly, there were no bars between them, and Ryuji felt a pinch of panic realizing his safety has been breached. "Thou art attracted to me." He purred. "And even now, thou still art."

Ryuji flushed, trying to make himself smaller, which caused the Persona to chuckle. Raising his right hand, Arsene gently touched his cheek, his claw-like hands threaten to dig into his skin, causing Ryuji to shiver.

"Such a shy maiden," Arsene mumbled, watching with great interest as Ryuji's pale cheeks began to color even more. "Art thou scared of me?"

"Should I be? I mean, you're Akira's Persona, and I'm not scared of him," Ryuji said, resisting the urge to lean into Arsene's touch, even if his entire body demands it. "You give me no reason to be scared."

"Ah, such honeyed words, and filled with bravery. And yet, thy heart speaks differently," Arsene said, leaning closer to Ryuji's face, which caused the blond to hitch and tremble. "I am both loved and feared. Hath I given thou a reason for such reaction?"

"Not to me..." Ryuji muttered, finally given in and smother his face in Arsene's hands. Warm, he realized with a blush and closed eyes, he felt warm and yet the nails was still a lovely reminder that if he wanted to, Arsene could literally scratch his face.

"To our enemies, then," Arsene assumed, gently stroking Ryuji's cheek, still amused by the boy in front of him. "Thou fear my wrath, but still hold admiration for me."

"Having you as a Persona kinda puts Akira in a different perspective..." Ryuji said. Arsene hummed.

"I see. My other self is most polite at times, and often a voice thou don't heareth," Suddenly, Arsene removed his hand from Ryuji's face - and he had to stop himself from whimpering before he began to blush when he realized Arsene had placed it on his hips instead. "Whereas I am the one who is the complete opposite, though still maintaining similarities."

"Like your smiles," Ryuji spoke up, blushing when Arsene turned to him. "It' of the things I had noticed about you and Akira; when you have an expression on your face it's always devious, as if you're up to something."

"I am the representation of my other self's heart - his anger. He whom has been dealt wrongly, oft feels the need for vengeance."

"So then, when he had awaken you...he was angry?" Ryuji asked, realizing what that meant, and squirmed a little when Arsene's grip tighten on him.

"Angry at the injustice of thou. For the little time he has known thee, thou left quite the impression on he." Arsene answered before nuzzling in between Ryuji's neck, careful of his horns. He chuckled when he heard the blond squeak in surprise. "Thou art his most precious person. He would do anything for thou."

"A-and you...?" Ryuji asked. Arsene pulled his head up, and for some reason, Ryuji had a feeling he was smirking at him.

"That, my darling, has yet to be seen." And before Ryuji could say anything, Arsene placed a kiss on his head, just as the world started to disappear.

Ryuji woke up with a gasp, heart racing. Looking at his clock, he realized he had awoken before it was time to get up and groaned, throwing himself back onto the bed. He was too busy staring at the ceiling as he placed his hand on top of his forehead, where Arsene had kissed him. He flushed.

The spot was still warm.     

Chapter Text

>> RYU: Hey Ann, what does 'hath thou finally returneth to me' mean? That's English, right???


>> ANN: What? Ryuji, don't text me nonsense during class!


>> ANN: And kinda? It's Shakespeare, so it kinda counts as English???


>> RYU: Oh. Okay. But what does it mean doe????


>> ANN: It means, in rough translation, 'have you finally return to me'. So to speak. Come on, Ryuji, we took Shakespeare in like, fifth grade! You should know this.


>> RYU: I have forgotten everything I learned in the fifth grade! Including Milkshake!


>> ANN: Shakespeare. Jeez, you're hopeless. Why'd you ask anyway? Does it has something to do with a certain someone's persona?


>> RYU:'s just. He called me in my dream last night, taking me to the place you always see Akira disappear into, and well...we talked.


>> ANN: Interesting. Did he say why he's behaving weirdly? Or why he has any interest of YOU of all people?


>> RYU: What's that suppose to mean? Not really.


>> ANN: Huh. Interesting. It isn't going to affect Akira in some way, is it? Like...Akira's not hiding anything, right?


>> RYU: I don't think so? Arsene seems to be acting totally on his own. Which is weird. Didn't think Personas could do that???


>> RYU: Also, you never answered my question. What did you mean by YOU of all people?


>> RYU: Ann? Ann! Ann I know you can see this! Answer me! Ann!


 As soon as class ended, Ryuji was approached by a very distraught looking Akira, who seemed on the verge of a meltdown.

"He didn't do anything to you, did he?" The teen asked, pulling him away from the crowd of students, ignoring the looks being sent their way. Ryuji blinked.

"Who-Oh! You mean Arsene," He rubbed the back of his neck as Akira looked at him with a grim expression on his face. "I..I figured Ann would've told you what we were talking about. But, to answer you question - no. He did not."

"Oh. That's...that's good then," Akira still looked a bit nervous though, and Ryuji cocked his head to the side.

"Do you not trust your Persona?" He asked and Akira shook his head.

"It's not about trusting. It's just that, I don't think there's ever been another person in the Velvet Room besides myself. I don't even know how Arsene had did it." He said, frowning. "Ann said you guys were talking. What about? Is it something I need to know?"

"Dude, chill with the million questions. Arsene and I just had a nice chat," With Arsene basically groping him, but that's besides the point. "It's really nothing to be worried about."

Akira bit his lip. "I'd ask Arsene, but he's tight lip. Are you sure it was nothing? Not even a danger I should be aware of?"

"Nothing of that sort, dude," Though, if Ryuji was perfectly honest, the only real danger here is Arsene - and his ever loving touching hands. "Trust me. You would be the first to know if something like that exist."

Akira swallowed, and nodded his head.

"Right. I trust you."

Grinning, Ryuji slapped him across the back before heading towards their next class.

"Come on. Sooner school lets out, the sooner we can get back to being Phantom Thieves!"

"Shh!" Akira gave him a harsh glare, which only caused Ryuji to grin sheepishly.

Chapter Text

"So, apparently, we're changing the heart of an obsessed fangirl who's been apparently stalking this guy?" Panther questioned before sighing and shaking her head. "Jeeze. This is like, the third time something like this has happened. Why are people so obsess with other people?!"

"That is a question I often think to myself, sometimes," Inari said. "Love truly is a fickle thing."

"Love? That's not love! That's an obsession, Inari." Oracle countered, narrowing her eyes at the ice Persona user.

"Once upon a time ago, it use to be love," Noir said. "But then, something must've taken a wrong turn. And you say this the third time this happened?"

"Pretty much," Panther shrugged her shoulders. "Some of these requests we get are just filled with people love problems. And trolling. Can't forget that."

"Ah, I simply ignore them - the trolling, I mean. Can't be bothered with people who aren't taking this seriously." Oracle stated.

"And yet, that doesn't stop you from hacking them," Queen sighed, shaking her head when Oracle laughed.

"Only the small, harmless, fries. Gives them a good scare, you know." She said, but before they could continue this conversation - or, rather, have Queen reprimand her for the hacking and leaving people alone - Morgana spoke up.

"Heads up! We've reached our target!" He said, stopping and letting everyone out. The moment Oracle hopped off, Morgana transformed into his cat form. Approaching the target, said target looked up, yellow eyes in surprise, before narrowing at the group.

"Wait, don't tell me YOU'RE the Phantom Thieves? Have you been sent here to change my heart? I won't let you!" She hissed, taking a step back.

"You have to know that what you're doing is wrong. Stalking, ruining dates, spreading rumors....this is why we're here!" Noir said. The shadow fangirl scoffed.

"Wrong? Is it so wrong of me wanting to show my love for Jiro-kun? He NEEDS me! I'm the only girl who sees his true self!" The shadow said. "I'm the only one who can bring him happiness. Without ME, Jiro-kun will be helpless and taken advantage of! All those other girls don't care! They never seen him when he's upset, when he's hurting! He's mine, and I love him!"

"Right. That's what you all say. But how can you say that for sure?" Skull asked, scoffing disbelief as the shadow turned to him. It seems as though she could pick up on something about him, because the shadow narrowed her eyes, her pose stiff and straight.

"What do YOU know? At least your lover returns your feelings!" She said, surprising the group while Skull choked.

"E-Excuse me?! Lover?!" The blond sputtered while the shadow fangirl looked smug.

"Don't deny it. He's all over you! The fact that a lesser shadow can see it just means he wants us to notice. Pfft, how arrogant of him." She said, sneering down at Skull, who's face was completely red behind his mask. He could feel the other's eyes burning him from their staring, but he just shrugged his shoulders helpless.

"Do you even know what you're talking about?" Panther asked, looking at the shadow, who folded her arms.

"Of course I do. I don't know who 'he' is, but I can tell he's one of us - and he has left his mark on the blond bimbo over there," She ignored the bristled 'hey' that came from Skull. "And powerful. But that doesn't matter - Jiro-kun is mine! And I will crush anyone who stands in my way from loving him!" With that, the shadow began to transform into something else, what look to be a double headed angel with a long neck. It didn't look too bad, but as they fought, Skull realized that just because the thing was small, it didn't mean it didn't pack a punch.

Eventually, once shadow was defeated, it reverted back to its normal self, yellow eyes shone in sadness.

"Please...I just want to love him." She begged.

"You can start by being his friend first. Learn to give space, and accept the fact he may never be into you, if he chooses someone else. You can't force someone to love you, you have to know that." Noir said as the shadow bowed her head.

"'re right. I'm sorry for the trouble I caused," She looked over at Ryuji. "And I'm sorry to you, most of all. I must've upset your partner a great deal. Some of those attacks from the black haired teen really hurt." She whined, wincing even when Ryuji blushed and Akira froze in spot.

"I keep telling you, I don't have a partner! And what does Joker have anything to do with it?!" He spouted, but the shadow simply laughed.

"If only you knew...." With that, the shadow disappeared, right before Skull could ask any question.

"Jeeze, what a weirdo, right guys?" When he didn't receive an answer, Ryuji turned around to see most of his teammates staring at him. "What, you're not going to believe her, are you? I haven't really been hanging out with someone to be romantically involved!"

"Well, she did mention Joker," Ann hummed, smirking when she heard Akira's breath hitched and Ryuji continued to sputter.

"That's not - it's not - I - guys..." Ryuji stuttered. Morgana shook his head.

"Anyway, let's just pray for the poor sucker who gets stuck with him," He teased, ignoring Ryuji's 'Hey!' before transforming back into a bus. "Come on. Our work here is done. Unless you want to explore some more?" He questioned Joker, who nodded. While everyone was getting on, a soft whoosh was heard and Ryuji turned around to see Arsene there. The Persona didn't say anything, but had this look that caused shivers to go up his spine.

"H-hey," Ryuji started, only to squeal when Arsene reached out and hugged him. The rest of the Thieves were in shock, no more than Akira, who was choking slightly. Instantly, Ryuji felt his body relax, and he could almost fall asleep in his embrace when Arsene disappeared, causing him to stumble. Turning around, he blushed. "We can just...pretend that didn't happen?"

By look on their faces, he could tell that the answer was 'no'.

He blushed.     

Chapter Text

Ryuji had manage to slip away from the others the moment they finished with the Mementos. Akira, on the other hand, had not been so lucky, and as Ryuji manage to crawl up the steps of the subway, he could hear Ann yell about how she would drill him later next, which caused the blond to shiver. Yeah, no thanks. He thought, making his way home. As he did, his mind decided to replay the interaction with Arsene over and over again, as if trying to commit it to memory - which, really, isn't a problem for him.

The unexpected hug he'd received had been really warm, solid even, and above all, it made Ryuji feel safe. It had invoked quite some intense feelings from the blond, like how he just wanted to snuggle even deeper into Arsene's arms, and fall asleep (the fact that he almost did is something he didn't want to bring up). It was ridiculous. He's being ridiculous. Arsene's being ridiculous.

That doesn't change the fact that I like it, though, Ryuji blushed at his own thoughts. It felt nice, being touched like that. I want more. Ryuji nearly walked into a pole with how abrupt he'd stopped, head snapped up, and eyes wide.

"What the eff?!" He squeaked, face red. "I...?! That...! No!" If only he could make sense of his own words and thoughts.

Absently, Ryuji began to rub his right arm, hoping to feel some warmth from the contact, and when he realized what he was doing, he stopped. Okay...Arsene's attractive. Yes, he's pointed out that I'm attracted to him. That, and this....whatever this is, doesn't mean nor prove anything. He thought to himself, but feeling far less confident than he should after. Shaking his head, Ryuji decided to just head home and hopefully put this awkward situation behind him. He hopes that whatever is wrong with Arsene, could be fixed soon.

If only....

He was back here again.

Judging by the music and atmosphere, Ryuji was definitely in the Violet Room, or whatever it was called. He had just barely open his eyes when he felt a familiar presence with him, and was greeted by the sight of a black mask, hovering above him.

"Arsene..." He whispered, not quite as panicky as he should feel, especially since he couldn't move. Why can't I move?

"We meeteh again, my fair maiden." Arsene muttered, though, Ryuji really got the feeling he was being smug about it - as if he knew this would happen. Ryuji blushed.

"Why did you hug me? And do you know what that shadow meant from earlier? Said she could see something on me?" He asked, glaring into the eyes of the fallen angel. Arsene merely chuckled, lowering himself so that the Persona and Ryuji were nearly touching, and Ryuji squirmed a bit when he could feel the heat radiating off of him.

"I...may has't gotten hath carried hence. That is, to say, I may have...accidentally, left a mark on thou." By tone of his voice, and the look on his face, Ryuji knew Arsene wasn't sorry at all. Typical.

"You mean, the kiss?" Ryuji asked. The Persona merely chuckled, claw-like hands once again on his face, cupping his cheek. This time, Ryuji allowed himself to lean into it, blushing when he heard Arsene purr, pretty sure there'll be a huge grin on his face right about now.

" many other things." Arsene said, slowly sliding his hands down to Ryuji's lips, a single finger pushed plush against the soft, pink, openings. Ryuji watched with wide eyes as the Persona shivered in front of him, and maybe it was just him, but he could've sworn the flames beneath the mask had shone brighter, and almost felt like Ryuji was being devoured.

"What do you mean? What did you do to me?" Ryuji asked, careful of the finger on his lips. Arsene just hummed, pushing his finger insistently, until Ryuji gave way and allowed it to slip right in, tongue heavy against the finger. Ryuji was utterly mortified, and yet, as he glance over to the Persona, he was also overcome with anticipation. Arsene didn't answer, just waited patiently until Ryuji gave his nail a lick, causing the blush to spread and turn darker, and when he rolled his tongue, Arsene measly slide his finger out of Ryuji's mouth and cupped his chin again.

"Maybe I should asketh thee that. Thou art quite amusing, in thy way."  The Persona muttered into Ryuji's ear, before moving back and finally, finally, Ryuji was able to move. The blond had sat up straight, looking at the winged demon flying above him, brown eyes wide.

"Arsene," He whimpered. "Please. What do you want from me?"

"Interesting question. Does thou wish to hear the answer, no matter how dark it may be?" Arsene asked, titling his head to the side and giving Ryuji more reminders of how Akira would tilt his head whenever he was confused. These two are more alike than I've previously thought.

"Y...yes..." Ryuji stuttered, gasping when Arsene lunged towards him and cupped his face again with one hand, another sliding down his body.

"Very well," Arsene said, placing his head against Ryuji's, making sure his horns won't scar him. "Truth be told, I am attracted to thou, as well. I admire thy heart, thy courage, and recently, thou has been growing on my other self," The hand continued to wander, making Ryuji squirm. "Thy's bravery and wanting to protect my other half is most commendable. It is a trait not oft seen." When the hand reached Ryuji's growing bulge, the blond was mortified and tried to close his legs, but Arsene refused to let them. "Frankly, thou art beautiful."

"Y-You're just sayin' that," Ryuji protested, still squirming and letting out a soft moan when Arsene idly trace his groin with a single finger.

"Possibly, but that's how my other self feels. And how I feel," Arsene looked down at the blond that he had trapped. "What I want, is thou. And in so many ways."

"I'm almost afraid to ask," Ryuji started, whimpering when he realized he was half-hard, and from Arsene's finger. "B-But what ways?"

"I wish to hold thou, as I've done before," Arsene started, smirking when he put pressure against the boy's groin and hearing him from groan from that. "I also wish to kiss thou, tell thou how much he is adored, and wish to cherish thee if allowed," Then, the smirk grew a bit more sinister, and Ryuji started to pant when Arsene grabbed him. "Another part of me also wishes for this. This beautiful sight that lays before me, I want more of. I could treat thou like a diamond harlot, if thou like." There was absolutely no way Ryuji was getting a handjob from Arsene. No way.

The feeling of disbelief didn't last when the grip around his dick was firm, even, and slow. Ryuji moaned as he tilted his head, the blush no longer just on his face, but down his neck, and if Arsene was willing to bet, behind the jumpsuit as well. The Persona licked his lips.

"Thou will look beautiful in the throngs of passion. My other self would know." And, of course, Arsene would know - being trapped inside Akira's heart, he must've seen his desires as well, and would probably like to remedy them to the best of his abilities.

"W-Wait, Arsene," Ryuji panted, looking at the Persona with hazy brown eyes. " Akira...?"

"Aware of what we art doing? No. He only knows I haveth interest in thou, more personal than his, though a common ground if thee will," Arsene said, confusing Ryuji more, but he was too lost in the handjob to care. Arsene could see that, and began to pick up his pace, the flames in his eyes getting darker as he watched the boy beneath him squirm and moan in pleasure, occasionally calling out his name with a whimper. "He is not aware that I want thou too. This is out of my own, free, will."

And just like that, Ryuji came undone, crying out, coming inside his pants.

Grinning gleefully, Arsene lend down to kiss him on his forehead again. The only thing Ryuji could think of is - Arsene wants me.

Ryuji woke up to sweat, a gasp, and the feeling of sticky underwear. He blushed.

"Goddamn it."