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The Past

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Kei Nanjo learned in high school that freedom can stem from the past tragedies one endures. He hadn’t thought he would grow from something like Yamaoka dying. He’d been so upset when it happened, so lost. He’d died right in front of his eyes, with Kei unable to do anything about it. Then again, after the shock wore off, he should have seen it.

He’d promised the man who truly cared about him that he would be the number one in Japan, hadn’t he? All he could do now was move forward with that and, in a way, he found it liberating. Doing it for the sake of his old butler instead of anyone else… He felt more free. Like he had more options as to what he could -- as long as Yamaoka would approve, he would be fine.

Maybe that link to Yamaoka showed itself in more than the freedom he felt. Twice he gained his butler again, this time in the form of a Persona. A part of him that he would never lose again, not if he could help it. He would keep Yamaoka with him and keep his goal in his sites.

He would keep this strange, little piece of freedom he’d taken a grasp of. He’d cling to it and wouldn’t let anyone take it away.

 

--

Through their interactions with that boy who, in a way reminded them of their own son, Bunkichi and Mitsuko realized that sometimes the knowing more about the past could be freeing. The more they learned of their son and his legacy at the school… The more at peace they felt.

They would never truly be fully free of his death, it would hang over them until death, but… They did feel more free than when that boy had first walked into their lives. They felt they could move on and feel good about what happened. The tree may be gone, but their son’s legacy would live on in his students.

Not only that, but their new friend (or maybe they could almost call him a new son) would have a legacy they could be proud of, no doubt. They felt free to put their faith in another young man, full of life and with a long future ahead of him…

Maybe all that was the reason they felt free to mourn after he passed away, peacefully in his friend’s arms. They’d be free to mourn him and carry on his legacy as well.

 

--

Shinjiro had felt shackled by his past for a while now. Everything about that incident weighed in his head and heart. There was no escape from the suffocating feeling of choking on his own medication. The looming feeling of his own Persona, wanting to kill him. The guilty feeling on his shoulders whenever he saw Akihiko, Mitsuru, or especially Ken.

Maybe that’s why October Fourth was almost something he was looking forward to. Maybe he’d be, in an ironic way, freed from these shackles by the past that created them. Maybe today would be the day he died, leave it all behind, be able to rest.

Maybe Ken would be able to move on too. Past what had happened to his mother… Akihiko and Mitsuru could focus on the new members of SEES, forget the member who deserved to be left behind… Shinjiro wanted nothing else than to save everyone else from being stuck in the past like he was.

He’d almost thank Takaya if Ken hadn’t been right there. He’d thank him for ending this suffering and, in a way, freeing him.

--

 

Metis had a hatred for the past. From the moment she’d met SEES and her sister, she hated it. It was something that brought these people closer together and shoved her farther out of their little circle. That made her something they could distrust and hate easily.

She hated it even more when the fighting began. Her sister hated her now, all because she had a stronger bond with them. Metis just wanted to protect Aigis, but Aigis… Her memories caused a rift between the two of them. What room was there for Metis when she couldn’t remember anything…

Then she remember, who she was and what she stood for… She was her sister’s other self. She belonged with her, and, in a way, the others. She was the emotions Aigis gained through her friendships, right? So despite all that hatred and distrust…

She just had to hope they wouldn’t remember her as an oppressive presence. She hoped her being there helped them free themselves of their regret.

 

--

 

Ryotaro had been struggling with himself and the past he had to face. His wife had been killed and he’d thrown himself so much into work that… That his daughter had suffered. He had let his daughter suffer because of his own hang ups. Could he forgive himself for that?

As he saw off his nephew, Nanako and his friends nearby, Ryotaro decided that he might not be able to, but… Nanako had made good memories and so had he. He would have to work hard to make it up to her, but for now? Now something had changed.

The past wasn’t just a thing that kept him down anymore. There was now something in his recent past that freed him from the distant. Nanako and Yu, they had helped pull him away from that, into the future. Into one where he could look back and smile.

He knew that there was no way he’d be able to fully escape the past, but… Now that wasn’t all that bad, and now he could breathe. He was finally free.

--

Sojiro had done a lot of things out of what he felt were past obligations. He hadn’t believed Wakaba was serious when she said she thought she was going to die, so he’d finally taken in her daughter. He’d taken in Futaba to try and atone for the past mistakes he’d made.

Then, he started to feel Futaba could easily become one of those mistakes. She’d only talk to him and even then, it was sparse, about things she wanted. He’d barely seen the inside of her room and he saw less of it when he tried bringing doctors around…

Then Futaba started to change, be more outgoing. She went out, came to Leblanc, laughed and talked to Sojiro. Most importantly, she made friends. She had a group she could trust and now? Now he knew Futaba wouldn’t be a mistake.

He’d made the right choice for once, and it was paying off. Soon enough, at least, he’d have memories of someone he didn’t let down, all the way.