Synopsis: Minato, Yu and Akira have been roommates for a year now, and almost consider each others brothers. However, they didn't know about each others past, and spent an entire year in college blissfully unaware of it doing stupid shit, such as getting in fights, getting drunk and trying to pierce their own nipples. However, following a dream where they found themselves in the Velvet Room, they learn that Yaldaboath and Izanami, the gods who Akira and Yu had defeated, have made a bet concerning humanity. As both the Phantom Thieves and the Investigation Team go back in action, Minato succeeds in getting Aigis and Kotone to help him...
"Alright, so I went to the Untouchable and asked Iwai if he could make me a discount on all of these guns-"
"Akira, what are you talking about?" Yu turned toward Akira, who just entered the apartment, with a quizzical look on his face. "We don't need guns to fight Shadows. Minato and I already have weapons."
"For the negotiations, duh."
"Yeah!" The curly-haired student replied, a smile on his face. "You know, when you hold a shadow at gun point and you either ask for money, an item or for them to join your Persona arsenal?"
"... Why would I want a Shadow in my Persona inventory?"
"Because that's what they are? Basically Personas gone rogue?"
"... What the fuck happened to you, Akira?"
"Well, my mother didn't hug me as a child, I got branded a criminal by a society, had the steal the hearts of some jackasses who were constantly menacing my friends, had my crush from then die, had my best friend almost die, had to fight a jackass god, met Mara-"
"Akira, no one cares about your sob story." Minato declared as he entered the apartment, back from his appointment with his therapist.
"Fuck you, Minato, out of the three of us, you have the most tragic backstory."
"I didn't know "met Mara" was a requirement for a tragic backstory." Yu deadpanned.
"Well, it was more "weird" than "tragic", but-"
"Alright you two," Minato started, cutting Akira of from probably spouting some kind of dick joke "Kotone will be there any moment now, and she was basically one of my best friend back in Iwatodai, and I want you two to be on your best behavior. So, no mentions of the headphones incident -in fact, no mentions of any of the incidents we were part of-, no probing on what happened back then, no getting drunk -unless she starts it, then you can go all out- no stressful swear rants," he turned at Yu at that, before snapping his neck at his other roommate. "and no asking her to step on your face, Akira."
"Oh great, you ask a beautiful woman to step on your face once, and suddenly you're everything that's wrong with society."
"No, the problem is that out of the three of us, you're the one who does the most stupid shit." Minato explained.
"Yeah!" Yu affirmed. "You know, like trying to pierce your own nipples while black-out drunk!"
"Oh for the love of- I already apologized for that dozens of time already, and out of all the stupid shit I did in my life, it's probably the only one I recognized right away when I woke up as being incredibly stupid! Can you please leave me alone with that?!"
"No. I still have nightmares about it."
"See? That's exactly the kind of things I'm talking about!" Whined Minato. "You know what? Just act like when the three of us first met. Yu, you were kind of cold and respected boundaries, Akira, you were at least acting like you were sane, and we weren't really interacting with each other so let's go with that. Just act a little more familiar then back then."
"Alright." The two answered at the same time, just three seconds before someone knocked at the door.
"Shit, it's her! Get out of the living room, you two! Shoo, shoo!"
Once the two got somewhere else, Akira in his room and Yu in the kitchen, Minato took a few deep breath, and opened the door...
Just outside of the apartment, a young woman dressed in a red dress with white pants and a pink jacket, Kotone Shiomi, was waiting. Her auburn hair were now longer and reached her neck in their high ponytail. Her bangs were divided on the side instead of covering her forehead, and she had grown a few centimeters taller. Her black, red and pink suitcase was large and practically about to burst. When the door opened, a smaller man with blue hair and wearing a large hoodie and pajamas pants answered, who she instantly recognized as...
"Hey, Minato!" The brunette exclaimed, a joyous smile on her face as she threw her arms around the bluenette.
"Kotone." Minato answered as he put his arm around her, a small smile on his face.
"How you've been? Has shit started going down yet? Am I the only one who accepted to come back? Answer me!"
"Wow, wow. Calm down a little and go sit on the couch. I'm still processing my visit at the Velvet Room from a week ago."
"You went to the Velvet Room?!" She asked, throwing herself on the couch
"Yeah. It's a bistro now."
"Nice, I'm going to be able to get drunk and complain about my problems to Igor." She joked. "How's Theo?"
"Last time I saw him, I think he was getting attacked by Mara."
"... What the fuck."
"Beside that, he seemed to be doing well." He let himself fall on the couch at that, sighing. "God, I'm tired."
"Yeah, you kinda look like shit. When's the last time you washed yourself?"
"I'm not answering that."
"Dammit Minato, you need to take care of yourself!" Kotone exclaimed as she pushed him off the couch. "I'll talk to you after you take a shower."
"WHAT THE FUCK?! THIS IS MY HOUSE!"
"Shut up and take a shower."
"I won't forget this, Kotone!" He declared as he walked/stomped to the bathroom. "I WILL NOT FORGET THIS!" And then slammed the door.
Ten seconds later, the sound a shower started. Kotone chuckled at her victory.
"Wow," she turned toward the source of the voice. It was from an young man with frizzy black hair and brown eyes, who wore red-framed thick glasses, designer clothes and was rather androgynous looking. "it's the first time I see someone convince Minato to take a shower without him making too much of a scene."
"It happens regularly?" She asked, suddenly worried for the bluenette's state.
"More like he's not really good at taking care of himself, but he makes effort." Answered the frizzy-haired one. "I'm Akira Kurusu, by the way."
"Oh yeah, nice to meet you, Kurusu-San. I'm Kotone Shiomi." She extended a hand to him, which he shook. "You're the sex maniac, right?"
"Nice to know it's how he sees me." Deadpanned Akira, before turning toward the brunette. "Not that he's exactly wrong, but..."
"It's alright! I dated a lot of guys back in high school, so I'm not really well-placed to judge."
"... I don't know if "sleeps with a lot of people on campus with boyfriend's consent" and "dated a lot of guys in high school" are equivalent, but alright."
"Uh, Akira?" Another man entered the room, and the first thing that went to Kotone's head was that he was one of the most intimidating person she ever met. Easily taller than Takaya "Sonuvabitch" Sakaki, absolutely jacked, a shadow covered his eyes and he was dressed like a biker, even if the "intimidating" factor was somehow mitigated when she realized his silver hair were styled like a bowl cut with a ponytail, even if he seemed to pull that off. "I'm pretty sure Minato told us not to talk about our college life."
"He said not to talk about the incidents, Yu. Not about college life." The frizzy-haired one, Akira, answered.
"Your college life is a series of various incidents." The silverhaired one (Yu?) answered.
"Oh!" The tall man seemed to notice her, and quickly walked over to her, extending a hand. "You must be Shiomi-San. I'm Yu Narukami. Nice to meet you."
She shook his hand, happy to see Minato seemed to have found good friend. "Nice to meet you too, Narukami-San."
"So," Akira started, bringing his hands together "has Minato explained the situation to you?"
"Oh." Yu seemed worried for a moment. "That's not good. Come on, let's go to the kitchen. I've made some bentos."
"Nice!" She followed the two others to the kitchen, and looked around, surprised about the niceness of the apartment. "Holy shit, Minato found himself one good apartment."
"Yeah, no. It was an offer in the newspaper like what, someone else was paying the rent, so a lot of people jumped at the offer and Minato and I were the one chosen due to the prestigious high school we went to. Turns out Yu's parent are the one paying so we can stay in the apartment without having to pay the rent for that." Akira explained, before his face darkened.
"What it didn't say was that they wouldn't pay the rest, like electricity and hot water. Turns out, his parents are assholes who wanted him to find a part-time job at their company -while he told them he would prefer focusing on his studies- forced him away from the dorms and his best friend in an apartment he didn't want, and expected his roommates to be stuck up snobs focused on their studies. Minato and I turning out to be, well, us, was more of a stroke of luck than anything."
"Yeah, that was kind of a dick move on their part." Agreed Yu, bringing three bentos at the table.
"So," started Kotone, "what's going on?"
"Apparently, two gods -the ones that Akira and I have faced- have come back and made a bet, which will enter in action tomorrow. You and someone else that Minato didn't mention are the only one he knew would accept to help. Akira and I succeeded in forming our teams back, and we're basically waiting for Igor to give us the word for how it's going to go down. We think we're going to meet him again tonight." Yu explained.
"Yeah, and before you ask," continued Akira, "the gods that made the bet are Izanami, who seems cool beside having no idea on how to judge humanity and the fact that she broke her promise to Yu, and Yaldabitch-"
"What? Am I not allowed to mock my sworn enemy?" At the flat look Yu sent him (and probably his attitude), he crossed his arms.
"She doesn't know his real name. Be serious about this."
"Ugh, fine." The frizzed-haired student rolled his eyes before turning to the brunette. "The other god name is Yaldaboath. He's the manifestation of society's unknown desire for order -which is bullshit- and he tried to impose it on the world by creating some kind of game between me and... someone else." Akira stopped at that, his mind seemingly wandering.
"Can you tell us more?" Asked Kotone, Yu nodding in agreement.
"Well, the thing is that he then proceeded to rig the fucking game in his favor, and I had to show up with a form of Satan to defeat him. Turns out, he survived being shot in the face and proceeded to do a bet with Izanami. He also hijacked the Velvet Room and split my Velvet Room attendant- who also happens to be an adorable little girl -into two bloodthirsty gremlins. And I have absolutely no other words to describe what that cunt did back then without telling you my life story!" Akira seethed.
"... Wow. You didn't tell me that he was that much of an ass." Said Yu, bewildered.
"What you described there, Kurusu-San, is a dick!" Cheerfully exclaimed Kotone.
"What's a dick now?" The three jumped at the voice, relieved to see it was only Minato with damp hair and wearing underwear and a t-shirt.
"The god I faced." Akira offered for explanation.
"Oh, you told her what happened, that's good. Uh, Yu? A little more about Izanami wouldn't be too bad."
"I already told you: Izanami was curious about humanity, so she chose three persons to represent emptiness, despair and hope, and I was the one representing hope."
"The only thing is that she is a horrible judge of character, and deduced that the jackass who represented emptiness was the winner. My team and I were able to convince her not to destroy the world, and she gracefully conceded after a battle were we all almost died. I'm on good terms with one of her avatars, but she's just as traumatized about it than all of my team, if not more."
"I'm planning on finding a way to meet her, so yeah. We should get answers as of the nature of this bet pretty soon." Yu explained, visibly not happy to remember these events.
"Shit." Simply said Minato. "You guys have history with these gods."
"Yeah," agreed Kotone, "dealing with Nyx was a nightmare, but at least it wasn't personal between us."
"... who's Nyx?"
"You don't want to know."
"Welcome back to the Velvet Room, Lady Kotone."
"IGOR!" Kotone exclaimed as she threw herself at the bar. "How you've been? Why wasn't I summoned in the Velvet Room with the others? What's the bet about? ANSWER ME!"
"Kotone, calm down." Said Minato as he entered the Velvet Room, followed shortly after by Yu and Akira. "So, how you've all been?"
"Fine." answered Theodore, having seemingly recovered from being attacked by Mara. "What about you, Master Minato?"
"For once in my life, I'm not too sleepy."
"Uh, Minato?" The bluenette turned toward Yu, humming in acknowledgment. "Can you help us get Kotone off the counter?"
"Shit, she's really excited."
"Mistress Kotone, calm down!" Exclaimed Theodore, getting up from his seat... before having the brunette throw herself at him.
"Yes, it's nice to see you too again." He declared before awkwardly patting her head.
"So, what is the bet about?" Asked Akira has he made his way to Lavenza's table, taking a seat.
"Well... how do I put it without you flying into a rage?..."
"Lavenza, anything related to Yaldabaoth will make me fly into a rage." Reminded Akira.
"In fact, anything related to that jacka-"
"Sorry big sis. Anyway, anything related to the Demiurge would make anyone who is a permanent resident in this room fly into a rage after the stunt he pulled with the Velvet Room settlement in Tokyo." Elizabeth assured.
"That is true." Agreed Margaret.
"Theodore doesn't get mad when he's mentioned." Argued Lavenza.
"He keeps his calm on the surface. Inside, not so much." Igor explained.
"No you're lying." Yu cut him.
"How would you know?" Questioned the only Velvet brother.
"Akira told us about what happened to Lavenza."
"Yep. Yaldabitch hijacked the Velvet Room-"
"More like he somehow locked us and the master out of it."
"- thank you, Elizabeth- and split her in two, and the way he described them, her halves weren't exactly nice." Kotone added, ignoring Minato's "He what."
"Oh! If you know all that, then yes, I will not hide the fact that I have issues with Yaldaboath."
"... What level of issues?" Questioned Elizabeth, skeptical about her pushover brother having any kind of mean bone in his body.
"The level of issues that, the rare times when I get to sleep, most of my dreams involve him suffering at my hands." Her brother explained without missing a beat, keeping his cheerful tone... before adding this, his face and tone becoming utterly blank, but not breaking eye contact with his sister. "In the last one, I was stapling his fingers to his face."
A heavy silence followed this sentence, before...
"The fuck. So, what's the bet about?" Akira pressed, eager to change the subject.
"Oh, Izanami and Yaldaboath made a bet on humanity's nature and which side would win."
"AGAIN?!" The Phantom Thieves and Investigation Team leaders roared at the same time, both of them visibly annoyed (understatement of the millennium) at learning the nature of this divine bet.
"... you need to be more precise." Said Minato.
"I SHOT THAT DICKHEAD IN THE FACE TO PROVE A POINT-"
"Well, it just so happens to Yaldaboath and Izanami were unable to agree on something-"
"MY FUCKING COUSIN ALMOST DIED BECAUSE OF HER FIRST EXPERIMENT-"
"-and made a bet on which one would be right, that is all. Nothing personal toward them, I suppose." Explained Igor, not paying any mind to the scene the two Wildcards were doing.
"A CONSPIRACY! THIS IS ALL JUST ANOTHER FUCKING CONSPIRACY-"
"You're sure? Because these two seem to be taking it pretty personally." Remarked Kotone.
"AND THEN THAT DICK ADACHI JUST HAD TO RUIN HOURS I SPENT TRYING TO HELP HIM-"
"Well, to be fair, these two seem to have histories with their cosmic jackass, unlike us with Nyx." Minato explained.
"Ryoji." Reminded Kotone.
"I meant negative history with them. Ryoji was one of your social links and I dated the bloke."
"AND WE LITERALLY HAD A FUCKING CONTRACT ABOUT HOW THAT LYING, HYPOCRITICAL BITCH WOULDN'T GO BACK ON HER WORD TO LEAVE US ALONE IF I ALWAYS SEARCHED FOR THE TRUTH NO MATTER HOW SHITTY IT IS WHICH I DID-"
"Indeed, it's somewhat personal for these two." Confirmed Margaret.
"Akira isn't even coherent anymore. I also have no idea what Yu is talking about." Remarked Minato about the two ball of rage that were essentially his roommates.
"Let me take care of Master Yu." The eldest sibling declared as she walked over the raging mess that was Yu, putting a hand on his shoulder. When the silverhead snapped his head at her, she simply handed him a pillow and told him to scream in it. Which he will do until I tell you he's not doing it anymore.
"What about Kurusu-San?" Asked Kotone, gesturing to the garbling, raging, screaming mess that the Trickster had become.
"You let him mellow down." Igor declared, even if his eternal smile faltered a second at seeing one of the Wild Card who took the term to new lengths being reduced to rage so easily.
"... Alright, but which part of humanity's nature did they bet about?" Minato asked
"How far they would go for others. Just how much kindness does each human have. Just how virtuous they can go." Margaret explained.
"Ah. Well, that's a weird bet." Kotone simply said. Understandable, seeing as she had met psychopaths, but her group had literally fought Death to try and give humanity another chance. She was able to see the shades of morality. Apparently, Gods couldn't.
"Indeed. Yaldaboath firmly believes that every human is only centered on themselves-"
"WHICH IS BULLSHIT-" Akira succeeded in screaming in the middle of his incoherent rant.
"-and Izanami was willing to say that they weren't all like that."
"Wait what." Yu promptly said, having finished screaming in his pillow.
"Izanami is the one who asked us for help." Elizabeth simply stated.
"And we accepted. Because we hate Yaldaboath." Theodore explained, a smile on his face.
"That's... reassuring to heard." Admitted Yu. "I mean, she still broke her promise, but it was to defend us. So I guess it's alright."
"Yes. Soon, you will be able to re-awaken to your Personas, so..." Igor started as the attendants started leading them to the door. "Good luck."
Akira woke up, clutching his head. He looked around, trying to see if things had changed.
Things hadn't changed. Everything seemed regular.
That is, until he opened his phone, and a glowing red app had installed itself on his phone.
"It was about time."