Heart aching, pounding.
So clearly that the fear of someone noticing it started to grow.
Narukami Yu stood from afar, watching the red eyed brunette. In the center of the world (and his world), she proceeds to radiate light as usual.
The type of person who acts like the sun.
Naturally drawing people into her, longing for that warmth she offers.
But she was no sun, and not everyone could have such luxury of warmth.
Its been a long while since the Investigation Team and S.E.E.S was thrown into this world, exploring one labyrinth after another and bonding from this long journey.
In the real Inaba, she was there.
One day, she appeared in front of him, something that changed his life.
Arisato Minato and Arisato Minako. They were tough allies full of mystery, with an obviously enormous amount of experience when it comes to Personas and fighting shadows.
He found his comfort in her presence as well, and hoped that she found a bit of comfort in his presence.
They knew each other well, or so he believed.
But he wasn't supposed to know her well in this world.
Next to her was the senpai she loved oh so much.
The person who will soon cause her pain and sorrow, and cause her to grow into the woman he knows she will become.
She smiled at him in a way that he had never seen before. She was beautiful.
He knew how much she loved him. The whole scenario, all told from her own mouth 2 years ahead of time.
The words of the future Minako reminded him. Maybe in this world, it really wasn't his place to be by her side.
Even back in the real Inaba, the relationship of Narukami Yu and Arisato Minako was always unclear.
He wasn't sure if they were together or not.
The Minako from two years ahead had spoke a lot about her friends, her hardships, and her experience with love back in the days where she was with S.E.E.S.
He knows what happens from here on out, he knows where she will end up, and he can't say a thing about it. Who was he to wish her the best from here on out?
Why would some stranger's heart ache over the image of some sacrifice that hasn't occurred yet?
Over pain that she isn't aware that she was going to go through, the unimaginable burden that always makes him feel like his own hardships were only the size of a pebble.
As someone who is an 'outsider', he shouldn't be allowed to think in such a self important way.
Yet, seeing it with his own eyes still fills him with an unpleasant feeling.
A form of jealousy that shouldn't be allowed.
It felt distant. 2 years makes a larger difference than you think. To the high school Arisato Minako standing before him, he was just a nobody. A stranger holding the same wild card power as he does. A sub leader, some guy who led another group of persona users pursuing a murderer in a rural town.
What did he mean to her? What did she mean to him?
It wasn't right to ask these questions to a past version of someone's self, but he couldn't help but wonder after seeing those expressions.
What more do I want?
It felt wrong, but he couldn't help but notice the pain.
He missed the Arisato Minako that he knew.
Maybe homesick, he could call it.
In an empty classroom, the fatigued leader rests on a sofa. Hair untied and spread out, almost reaching the floor. Pins slightly messy but still in shape, and a peaceful look on her.
Yu stared at her figure, the usually loud and bright girl who had fallen fast asleep. Unaware of the affectionate gaze she is receiving from the silver haired boy.
Maybe nothing will replace her beloved senior.
They are different people after all, and he shouldn't compare himself to that person.
It had nothing to do with him, and that fact seeded a bit more of greed in him.
The answer was simple.
This was it all along.
I guess I really do love her.
Stroking her brown locks and brushing hair off her face, the boy had quiet thoughts.
Even though in this world he is nothing but an acquaintance, He wanted that smile all to himself. He wanted to see a smile she'd show to only Yu. He wanted to see a part of her no one else has ever seen. A part of her that is only accessible to him. He wanted Narukami Yu to have a special spot in her heart. Those crimson red eyes to focus on him, those comforting hands to hold his, that cheerful voice calling to him, those lips on his--
--and he had subconsciously minimized the distance between their faces. Her quiet breaths can be felt by his lips.
He touched their foreheads together for a brief second and swiftly looked away, covering his mouth with the back of his hand and giving her some personal space.
She was asleep.
As much as he could, he had respect for her.
It was basic respect that everyone deserved.
and his greed was overweighed by his care for her.
He loved her.
and he will continue to seek that special smile.