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Road Less Taken

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The labyrinth sounded just as alive as it did back in the realm Rei created, Minato concluded. It rumbled quietly and he was sure he wouldn’t have noticed without the experience garnered as a Persona user.

His companion hummed quietly, their hands clasped together tightly. Despite the apathy that was on her features, her cheerfulness still sore above it and said cheerfulness stuck out like a sore thumb. It made it feel real, like this wasn’t another maze, as if they were living their lives as regular people.

He didn’t want to forget again. He already forgot once; the memories gained with the Investigation Team hit him full-force when they had been dragged in. To forget this was cruel of the universe.

She swung their hands around playfully. “You’re thinking too hard again.”

Minato’s mood dissipated slightly. Even if it had been hours ago since they had been reunited, he couldn’t help but feel euphoric even at the sound of her voice. “You always say that about me, Hamu.”

Hamuko laughed loudly, the sound echoing in the empty movie theatre they had been walking around in. “I can’t help it! You’re fun to tease, Mina.”

Maybe it was the ‘twin sense’ crap he’d heard many times in random movies and shows, but he could easily detect the heightened pitch of her voice by the end. “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t do such a thing in front of our friends.”

Friends. It came so easy, even as his heart constricted at the thought of such a thing ending if – when – they ended the Dark Hour.

The hollow sounds of the labyrinth reminded that he had more time, at least.

Hamuko’s hand squeezed his and he squeezed back. “Nonsense. As your big sister, my job is to embarrass you in every shape and form.”

“I thought that was my role,” he responded lightly. Hamuko being the “big” sister and him being “little” brother was once a source of argument turned teasing, all because Hamuko had been the first of them to come out. It’d been years. He missed it.

“Nah. Your role was to be the annoying little brother that ticked me off by trying to be cool.”

“Hey now.” If she was going to play this game, then Minato was damn well going to play with the intent to win. “Don’t blame me for our genetics.”

“Putting words in my mouth, are you? How dare you,” Hamuko responded with the same, apathetic smile that gave them the ‘cool’ status, as kids and now as teenagers.

Check.

He shrugged, drawing just enough fucks to look her straight in the eyes. “Hamuko,” he began softly, “that’s like saying Igor wanted his long nose, or wanted his attendants to sing about it. Or,” he paused, watching silently as she simmered, “how ducks are ugly.

He managed to pry their hands apart as her voice turned deadly. “You didn’t.”

Checkmate.

“I only speak the truth, little sister.”

Her eyes flashed a heavenly yellow and Minato was running before she could get her naginata out, slipping his headphones on to ignore Orpheus' howl.