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Ever Heard of the Placebo Effect?

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Akira always felt a bit remorseful whenever he watched the heavy blade of the guillotine slice into the struggling persona trapped beneath it, but his guilt would be quickly washed away when the Persona he had sought after appeared before him in a soft glow of blue light, binding them together with a spoken contract before merging into his body. Today was no different, watching through the iron prison bars while the other occupants of the Velvet Room spectated the event with little interest.

“Will that be all, inmate?” droned his attendant, scribbling down a few notes on a clipboard.

“Yeah, I’m all done. Everything business-related is out of the way, so...” Akira reached through the bars, trying to drape his arms over Ryuji’s shoulders with a smirk on his face. “Maybe you could let your prisoner out for a bit of exercise?”

He was rewarded with a sharp crack of the baton across both his kneecaps for his impudence, and Akira yelped before retreating back into his cell, sulking. “Well you’re no fun.”

“Not when the master is around.” hissed Ryuji through gritted teeth.

Igor stared at the two of him, his bloodshot eyes and rictus grin revealing nothing per usual. “Is something wrong, Ryuji?” he asked through his ceaseless smile.

“N-Nothing, but, um… p-perhaps I could provide some personal training to the inmate again… if you would permit it, master.” stuttered Ryuji while he readjusted the cap on his head.

Another stare, long enough to make Akira and Ryuji shift uncomfortably in their respective uniforms, and Igor finally closed his eyes. “Very well, if you see this is fit for the Trickster’s rehabilitation…” he slowly faded into thin air, and Ryuji allowed a heavy sigh to escape his lips once Igor was out of sight, slumping his shoulders and allowing his back to hunch forward from its normally prim posture.

“Finally. Thought that guy would never leave…”

if you would permit it, master ,” mimicked Akira, chuckling to himself.

“Shut up. Formalities are a must when it comes to the master.” muttered Ryuji. He unclasped the ring of keys from his belt and inserted one of the keys into the lock, the door swinging outward with a grating screech before Ryuji stepped inside.

“Always worried about that long-nosed creep. I wish you’d pay attention to me just as much.” pouted Akira while he wrapped his arms around Ryuji’s waist. He wasted no time pulling Ryuji into a deep kiss, feeling Ryuji’s hands smooth across his back as he allowed Akira to do as he pleased.

“Argh, j-just shut up and keep kissing me, dude.” grumbled Ryuji, forcing Akira to wince when he fisted his gloved hand into his hair. “I still think it’s kinda gross though, two people squishing their mouths together. but if you like it…”

Akira blinked at that. “You mean kissing? People normally do that kind of stuff because it uh, feels good. It’s, um… not good for you?” His hands go slack around Ryuji’s waist, uncertain.

Ryuji’s brows furrowed together, and he turned his head to the side, clearing his throat. “Well if that’s why, then sure, I get it, but, I’m not… normal.” he mumbled. “I’m only here to help with your rehabilitation. Stuff like pain, pleasure, there’s no real use to have any of that for me. So…”

“You can’t feel anything? Not the kisses either? Or… anything else?” asked Akira, feeling his face begin to heat up. So all this time Akira had been the only one enjoying it?

“The stimulation needs to be strong, so the uh, kisses don’t really feel like anything at all. B-But I still think it’s nice! I mean, you’re going outta your way to show you care…” Ryuji gave a nervous grin, hesitating before planting a sloppy interpretation of a kiss onto Akira’s cheek. “So yeah, thanks inmate.” he stepped away, turning his back on Akira. “Anyways, I think we should call it a day. Any longer and master’s gonna start to suspect something’s up.” he fumbled with the clipboard, and Akira watched forlornly as he locked the door again and resumed his usual stance beside the prison cell.

Akira left the Velvet Room once Igor returned, and when he opened his eyes he found himself lying in bed, the taste of iron thick in his mouth and a very pitiful erection tenting against the side of his sweatpants.

Akira didn’t believe he had ever felt so unsatisfied in his life.


Even though Ryuji didn’t express any sort of resentment, Akira couldn’t help but feel as if he had been taking advantage of his Velvet Room attendant over the past few months. The fact that he had never felt anything but still allowed Akira to do what he wanted…

Akira thought about it thoroughly for the rest of the night, trying his best not to toss and turn in fear of waking Morgana. Ryuji may not be able to really feel anything, physically speaking, but he could still move his limbs and whatnot just like a regular human being, an endeavor that Akira assumed one would need a responsive nervous system to accomplish. But then again, he also had to account for fucky Metaverse logic…

The Metaverse was a physical representation of human cognition. Assumptions, desires, fears, all manifested into physical form. It’s why eating some yakisoba pan would manage to heal his wounds in an instant and why he suddenly knew how to gracefully summersault over obstacles despite never taking any sort of gymnastics course in his lifetime. If he managed to obtain some sort of… substance, medicine, maybe, that people assumed would make physical touch more perceptible, more sensitive, an… an…


Akira suddenly sat up at the realization, forgetting entirely that Morgana was sleeping right on top of him until a loud yowl rang through the air as Morgana was flung onto the floor with a muffled thud.

“What was that for?!”


Akira didn’t get much sleep even after he had finished making a profuse apology to Morgana, flustered by the realization of what he needed to obtain in order to have a simple makeout session with his boyfriend, and when he headed out that morning he convinced Morgana to stay inside the café in exchange for a nice helping of convenience store sushi.

The walk to the clinic felt longer than usual, and Akira had been expecting the glowering stare he would receive from Takemi after explaining his request, although that didn’t lessen the sting of her icy cold glare or make the situation any less mortifying. With a roll of her eyes, she wheeled her chair over to the drawer on her desk filled with an assortment of bottled pills, skimming over each bottle before taking one out and shoving it into Akira’s hand. “I suppose I should have expected this for someone your age. Consider this part of your payment, guinea pig, and just… use protection, for your own sake.” sighed Takemi.

Akira couldn’t even coherently bluster out a protest that he had never gone beyond neck kissing with his significant other before being kicked out of the clinic, and he decided to waste no time as he briskly headed over to the nearest gateway to the Velvet Room.

Ryuji stood by the iron grate, giving Akira a small smile as he approached. “Hey again, inmate. You’ve been visiting a lot lately. Do ya miss me that much?” teased Ryuji, and Akira simply nodded in response, catching Ryuji off guard. His face flushed pink, an indication of something akin to blood flowing in his possibly existing veins, and Akira only felt more confident about his theory as they stepped inside, greeted by the familiar cramped prison cell and the same wooden desk facing him from the center of the room, its usual occupant decisively missing.

“I sensed you wanted a private meeting with me, so I requested that the master take leave for a while.” explained Ryuji, still standing outside of the prison cell with his back towards Akira. He turned his head, staring at the prisoner behind him. “Now then, let’s take care of business first. What would you like today? To register a new persona? Perhaps take one in for lockdown?”

Akira ignored his offers, hands behind his back and staring down at the floor. “Ryuji, be honest with me. Are you really okay with me being the only one who enjoys our private time?”

Ryuji frowned at that. “Who said you were the only one enjoying it? I might not feel it, but the fact that you’re having a good time makes up for anything I might be missing out on. Sure I’ve thought about what it actually feels like, doing that kind of shit, but if there’s no way to experience it then that’s that. Stop worrying so much over the small stuff inmate, jeez…” he sighed, scrubbing a hand across the back of his head, and Akira could tell he was completely taken by surprise when his arm was suddenly yanked away from him, yelping in surprise when Akira quickly clasped the cuffs around his wrist and one of the cell bars. “H-Hey! Bastard, what the hell do you think you’re doing?!” he yelled, pulling at the cuffs to no avail.

“Shhh,” Akira purred, tucking his chin over Ryuji’s shoulder while his hands began to roam freely across his body. “You really think I wouldn’t know how to pick a lock by now? Come on, Ryuji, I had you right where I wanted you the whole time.” one hand trailed up to Ryuji’s mouth, fingers slipping past his lips and prodding at his tongue, and Akira winced when he felt teeth bite down harshly into his skin, blood trickling down his digits. He didn’t mind though, focused on the task at hand as he slipped a single white pill into Ryuji’s mouth. “Swallow it, darling.” he ordered, and Ryuji glared at him coldly before gagging around the fingers Akira shoved even deeper into his mouth. “I said swallow it.”

A moment of hesitation, and Ryuji finally swallowed the pill, gasping for air as Akira finally pulled his fingers away. “What the hell did you give me?” he growled, rubbing at his neck with his free hand.

“Nothing deadly. Just something to help you understand how I feel whenever we’re alone.” replied Akira, eyes raking over Ryuji’s form for some indication of change. A few moments passed, and Akira’s heart sank when nothing seemed to happen until…

Ryuji’s legs suddenly buckled beneath him, the chain of the handcuffs pulled taut with a loud clatter as he tried to lean against the bars for support. “W-Wha…?” he gasped, struggling to hold himself up. Ryuji’s cheeks were flushed, chest rapidly rising and falling. “I-Inmate, what the hell did you do?”

Wow, the effects had arrived much sooner and were much more potent than Akira had expected, and he swallowed thickly, tilting Ryuji’s head towards him as he kissed the corner of his mouth and arousal flaring in his gut when he felt Ryuji jolt from the kiss. “Shush. Just relax and enjoy this.” soothed Akira as he pulled him into a proper kiss, and Ryuji moaned, a genuine, honest-to-god moan, right against his lips. The vibrations made Akira suddenly feel light-headed, and he screwed his eyes shut as he eagerly shoved his tongue into Ryuji’s mouth, hearing him gasp and whimper against him as his gloved hand fisted into the front of Akira’s shirt and pulled him closer.

“H-ah, ah, i-inmate…” Ryuji panted, eyes half-closed as he delved back in for more, and Akira couldn’t do anything else than ride the sense of giddiness that overwhelmed him as he listened to Ryuji’s sincere moans of pleasure reverberating against his mouth. he pulled away and began kissing at every inch of Ryuji’s skin he could reach, his jawline, his cheek, his temple, and Ryuji simply squirmed and gasped in response, his blush blooming all across his face and down beneath his collar as he rattled the cuffs in a weak attempt to get away.

“Ugh, c-cut it out, that… t-tickles? I-Is that the word?” stuttered Ryuji, whining when Akira bit his earlobe and pulled gently. “I-Inmate, my body feels hot. Seriously, w-what the hell did you do? I-I...”

A pause, and Akira dared to drift his gase just a bit lower, staring at the very apparent tent in Ryuji’s pants and praying that Ryuji wasn’t aware of the sudden stiffness pressed right against his rear. “D...Do you want me to help with that?”

“Huh…?” Ryuji didn’t resist as he unbuttoned his pants, an indication of his trust in Akira, and Akira pressed more kisses to Ryuji’s neck as he slipped his hand into the dip of his pants and grasped his hard member, causing Ryuji to yelp in response and arch his back off the bars while his wrist twisted wildly in the cuffs. “W-Wha-! No, n-no, it hurts -” Ryuji whined as Akira gave his cock a few careful strokes, and Akira looked up to see Ryuji’s eyes damp with tears, mouth parted and desperately sucking in breaths as he writhed against his restraint with each squeeze of Akira’s hand around his twitching cock. Precum dribbled freely into the front of Ryuji’s pants just from the simple touches, and Akira marvelled at how much more sensitive Ryuji was even compared to a regular human.

“Do you want me to stop?” Akira asked gently, and Ryuji whimpered and nodded his head, sniffling when Akira pulled his hand away.

“Asshole, w-why’d you do that…?” Ryuji muttered, shifting uncomfortably as he tried to pull his pants back up.

“I’m sorry. Did it really hurt that much?”

“I-It wasn’t actually painful, b-but it still felt like too much…” he turned to glare at Akira with eyes still pricked with tears. “If you’re gonna do something like that at least try to be more gentle.”

Akira’s mouth went dry at his words, and he stood there for a moment before unlocking the cuffs. “F-Fine. Then get in the cell Ryuji.”


“I-I mean, get in the cell if you want to…”

Ryuji sighed, and he unlocked the door before stepping inside the dark prison cell, pants still unbuttoned and his cap now positioned haphazardly above his right ear.

“This is a good look on you,” teased Akira as he sat on the wooden board that substituted for his bed. He motioned Ryuji to step forward before grabbing him by the waist and pulling him into his lap, listening to Ryuji yelp as he pressed his hands against the wall on either side of Akira for support.

“S-So what now?”

“Now you sit there and let me handle the rest, okay?” murmured Akira, lips ghosting over Ryuji’s neck and feeling every tremor that raced over his skin as he unbuttoned Ryuji’s jacket next . He pushed up his undershirt, brushing his thumb over Ryuji’s nipple and feeling him jolt at the touch before travelling lower still to slip his hand beneath Ryuji’s pants and trace his finger over the puckered rim.

“Ah! H-Hey!” Ryuji protested as he shoved his hand against Akira’s face.

Akira ignored him, continuing to prod and stroke the delicate ring of muscle that flinched beneath each touch, and Ryuji began to squirm so violently in his lap that Akira had to grab one hand to save himself from being elbowed in the face.

“I-Inmate, s-stop teasing me!” Ryuji whined, back arched as he pushed his hips back against the infuriatingly light touches, and Akira actually listened for once as he withdrew his fingers and shoved them into Ryuji’s mouth instead.

“Get them nice and wet for me,” he ordered, smirking at the murderous glare he received in turn as Ryuji obediently sucked on the digits intruding his mouth. He pulled away after a few more moments before shoving one slick finger inside of Ryuji’s entrance, causing Ryuji to shriek so loudly his voice echoed off the dank prison walls. Akira grinned, pushing his finger inside even deeper despite Ryuji’s desperate pleas and twisting it this way and that in search of a certain spot. He knew he found it when Ryuji suddenly tightened around him with a wail, and the subtle hint of fear in Ryuji’s eyes only made Akira want to torment him more as he began to mercilessly curl his finger deep into the swollen bundle of nerves over and over again.

“N-No, wait! T-Too much, A-Akira!” Ryuji sobbed, choking on his own breath as Akira continued to relentlessly stimulate him. Akira added a second finger, and with only a few more shallow thrusts Akira suddenly found his prison uniform being soaked in cum as Ryuji screamed through his first release, squeezing so tightly around Akira’s finger that he couldn’t even pull them out.

Ryuji collapsed against Akira’s shoulder, shaking and whimpering when Akira slowly pulled his fingers out, and the fact that Ryuji just came with nothing but his fingers made his own aching erection throb in desperate need.

He shoves down his pants, grinding the stiff length over Ryuji’s twitching entrance and listening to him gasp. “I-Inmate-”

“Call me by my name again.” murmured Akira as he pushed the tip insistently against him. “Please…”

Ryuji whimpered in response, burying his face into Akira’s neck as he spread his legs to help make the insertion easier. “A-Akira-” he mumbled, shrieking when something thick and unyielding plunged into his oversensitive hole. “Akira!”

“That’s it. You’re so cute, Ryuji.” purred Akira, grabbing Ryuji by the waist and listening to him scream as he shoved him onto his cock over and over again. Tears streamed down Ryuji’s cheeks as he clinged to Akira for dear life, and a moan escaped Akira’s lips when he felt Ryuji bite down on his shoulder to muffle a particularly loud cry.

“A-Akira, Akira, Akira…” Ryuji chanted, and he caught Akira by surprise when he leaned forward and eagerly crashed their lips together, embarrassingly loud moans escaping Akira as he tried to reciprocate his sloppy kisses while each pulse of Ryuji’s walls around his leaking cock made him see stars. He distantly recalled Takemi’s warning of using protection and wondered if it would even make a difference considering his boyfriend was from an alternate plane of existence. Ah, whatever.

Akira shakily wrapped his hand around Ryuji’s wet cock, and the reaction he received was explosive as Ryuji wailed against his mouth, pulling away to desperately beg it hurts it hurts it hurts while Akira continued to stroke his twitching member and leaned down to suck and bite at his stiff nipples. His hole squeezed tightly around Akira’s cock in return, forcing Akira to grit his teeth or else he’d blow his load right there, until finally Ryuji tossed his head back and came with another broken scream, spraying his salty release between them as he clamped down onto Akira’s length like a vice and forced Akira over the edge as well. Akira groaned hoarsely as he flooded Ryuji’s hole with his thick cum, and the most he could give was a few more shaky thrusts into the buttery soft walls still desperately clinging to his cock before finally pulling out, his load dribbling out from Ryuji’s oozing hole and staining both of their pants.

Ryuji had collapsed against his chest, sniffling into his shoulder as the last of his tears soaked into Akira’s shirt.

“Are you okay Ryuji?” asked Akira softly, running his fingers through Ryuji’s hair before wheezing when he felt Ryuji lodge his fist into his gut.

“You jerk…” Ryuji muttered, gloved fingers digging into Akira’s shoulder as he pulled himself away to reveal the tear tracks still shining on his cheeks. “You didn’t have to go through all that trouble for me…”

Akira smiled sheepishly, kissing at Ryuji’s cheeks. “But I wanted to. If it means you can understand how I feel whenever I’m around you…”

“Idiot, I already knew how you felt.” mumbled Ryuji, averting his gaze. “I-I mean, it’s the same way I feel around you, after all...”

Akira could feel his face heating up again at Ryuji’s words, and he let out an embarrassed groan as he buried his face into Ryuji’s neck. “I love you…”

“I know.” teased Ryuji, kissing his temple. “I love you too.”

They somehow managed to clean up the mess before Igor returned, but neither of them realized that Ryuji’s jacket had been fixed with all of the buttons misaligned before it was too late. Thankfully Igor didn’t make any comments about it, although Akira could still feel his bloodshot gaze boring into him when he left the Velvet Room.

They stopped using the pills after that, Ryuji claiming that he was much more aware of his physical senses now than he was before, and it was probably for the best since Takemi had informed Akira that the “medicine” she had given him was merely a bottle of sugar pills shortly afterwards.

Akira shuddered to think of the possibilities with this newfound information, although the quick kisses Ryuji would now steal from him whenever Igor was looking elsewhere at least eased his misgivings a bit.