A thick, gray soupy blob composed of coagulated blood and fleshy matter slithered along the walls of the hellish-looking subway station. It’s presence was nearly invisible, only a highly sensitive eye to detail would be able to see it without any assistance. It made no sound except for a disturbing and reverberating moan that echoed throughout the darkness. The blob fell to the ground and slithered above the railroad tracks in a thin tunnel before stopping and turning its disfigured face toward a pair of rapidly approaching headlights.
“What the hell is that?” Skull leaned forward in the front seat of the MonaBus to get a closer look. The darkness around the monster began to fade away with the approaching headlights. He began tapping the end of his steel pipe against the dashboard like a beating drum. “Full speed ahead, Joker! Crush that 'effin thing!”
Behind him, Queen yelled in his ear. “Joker, don't do that! We’ve never seen an enemy of that kind before. Pull over and we can fight it! That thing is way bigger than a normal shadow, Mona might not be able to take the hit!”
“We don't have any space to pull over,” Joker responded. “And there's practically no light here, who knows what else is in the darkness?!”
Joker pressed the gas pedal as far back as it would go, and attempted to keep the bus pointed straight for the shadow along the bumpy road. The MonaTech™ speedometer slowly began to creep above 100 miles per hour. “Hold on to something.”
Panther and Oracle held onto each other and screamed in fear. Queen clenched onto the front bench seats in the car. Fox sat back and looked out the window in awe of the passing figures. Skull leaned forward and held his weapon in anticipation. Just as they were about to come into contact with the giant shadow, Joker's eyes widened and he slammed on the brakes as the MonaBus ripped through the blobby mess and sprayed blood and shadow matter everywhere. The force of the impact caused the bus to fishtail out of control and sent it to a crushing stop into a pillar.
Stunned by the crash, Joker was the first to stumble out of the van. He pushed open the crinkled aluminum door and fell to his knees after a few steps. The depths of Mementos moaned and creaked in the distance. The last thing Joker could hear was the muffled screams of the Phantom Thieves in the car as they saw the pulpy shadow cover his entire body in it’s disgusting and anemic mess, sending his vision into complete darkness.
Akira’s friends confronted me after he was absent from school one afternoon. Ryuji and Ann were the first to tell me something had happened, but without much detail.
“Hey, this ain’t exactly easy to say.” “We’re sorry, we don’t exactly know what went wrong.” “Mementos is a mysterious place, we just weren’t ready . . .”
I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face. Within seconds, I had completely lost my composure and turned into a sobbing mess. Students walking by stopped to stare at us and only made me want to cry even harder. I struggled through the sobbing to produce words.
“Is . . . is he . . . is he . . .”
The thought of life without him knocked me to my knees. I tried to think of the last time I saw him. The bounce in the curls of his hair. His dark eyes. His warm hand holding mine. My lungs were emptied of any air and my sobs were sharp and painful.
Ann and Ryuji made eye contact and nodded in agreement. They extended their hands to help me to my feet, and Ann offered me a tissue to wipe my face of tears which I took with a trembling hand. “It would be much easier if we explain what happened in private. Preferably at Leblanc.”
I rose to my trembling feet and wiped tears away with the back of my palm.
“Will you be there?”
Nothing could prepare me for what was to come.
“Are you alright?” Akira put his hand on mine and squeezed it tightly. “Are you comfortable? Would you like some coffee?”
Leblanc sighed in the distance. The cafe was empty now. A few minutes ago, it was filled with the presence of the Phantom Thieves and Sojiro. “The most important thing to remember,” Makoto made me swear in front of everyone in the cafe. “Is that whatever you see here . . . stays here. Don’t bring this information out of this place. Understand?”
“I’m fine.” I turned to face Akira and wiped my irritated and puffy eyes.
“Are you still crying?”
I adjusted myself on the sofa in Akira’s room. His handsome smiling face brought me comfort and fueled my courage. I struggled to emit a smile to match his. Just as I was preparing to say something, a warm and soft pair of hands wrapped around my waist and gently tugged me to the right.
“If you need a shoulder to cry on . . . then you need to get closer . . .”
Beside me, opposite of Akira, also . . . sat Akira. As if I were sitting next to a mirror. On either side of me, everywhere I turned, I could see the dark tides of his hair shine in the lamp light. As a result of an unknown Mementos mutation, there were two of him. The Phantom Thieves couldn’t distinguish between Akira and the clone. According to them, after being absorbed by the shadow, the net product resulted in two Akira Kurusu(s). The shadow was quickly defeated, but the clone remained. Further investigation revealed that neither was aggressive nor violent as if under manipulation by a shadow. And, as neither Akira could guarantee whether or not they were not the clone, the most reasonable solution at that point was to bring both of them home.
The boy on the left of me, wearing his glasses and his comfortable sleepwear was Akira. To the right of me, the boy wearing no glasses, simply in a t-shirt and boxers pulled me in closer to him. And instead of the dark, pitch black pearls that sat comfortably behind Akira’s glasses, his twin’s eyes burned a passionate, crimson red. I was advised to refer to him as Joker. The tears on my face began to dry and I could feel a blush starting to creep on my cheeks.
“It’s not fair if you’re the only one getting attention.” Akira reached over to hold my hand and tugged me in his direction. I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed, trapped within the space of two exact replicas of my boyfriend. I pulled my hands away and buried my face into them.
“Don't . . .” Akira broke through the shutters over my face and came close to me. “It’s okay . . .”
“I just . . .” I looked at Akira, then turned to look at his twin, Joker. “This is way too much.” A sigh escaped my lips. “I can barely handle one of you . . . but two . . .”
Akira leaned close to me, his face dangerously close. “Is that no good?” On cue, Joker leaned approached me from a blind spot and kissed me on the cheek in a crippling sneak attack, then brought his lips up to my ear to whisper, “Would you prefer it if I left?”
My voice lost strength. “N-No, I . . .”
Akira held my face in his hands as my heart began to pound faster. “Just . . . pretend it’s only you and me . . . alright?” I inched closer to his face.
“Akira . . .”
“You want to kiss don’t you?”
I didn’t have the strength to voice my response. I closed the small gap between us and pressed against his soft, warm lips. I could feel Akira tremble slightly as he sighed, then continued to kiss me gently. I slowly pulled away. I could feel my heartbeat slowing. Instead of fiery heart-pounding passion, I could feel a slow, simmering love for Akira.
“Me too . . .” I could feel Joker’s kisses leave a warm trail starting down at the base of my neck up to my right ear. The sensation shot a wave of pleasure up my spine.
“W-Wait . . . I . . .” I turned to face Joker and without a second though locked lips with him. Even though Joker and Akira were mirror reflections of one another, Joker’s kisses felt like fire on my mouth. His kisses were intoxicating. My lips burned as if I were drinking strong liquor every time we kissed. Within a few seconds, I felt lightheaded and drunk on love or lust or whatever floated its way into my head. I opened my eyes to see Joker’s peaceful face. His closed eyes, long eyelashes and adorable waves in his hair only wanted to make me kiss him harder. I wanted more and more of him. It felt like an eternity before we pulled away.
“Wow,” Akira whispered beside us. “You two were really into it.” He turns my face toward him again and begins to kiss me when I push him away.
“Wait . . . I need . . . to catch my breath . . .” Akira and Joker simultaneously begin to kiss the sides of my neck and my face. The sensation left me even more breathless, their warm lips pressing against my sensitive skin.
“Wait! Wait . . . please . . .”
Joker lifted his mouth to my ear and whispered softly. “You’re right, this is getting uncomfortable . . .”
Akira whispers in my other ear. “Would you prefer to take this where we have more space?”
“I-I . . .” My response was interrupted by Akira, who picked me up with one arm under my legs and another on my back in true bridal carry fashion. “Right this way.”
With a careful thump, I was placed on Akira’s makeshift bed. On either side of me Akira and Joker took up positions. I was surrounded by the faint scent of coffee and sweetness on their breaths. A brilliant idea interrupted my thoughts. I placed each hand on their shoulders, then slowly traced it up over their necks, over their cheeks and closed eyes until finally reaching the top of their heads. I buried my hand deep into the hair on the top of their heads. On each side, I could feel the soft and fluffy sensation fill my hand. It was an addicting feeling, like petting a cat with an exceptionally thick coat. And from the looks on their faces, Akira and Joker enjoyed the feeling of being petted just as much as I enjoyed petting them. Both boys found it difficult to stifle their moans and purrs in pure pleasure. At this moment, I was in control, and it was a truly addicting feeling.
Under the intoxicating spell of attraction for one another, even Akira and Joker shared a moment together. Seeing them inch closer together then press their lips against one another was a unique sight to see. Almost as if seeing Akira kiss himself in the mirror. Their kiss was awkward and short and by the end of it, both Akira and Joker shared a quiet giggle in awe at what had happened. For the rest of the night, the three of us kissed and kissed and kissed. Sleep started to slow my movements, until I felt sluggish and exhausted. Trapped between the comforting warmth of Akira and Joker’s bodies, I closed my eyes, buried my face into one of their chests and slept soundly.
In the morning, I woke up thinking I was in Akira’s bed alone. I turned over to my side and found myself face to face with a gentle, sleeping face. His eyes were closed, so I couldn’t tell if it was Joker or Akira. He was the only one in the room with me. The other twin had seemingly vanished. It didn’t matter much to me whether it was Akira or Joker. I loved him. Him. I moved myself closer to the soft, frizzy haired sleeping boy and planted a kiss on his soft, unsuspecting lips.