Minako sat on the floor of the strange cinema, hugging her knees as she stared down at her feet. Despite having her headphones on, she could still hear all the cheering and laughing coming from the next room. She enjoyed everyone's company, but right now, she just needed some time by herself to think.
She had gotten used to all the strangeness this theatre and it's movies had to offer, but one thing she hadn't expected was meeting another world's version of herself and her friends. It… hurt, if she was being honest. She knew them, but they didn't know her. Not to mention, there was someone she hadn't been able to see for a while. The brunette frowned as she gently tapped her finger against her hand in time with the music. In an attempt to distract herself, Minako began softly singing along to her music. She loved this song. It was soothing and you could feel the love behind the lyrics and yet… it made her feel sad too…
" -Kimi wo, I will never leave you… "
Another voice suddenly sang along from above her. Minako flinched and pulled her headphones off as she looked up. It was Minato. Smiling softly, he sat himself down next to her.
"You have good taste. That's one of my favourite songs too." He remarked, pushing his hair away from his eye.
"Well, it makes sense that we'd like the same music… We are the same person, after all." Minako pointed out.
"I am thou, thou art I…" Minato whispered dramatically, trying his best not to smirk as he spoke. Minako giggled at his joke. The blue haired boy smiled at his small victory. The two leaders of SEES sat in silence until Minato spoke up again.
"Are you okay? You've been kinda quiet since we finished A.I.G.I.S…" He muttered worriedly. Minako's eyes widened, surprised that Minato would notice that.
"I'm fine, just thinking about something." She responded vaguely.
"What's on your mind? If you don't mind me asking…" Minato gently persisted. He could tell that something was bothering her and he wanted to help her.
"It's nothing… I'm just thinking about my SEES… That's all…" mumbled Minako, glancing down at her feet again.
"What about them?" Minato asked, pushing for more details.
"I-I dunno… Just how much I miss them? Like, I can see them here… I remember everything about them… but they have no idea who I even am…" She explained with a dejected voice. The blue haired boy felt a twinge in his chest at those words. He frowned as he tried to sympathise with her.
"I'm so sorry… I can't imagine what that's like… I don't know how I'd be able to deal with my friends not remembering me… I mean, thanks to them, I'm-"
"-actually enjoying life again, right?" Minako finished his sentence for him.
"Yeah… Ah, I forgot. If you're me, then that night on the bridge happened to you too… right?" Minato uttered in realisation.
"Yes, it did…" answered Minako. Silence fell over the two of them again. It was weird. Minato was happy that there was someone who understood him completely, but he was distraught that someone else had to go through the same pain he did.
"I know this is random but… I think I might be further along in the year than you…" Minako muttered thoughtfully.
"Oh? What date is it for you?" Asked Minato curiously.
"November 2nd. What date is it for you?" Minako responded, returning Minato's question.
"October 1st." Minato answered. He noticed Minako grimace slightly. It was clear that she knew something was going to happen and, judging by her reaction, it wasn't going to be good. Minato honestly didn't know if he should press her on it or not… Would he want to know what was going to happen?
"You know…" Minako's voice pulled him out of his thoughts.
"Akihiko-senpai and I were dating in my world." The brunette stated.
"...Really?" Minato was honestly shocked by that statement. The idea of the socially awkward Akihiko dating anyone was… surprising, to say the least.
"Yeah… I figured it out before he did. He was so flustered when he realised how he felt… and he was so excited when I agreed to be his girlfriend… I can still see that goofy grin of his… and the little wave he does whenever he meets with me after school to walk home together." She recalled with a fond smile. But that smile quickly fell.
"But none of that means anything here…" She muttered, her eyes slowly watering up.
Minato let out a pained sigh as he slid his arm around Minako's shoulders and pulled her into a hug.
"Don't you dare feel as if you don't belong with us. You're still a member of SEES. You're still a member of our family." Minato informed her with a serious expression as he gently patted her back. Minako's eyes widened as they grew wetter. She didn't expect to hear those words at all.
"But nothing. You still saved Yukari the night you awoke to your persona, right? You still went to Tartarus with everyone to find Fuuka, right? You still took in Koromaru when he was hurt, right? You've gone through everything that we've gone through…" Minato asked before pushing himself away from Minako and pointing to her arm.
"What does that armband you're wearing mean?" He demanded an answer. Minako looked down at her armband with a dumbfounded expression and gently tugged on it.
"It… means that I'm a member of the Specialised Extracurricular Execution Squad." She answered, sniffling slightly.
"See? You've just proved my point!" Minato chuckled with a smug smile.
"It seems like it…" giggled Minako as she rubbed her eyes.
"Yep. In fact, you know what? I've decided: you are now my twin sister." Minato announced proudly.
"B-But we don't… look anything alike!" Minako gasped out in between fits of laughter.
"So? Not all twins are identical." Protested Minato with a childish pout.
"Yeah, that's true… Well then, I look forward to working with you, big bro ." Minako replied with a huge cheeky grin. Minato couldn't respond through his laughter.
Unbeknownst to the two Arisatos, the other two wildcards were hidden behind a nearby corner, watching the events unfold.
"For such a quiet, withdrawn guy, Minato's really great at cheering others up." The raven haired boy commented.
"True… Although I don't think we have any right to comment about that." The silver haired boy chuckled back.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Still, I'm glad to Minako's back to her usual cheery self." Ren remarked with a satisfied smile on his face.
"Same here, but if she or anyone else needs anything, we'll always have their back, right?" Yu spoke with a soothing voice. Ren simply replied with a determined nod and bumped his fist against Yu's while the Arisato duo shared their headphones with the brightest smiles on both their faces.