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Complete Broken Shadows

Discussion in 'Otherworld' started by Ren Amamiya, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Ren Amamiya

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    November 1st


    A familiar drop pulled at the Ren's stomach - lips turning upwards into a smile at the familiar sensation of falling into the Velvet Room. Gentle music brushing his ears as his grey eyes finally opened. His Velvet Room reflected the condition of his heart; or so he was told. Once it was a prison - chains holding both his wrists and left ankle in place. Bars without a lock, as a wayward God guided him down a path that was destined for ruin. After the world ended, he had been able to break those shackles - pick those locks. His Velvet Room was still a prison - clothes ripped and clad with stripes, but he was no longer a prisoner in his own heart. He could move around it freely. A relief there - stress melting away he hadn't even been aware of being present.

    But this wasn't the prison.

    Ren blinked - staring down at a grey table in front of him. Eyes dropping down to find himself clad in his old school uniform. Familiar rips and tears along the sleeve. Purple rings encircled his wrists, from handcuffs that were too tight. Ren's brows pinched together, as his gaze slid upwards, towards a camera that would never help him.

    He knew this room.
    He knew where he was.

    His eyes then focused on someone across from him - unsure if they had always been there, or if he was only just noticing him.
    Akechi.

    This was the room where Akechi pulled the trigger - but Ren never actually saw him enter the room. All the luck that seemed to be lacking in the rest of his life, going into that one moment to pull off a plan that should have been impossible.

    Stay calm.

    Ren took a deep breath, reminding himself of the feeling of being pulled into the Velvet Room. This...wasn't real. Not the actual interrogation room, at least. Which meant...

    He had only learned of Akechi's mirrored power to his at the end. Too late to ask questions. Too late to find out more. Their time in the Velvet Room never overlapping before; but Pandora seemed to run by slightly different rules.

    "Akechi?"

    The fear and uncertainty was overwhelmed by regret, in seeing the one person he failed most. Everyone else, they had helped. Even Haru's father was at least able to see the light shortly before he died. Some of the worst people Ren had ever met, given a chance to admit their sins - time to change who they were and make the world a better place. Yet a person who was a hand-puppet of the very man who ruined his own life, was left by the wayside. His plight unnoticed - overshadowed by the Phantom Thieves wishing to keep themselves hidden. Until...those final moments. When he fought them - slowly giving away more and more of the truth.

    If Ren had noticed sooner, maybe he could have done something. Helped. Fixed it. Done...literally anything, instead of watching him self-destruct.

    But he hadn't, and Akechi had died.

    It...was something he never spoke of, to anyone. Even after the fact, he made a point to never bring it up - never saying much on the topic if he found it on the lips of his friends.

    And yet there he was.

    Once he learned the rules of Pandora, he knew it was a possibility.
    And the truth was, he wasn't sure it was something he wanted.

    "I'm..." his gaze fell to the table - the regret churning uncomfortably inside him - still aware that the man before him could be moments from killing him, "So sorry I couldn't help you."
     
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  2. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    Between the metaverse, the velvet room, the real world, and...whatever Pandora was, crossing dimensions was really starting to lose its novelty. By the time he arrived at Pandora, Akechi had stopped caring about how absurd his life was going to get from moment to moment. If anything, he just low-key hoped one of the dimensions was nice enough to do him a solid and take him out, finish the work his double didn't.

    Akechi appeared in the velvet room like he usually did; cuffed at the wrist and ankles, and jaded as all hell. He expected Igor to open this meeting with some cryptic speech on why it was so important for Akechi to get back to working with him again (which, as fucking if, in Akechi's humblest opinion) but there was no Igor. Just...Amamiya.

    Or -- maybe not Amamiya. Fool him twice. But it was still a really convincing imitation that set him off as much as the real thing did. Akechi didn't think he'd ever see him again. He'd dreamt of him plenty times, dead-eyed and bloodied, looking down upon him and smirking -- (you thought you knew what you wanted, but you just don't know anything at all) -- but never expected to see him again.

    Akechi wasn't sure how long he sat there staring, but he snapped to at the sound of his name. Amamiya looked miserable, which didn't make sense. Then he said that.

    As if Akechi wanted to be saved. As if Akechi wanted to be fucking pitied at all -- and by Amamiya, nonetheless, who was perfect in every way and wasn't just full of himself or anything. Amamiya could decide what Akechi ultimately wanted because clearly he fucking understood everything. Akechi snorted. "Please, Joker, spare me the pity-party. At least show me you hate me; I could still retain some dignity that way."
     
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  3. Margaret

    Margaret Persona

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    It had been a normal day. Well, normal for Margaret. A day of waiting and watching, sitting on the edge of her seat, ready to help when she was needed, of worrying over her charges, when something changed. The Velvet Room sensed a new arrival, changing itself to suit, and took an entirely unfamiliar form. She recognised what it was, of course, but it had never taken this form before. An interrogation room, an uncomfortable one, too. Her chair had changed, which she didn't approve of, and the room was mostly bare.

    Margaret pulled out her pack of cards, shuffling them and laying them out carefully. Reversed Justice. Not a great start, but not the worst. A Wild Card or visitor who was not the Fool was a rarity, though. And none of Philemon's chosen champions would ever have a reversed Arcana as their own. Tatsuya was different, his decision turning him from one of Philemon's to a wild card (though not a Wild Card) in more ways than one. Reversed Hermit. Not a good sign. A WIld Card's power came from their bonds with others, and self-isolation meant something very, very bad. This wasn't someone that she had encountered before. Margaret was almost dreading the next card. The Tower. .... Reversed World. That wasn't normal for a Wild Card.

    She didn't have anymore time to ponder this, however, as her new arrival... arrived. And...oh no. It was another one. Like when Ren had first arrived. He didn't even see her, though, instead fixating on... oh wow. This was new. And worrying. These two clearly had history, and she didn't know what to do with that. The tension sat in the air, though. "Are you done?" Margaret interjected pointedly. "Or do you want to refuse to believe that someone could ever care about you for a few more minutes?"
     
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  4. Ren Amamiya

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    There was something oddly comforting about Akechi lashing out. It was proof it was actually him, rather than a trick of the Velvet Room, or his mind. A ghost of a smile formed on his lips at the fact. It...really was him. In Pandora. Alive. He'd likely want nothing to do with Ren; make a point to either be as far away as possible - or maybe even finish the job. Akechi...was difficult to read. His own mask so securely in place most of the time, Ren genuinely didn't know if anything about their strange..."friendship" was genuine. But he liked to think that there were parts that were. That he wasn't just a cog in Akechi's plan to take down the Phantom Thieves, once they started getting in the way of his own devices.

    Or rather, Shido's devices.

    "Yeah, I wouldn't want this party either," his voice quiet, "No balloons."

    Margaret's voice nearly caused him to jump - eyes moving to a form he was unaware of being there only a moment before. Considering she was the attendant of the Velvet Room, she was likely there the entire time. He was just...distracted by Akechi.

    Ren shifted in his seat as Margaret put Akechi in his place - only then noticing...the shackles. Again, they were mirrors of one another. Opposite ends of the same game.

    "He's...another Wild Card," he didn't glance away from Akechi as he spoke - even with the chains holding him in place, "Yaldabaoth put us against each other. He was to bring ruin, I was to prevent it."
     
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  5. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    For Akechi, it was easy to look away. He wasn't exactly sitting here in the best esteem. Amamiya had seen him at his most twisted, and now at his lowest. Well, Amamiya can think what he liked about the Great Fallen Prince, because Akechi wasn't giving him an inch beyond that. He clasped his fingers over the table, chains clinking with the motion, and hoped it looked casual enough a gesture.

    (If in the off-chance that he was real, Akechi didn't even know what that was going to mean.)

    He slid his eyes to the attendant, wondering what her angle in this was. Besides taking sides with Amamiya, that is. "You know eachother?"
     
    #5 Goro Akechi, Nov 2, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  6. Margaret

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    Margaret almost laughed. There could be balloons. Balloons were easy, as far as object summoning went. But she simply watched for a little longer, until the other Wild Card, another person manipulated by the false god in the form of a false Velvet Room, turned and questioned her about her relationship with Ren. "As a Velvet Room attendant, it is my purpose to guide and help the Wild Cards placed in my care. Back home, I helped a young man named Yu through his journey. Here, in Pandora, where I am the only Velvet Room attendant, all Wild Cards are in my care. And, yes, that does include you," she explained, cutting off the eventual question.

    Her book fell open, revealing, to her eyes only, Akechi's S-Links and Persona. Two Persona, and no S-Links. Well, one S-Link, but that was...odd. He had cut himself off from the world. Wild Cards stood for humanity, champions of Hope, and Order, and Chaos and Good. They gained their strength through bonds with others. To have one cut himself off, to pit one Wild Card against another... even the Crawling Chaos had never done such a thing. Izanami had had her game, but even she had never done such a thing. To pit humanity against itself.... it was wrong. Why hadn't Philemon stopped this? The rage that Margaret had never stopped feeling, all that time ago, when Ren had told her what became of his Velvet Room, of her youngest sister, rose again, only to be quickly squashed by the realisation of how broken this other Wild Card must be.
     
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  7. Ren Amamiya

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    Akechi's gaze moved to Margaret, as she explained her duty to Wild Cards. Ren taking the time to actually study the room they were in. It was...near identical; noticing the minor differences that came from being a piece of the Velvet Room. Blue coloring in incorrect places - including the little blinking light on the camera. This...entire thing he didn't like. He knew they were connected; opposite sides of the same coin. That much plainly stated by the wayward God Himself.

    But what were they, here?

    Without Shido to use him, would Akechi follow the same path? A tool used to kill, to further someone else's success. A puppet that was trying to play a long game, which failed in the end. Countless deaths staining his fingers, just because his life had guided him down a very specific path - unseen hands dragging him in a very specific direction.

    Would it be more of the same?
    Or would it be different this time?

    He still felt on edge - even with Akechi in chains, and Margaret appearing calm. The entire situation too unknown to fully relax - even if his face appeared as neutral as ever. A touch of stress gently pulling at his brow, but nothing else. Nothing more.

    His gaze slid back to Margaret as she opened that book - watching as he assumed she read through Akechi's own connections. For Ren, he knew they had grown close at the end. That feeling deep within him shifting as Akechi yelled at him through solid metal. An asked promise to change Shido's heart. Not a threat. Not telling him to die alone. Just...a promise.

    Which he kept.
    And Akechi couldn't have known.

    "Am I in there?" he shifted in his seat, knowing his connection to Akechi had reached its highest rank at the end; but suddenly wasn't sure if ranks worked both ways with a Wild Card. What caused it them to grow closer in Ren's heart, may not have been the same in Goro's.

    His gaze moved back to Akechi, wondering when he came from. The rules of Pandora meant he could be from...before he even pulled the trigger. But some deep part of him knew. Just...felt that the man before him was defeated. Tired. Worn out from being used over and over again; and in the end failing.

    "I kept the promise," he paused, eyes on the table - stoic composure fracturing for a split second before falling back into place, "We changed Shido's heart. It...got more complicated then that, but...it's over," there was a long silence - one where he considered leaving it there, before he finally glanced back up at Akechi, "He can't hurt us here."

     
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  8. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    On the days that Akechi counted his regrets, he thought about Amamiya, how their encounter was never the problem -- only the timing. He thought about wasted potential and bonds that had developed where they were never supposed to. Even now, he still liked Ren. He'd be lying (again) if he didn't.

    But who you liked and what you had to do were two different things. Akechi was supposed to lay down and die, take his hard-wired neurosis with him. He wasn't supposed to be sitting here like they even had a fighting chance.

    --And he certainly wasn't supposed to be back in the velvet room, under the whimsy of some other demon. Attendant. Whatever she called herself. Whatever that book was, Akechi just -- didn't want to know. He was done.

    Then Ren said something Akechi had been holding back from asking. Akechi listened but didn't look at him. He processed the words over and over, but could barely process his own feelings over them. The words said: Shido, the man whose shadow had loomed over you ever since birth? Whose fame and success was built on blood and betrayal? You know, Shido, who would kill his own son for damage control? Yes, him. He's gone.

    Akechi swallowed with his whole neck. Nodded. Stared at the hazy image of his hands over the desk. He knew Amamiya could do it; he believed him. And even if he didn't, who was ever the liar between them?

    "Well,"
    Akechi said, smile tight and voice thick. "Neither will I."
     
    #8 Goro Akechi, Nov 3, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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  9. Ren Amamiya

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    Ren wasn't sure what Akechi's reaction would be to the news. In truth, he was continually steeling himself for sudden violence. A flip of the table, a lunge towards him. Even in shackles there was plenty that Akechi could accomplish. Plus...this was the Velvet Room - shackles were a product of the mind. If there was a great emotional shift - in theory - the shackles could fall away at any moment.

    But instead...Akechi was silent for a moment. Appearing to just try to process what Ren had said. Tension crawling up his spine, as he waited for his reaction - breath stilled upon his tongue.

    Neither will I.

    This wasn't the Akechi that hid behind a mask; compliments and smiles for the TV. The one that people would talk about as the Detective Prince and would find charming and without fault. This was...just him.

    Him saying he wasn't going to hurt Ren.

    Ren blinked, genuinely caught off-guard by the words; a relief slowly easing the tension that had formed in his back and shoulders.

    "Oh," he ran a hand through his own hair, pulling his composure back together, "...Really?"

    The words falling from his lips before he could stop them.
     
  10. Goro Akechi

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    Suddenly irrationally frustrated that Amamiya even had to ask that (yet fully knowing it was justified), Akechi sighed and folded over, burying his face in his hands. He just stayed like that for a few, pacing himself until he was sure his face wasn't going to fucking leak anymore. Good god, how much more pathetic can he get?

    "Yes, Amamiya," He said with practiced softness, "You can assure yourself in knowing that I'll be staying out of your way from now on. My only regret is that you saw me again at all. I'm sorry." His indignation made everything come out like he wasn't even bothered by what he was saying. That it was no problem, really. Oops, sorry you had to see me alive. You can get back to living your life now. I'll stay out of your way.
     
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  11. Ren Amamiya

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    Ren remained still and quiet as Akechi folded over - genuinely just wanting things to be normal for...a bit. This was all a lot to take in. Deal with. Handle. If it was just Akechi, it would be one thing. He'd be on edge - too aware of any sudden movements the other Wild Card made. But he'd be...mostly fine. It was the room that was getting to him - even if he made a point to aggressively not think about it. In truth, it was a place from his nightmares. Sneaking in when there wasn't a Velvet Room to keep him company, and stress was pulling at him as he drifted away from reality. Just like this, he'd find himself sitting back at the interrogation table; bruises and rips just as he remembered. Akechi would enter the room - something he should have never seen; a sign the plan had failed and this was it.

    He was about to die.

    But this was different - a fact that was keeping him grounded. The warping of the interrogation room for the Velvet Room's aesthetic helped. Made it seem less real. Akechi already being in the room, and lacking a gun also kept the stress from showing on Ren's features.

    For a moment, Akechi just...stayed like that. Face buried in his hands, as he hid his features away. He wanted to say something to fix it - but his words failed him; the room falling into a tense silence as he silently watched Akechi pull himself back together.

    When he finally spoke, Ren continued to be still - brows pinching together as Akechi promised to stay out of his way, and...apologized for Ren having to see him again.

    "Don't---" he shook his head - genuine frustration pulling at his brow, "I wanted to see you again," a slight shrug of his shoulders, "To tell you about Shido...and how we got rid of the Metaverse, so we could all just go back to being normal people. Not...here, I guess. But back home," he paused - lips parting in hesitation, before he spoke once more, "I'm just...glad you're okay."
     
  12. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    I wanted to see you again. It was a nice, well-meaning lie. And sure, it was enough to know what had become of Shido. It wasn't what Akechi had killed and sold his soul for, but it was enough.

    Again, Amamiya was talking like he knew what was best for everyone. For him and his friends, maybe -- but Akechi was the hard exclusion. He always was. "Of course you are," Akechi told him, though there was no fire in it. Why and how Amamiya found it in himself to give a damn about someone who tried to kill him and had actively killed people close to his friends -- Akechi didn't even want to know the machinations behind it. He'd never understand it anyway; he's always been kind of a grudge-keeper himself.

    Why were they even still here?

    "Anyway," Akechi added, pitch high and artificial. "I think our business is done here, wouldn't you say?" Not waiting for a response, he turned to the attendant and said, "I'll make it clear for you so you'll understand: I have absolutely no desire to be used as a pawn in your games. Take me back."
     
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  13. Ren Amamiya

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    Ren's jaw clenched at the brush-off. It was easy to forget that the Akechi he had grown attached to, was mostly a mask. A facade carefully crafted for the public, so they wouldn't see what sat just below the surface. Like any mask, there were true parts of him that really did show through; even the sharp edges were occasionally visible on occasion. Rare, and easy to miss - but still present. The truth was, he didn't...really know Akechi. Not really. While he had become a fixture in his life, it was by design. Everything...was part of his plan, really. Possibly even what he thought of as a friendship.

    His gaze fell to the table, not really sure what else to say. Anyone else within the group would not be idle. Ryuji probably flipping the table. Haru would somehow have an axe, and use it. Makoto would likely have a few words, as well as motions with her fist. Yusuke...honestly he stopped trying to guess what Yusuke would do next awhile ago. Morgana would leap for his face, claws out - no matter what form he was in. Futtaba would probably mock him. Ann...Ann he felt like would be the closest to him. He had seen as much when she didn't kill Kamoshida back in his palace.

    Shaking his head, he felt a weight around his ankle - a shackle threatening to reform. He shifted his leg before it could manifest.

    He wasn't sure what he was hoping Akechi would say or do. There was no redeeming him at this exact moment. His own rehabilitation had taken months, and even then, he didn't...feel any different. He had more friends, perhaps. Certainty in certain actions in his life were more steadfast. And yet...was he really any better? In some ways, he even worried he was worse.

    Maybe before he could help Akechi, he needed to help himself.

    With a sigh, he gaze also rose to Margaret - a silent tired heat in his eyes, as he wished to be away from this place.

     
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  14. Margaret

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    Margaret just watched, until Akechi turned to her and she frowned. One like Ren, when she first arrived, someone used and hurt, a pawn in themselves. When Izanami played her game, she had never expected Hope to win. But she hadn't rigged the game against him. She raised a single eyebrow, and replied, coolly, calmly. "My purpose is to help and guide Wild Cards. As a Wild Card, you come under my purview. I will never hurt you, or use you, Justice. "

    She raised another eyebrow, casting a brief concerned look at Ren. This was harder than the Wild Cards she helped, which was something, considering what Ren had been like when he had first arrived in the Velvet Room. Akechi seemed to have deliberately cut himself off from everyone, and that was more than a little bit disturbing. It was... oppressive. It went against the very grain of what Wild Card's could be.

    Emptiness.

    Like Adachi, like Yu's Shadow. It wasn't normal, it wasn't right. It wasn't... healthy. No wonder the game had been rigged from the start. "You can leave whenever you wish, Justice. I will not keep you here. But you should remember that I will be here whenever you need me."
     
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  15. Ren Amamiya

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    Ren felt more than saw Akechi disappear from the Velvet Room. Like a physical force that had been pressing against him, finally giving away. Breath came slightly easier to his lungs, as his eyes closed - before opening to glance at the empty space where the other had been only moments before. Part of him expected the Velvet Room to form back to a prison - but it was lingering on the interrogation room from his nightmares.

    Great.

    "I should probably tell you about Akechi," his voice quiet, "And...this room," there was a lot Margaret didn't know.

    Truth was he didn't like talking about it, but it now concerned her.

    "He...was a tool of someone who used his powers to get more powerful," Ren's gaze focused on the table in front of him, "Technically...he killed me in this room," his voice quiet, "I was captured because of him at one point. Taken in by the police. Beaten...drugged," his jaw clenched, "And then he came into this room and shot me in the head. The news reported the Phantom Thieves leader killed himself, and the school was told my parents pulled me back home because of personal matters," eyes still locked on a scuff on the table, "We...had a plan to shift the room into the Metaverse so he didn't...actually kill me, but it almost failed," he fell silent, "Akechi...is someone who will be difficult. He...is someone who is used to using people, and putting on a mask so everyone thinks of him in a very specific way," his gaze rose to Margaret, "He's...just like me, but was taken down a different path. Please help him, like you've helped me."

    The room shifted back to the prison - the door still open, shackles lacking, even if his school uniform shifted to stripes. Ren sitting in a chair that wasn't normally there in front of her table. He ran a hand through his hair.

    "I'm...not sure if I want him here," he shook his head, "I just...I don't know."

    It was complicated.
     
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  16. Margaret

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    "If you wish," Margaret replied, not game to push more than necessary. Not only was it not really her place, she was still... cautious around the Trickster, and now there was yet another Wild Card she had to be careful of. One even worse off then the Trickster, and once again there was a spike of rage, showing itself briefly through a smouldering flame in her eyes, before it was gone, and Margaret waited to hear the explanation.

    Another Wild Card, used. Like a tool. It made Margaret so angry, and it made her wonder why her master's master hadn't stepped in. One Wild Card was enough. Two were... wrong. Izanami may have played her game, but she did not rig it, and she did not use people like.... tools. Chess pieces, yes. But not this way. She believed in her plan, stood by the results of her experiment. She had even split because of what she was doing. Marie was proof of that.

    What Ren was telling her was... distressing. Not for her, not exactly, but she was filled with sadness and pity and anger, all combining to form an emotion that she couldn't describe. Why hadn't Philemon stepped in? Even if the Velvet Room had been taken over, surely there were things that her master's master would not let stand. Why hadn't the Shadow operatives done something? Mitsuru Kirijo had power, Margaret knew that, and she wasn't the only one. Margaret sighed, quietly, still processing, still angry. "I will do what I can," she replied. "But I cannot help him if he will not let me."

    She raised her head, looking at the Trickster. "Relationships are... interesting. I cannot decipher your emotions for you, but thew fact that you don't want him here means that you've started to feel as if this is a safe place. I am glad, about that at least."
     
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  17. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
    Joker

    Posts:
    207
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Cafe LeBlanc Deux Owner
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    17
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link
    There was a stillness - a calmness - that was now nearly palatable in the room, without Akechi's presence. Tension slowly working its way out from his neck and shoulders, as he explained himself to Margaret. He...hated talking about it. To anyone. And yet the story had been forced from his lips over and over again, since coming to Pandora. Ren genuinely not sure it was a good thing that the words had started to lose meaning; only still really finding tension around telling people about the end of the story. Where he ended up before coming to Pandora. Prison.

    Ironic that the Velvet Room had become a bit of a safe space for him, given its current form.

    "...Thank you," his voice quiet - soft smile pulling at his lips.

    Ren had little idea on how Goro would act in Pandora. He could see the fatigue there, as he sat across from him within the Velvet Room. It...was doubtful he'd get himself back into a position that he was in before. Hopefully he'd just find something quiet to do, and figure himself out.

    Which was roughly how Ren was handling it all, too.

    His smile widened at Margaret's words about his comfort within the Velvet Room - eyes leaving hers to glance around the familiar blue prison around them.

    "Guess I have," a light note to his voice - knowing he still feared this place even at its best, before Pandora. Even when he appeared in his Joker attire within the room, and the proper Igor sat behind the desk, "Thank you."

    fin
     
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