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Private Push the Bounds

Discussion in 'Otherworld' started by Ren Amamiya, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
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    June 8

    It...was sort of a strange week. Stressful. The former week ending with Ryuji and Little Blue in life-threatening danger for...days. Only thing giving away their safety was Futaba and Fuuka giving them occasional updates. Which...should have been comforting. But instead Ren was simply waiting for one of them to type "...I'm so sorry." A sort of Delphic headspace that left him on edge.

    That lasted for three days.

    He made a point to eat, but it was never much.
    Tried to sleep, and it...went about as well as he expected.
    He was fine, technically. Continued going to work. Even went to class.

    They were fine in the end, making him feel like he overreacted. Ryuji and Minato ending up in a local hospital by the end of day on Friday. Slightly broken, but fine.

    The drive home from the hospital wasn't something he had expected to be anything but relaxing. They were home, no more question, no more anything. Just a plan to pass out until Monday. But then...Kanami told him some troubling news about Ryuji. News he was still angry about. He had talked to him about it - being far from gentle on Saturday, and again the following Friday when they went on a walk with Bones. Entire thing just...got under his skin. Soiling a week that hadn't even started. Ryuji - he thought - was better than that. Ryuji even said it himself. Assured Ren it wouldn't happen again.

    ...But why did it happen in the first place?

    Entire thing kept him off-kilter - the off-balance feeling only getting stranger with a visit form Minato. Started as a strange attempt to lure people to Leblanc on the day he normally mans the place by himself. Somehow turned into a pillow-fight. Then...a talk. One where Minato asked Ren if it was too soon to move on. The...very person who was dating his ex.

    Ren did his best to talk him through it - taking a few jabs at himself to point out the obvious. But...that only made Minato confirm he was still mad at Ren. Still mad at Goro. It shouldn't have bothered him like it did. It shouldn't have been on his mind for hours after he left. But after everything else that week, it just...made him feel off.

    The rest of the week wasn't...bad. Thursday overbooked to the point of Ren sleeping for...pretty much over half the day on Friday. He...sort of hadn't caught up from anything, had he? Normally he used weekends for that - but the weekend had been overflowing with Goro's birthday. Things to set up, a party to throw. It was fun, and went exactly as planned.

    But now...he was just glad it was the weekend.
    After a quiet sort-of date night the night before, Ren was feeling more like himself then he had in about a week. Rested, fed, comfortable. It was nice. Despite sleeping most of Friday, it wasn't hard for him to fall asleep while pressed against Goro. Warmth of another, the delicate smell he always carried, just...Goro.

    It made everything better.

    They awoke the next day - plans simple, calm. Both not actively seeking much in ways of entertainment. Just a quiet Saturday. But the topic of the others using their Personae outside of the Otherworld came up. It...was honestly something he kept forgetting about. He knew Futaba could; healing him during the time his arm was broken...and possibly when he was sick. Her boyfriend, Hanamura, had been able to summon after a kidnapping attempt by the Other Detective Prince, Naoto. Ryuji mentioned being able to using that SEES evoker, but...he sort of didn't count that. Makoto could - having used it to save her robot girlfriend. Outside that...he wasn't sure. He hadn't heard anything much about Hanamura's group with that outside of Futaba's boyfriend himself; though that entire group was literally off in another region. Maybe secretly Kanji and Teddie could, and he just didn't know.

    But...didn't matter.

    It was something that he needed to work on. Like eating better, sleeping more, taking better care of himself. Being able to summon in reality would make him stronger - and make him safer too.

    Apparently Goro hadn't tried either.

    After a bit of discussion on how to best handle it, they decided going to the Otherworld and feeling what summoning their Persona feels like would be a good start. They...were both more than familiar, but having it fresh on their minds. Something recent so they could pull the thread and maybe make it possible in reality.

    With a light cheek kiss, Ren pushed the Nav app on his phone - feeling the gentle shift as reality melted away to the cognitive world...or whatever Pandora's equivalent was. A Joker-worthy smile spreading across his lips as he winked at Crow for no real reason other than he could.

    "I wonder if recalling our original Persona in reality would be easier then the others we picked up," he wondered, fingers already brushing his mask, "Arsene."

    A rush as Arsene came to be behind him - Joker glanced over his shoulder and offered a nod - his Persona nodding back. He made a point to concentrate on the feeling of it. The little details. How it pulled slightly at the back of his mind. How it was a warm feeling within his chest. Familiar.

    He glanced back over at Crow with a smirk.
     
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  2. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    "Hello, Arsene." Akechi smiled up at the towering apparition. "You look well."

    It's true that the past week had been an exercise in societal torture. Ren was saddled with obligatory concern over his friends who either did unreasonably stupid things or had unreasonably stupid things done to them, and Akechi -- well. He was worried about Ren.

    Things began to clear up by Friday, though; Ren was finally back in Akechi's arms, and with nobody to pester them in the confines of Akechi's apartment, the week was effectively put through a mental shredder.

    By Saturday, they were up for Metaverse activities, as sometimes were the case. This time, there were no knives involved -- just their Personas and some funny ideas.

    "Did you still want to meet Loki?"

    Joker did mention meeting him the other day, though he could have well been (...) joking. Hard to tell, when Loki himself was no laughing matter.
     
    #2 Goro Akechi, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  3. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
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    Joker smirked as Crow greeted his Persona - own eyes studying the nebulated markings in his wings. The literal fire in his eyes. He always found it interesting the designs of everyone's Persona's; a mirror of their most inner-selves. Even for Wildcards - the first was special. It was them - and not some random Persona they seduced into their ranks. Crow was unique in that he had two that were born from himself; though...Joker also had a second...sort of. One that he no longer had access to in Pandora. Satanael. He still remembered the weight of summoning it in that final fight. How he knew if he failed, that would be it.

    Then the Metaverse was gone, and he was locked away.

    Part of him wondered if he'd ever be able to do it again.

    Joker's gaze shifted back to Crow at his offer - a brow raising with a slight tilt of his head, "I'd love to, if you're alright with it."
     
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  4. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    It should be alright, Crow rationed to himself. Loki represented the darkest recesses of his heart, but that didn't mean the Persona had the full blame for everything that happened. Akechi was the one who commanded it. Therefore Akechi was the true menace. Despite that, Ren still accepted him.

    "It should be no problem," he said, reaching for that power in the complicated part of his heart, "still, be on your guard, just in case."

    The jagged figure of Loki congealed above him amidst black smoke and red electricity. Then, fully-formed, it sat on the pommel of its sword like someone reclining to watch entertainment.

    Thanks to the shift in Personas, Crow's white uniform changed too. It became a familiar blue-black oversuit with a mask so red it appeared black. A part of the mask was broken off in the exact place where a certain someone had struck it. Thankfully, the damage was cosmetic and wouldn't cause the wearer to suffer in functionality.

    Akechi looked at his hands, flexed his claws. "...It has been a while. Can't say I missed it." He turned to Loki. "I suppose this is the part where I say 'hello darkness my old friend'?"

    Loki made a sound that sounded distinctly like a scoff.

    Pretending he didn't hear that, Crow returned his focus on Joker. Feeling awkward, he asked, "What do you think?"
     
    #4 Goro Akechi, Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  5. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
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    Joker didn't move when Crow instructed him to be on his guard. Hands in his pockets as he offered a slight nod. Arsene still present behind him - watching. Waiting. A literal Shadow copying his pose, as he watched Crow release Loki. Unlike Joker's own switch of Personae, accessing Loki shifted his costume. Whites, reds, and golds obscuring to dark stripes with black belts. Funny how the side of himself that Crow seemed to keep tucked away, matched Joker's normal aesthetic.

    His gaze locked on the broken mask - eyes widening as his heart skipped a beat. That...he hadn't expected. Joker remembered the damage. The moment it cracked. The memory thick with thoughts that were almost difficult to recall thanks to the...everything that happened shortly after. Details lost in a cloud of repression.

    It put him on edge.

    Joker's gaze shifted away to the mask and to Loki - a smirk spreading across his lips, as he shoved the discomfort - the tension - aside. It was easier to do here then outside the Otherworld. Just a choice. A switch. Feet gently carrying him forward as he stopped a few paces away from Crow - eyes still locked on Loki. It...had a different feel then most the others he had seen. He hadn't really had a chance to study him before. The moment too filled with...everything else. But now, there was no danger. No stress. Just Joker standing before Loki with his hands still in his pockets - head tilted a bit to the side as he smiled.

    There was a chaos to Loki that spoke to him. That he was able to feel.

    "Aren't you beautiful," voice a thousand miles away - mask pushed onto his forehead to not obscure his vision, "If I'm the Trickster and you're the Trickster God, why aren't you my Persona?" his tone light, smile widening.

    He had been wondering it for awhile.
     
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  6. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    Loki was staring at Joker ever since it was summoned. It was only when he addressed it that it moved, slipping down until its face was mere inches away from his. Akechi watched in the long space of silence. Loki seemed to be contemplating the question. Or more realistically...

    Without needing to open its mouth, the striped demon spoke in a shrill, witchy voice, "bECaUSsSssSe you'rE bAsssSSsSIIIIiIC!!!" and slapped Joker with a generous helping of goop, before leaping out of reach, cackles abound. If Arsene wished to retaliate, he had every right to.

    Crow was appropriately mortified. "Why do you do that to everyone I show the merest inclination to?" He knew why: Because that's how it expressed its not-hate (or less-than-usual hate). But Loki looked in no way sorry, and Crow was left on damage control as usual; he took out a handkerchief, regardless of whether the viscous liquid actually landed on Joker or not, and sighed. "I'm sorry, it doesn't get out much. It probably doesn't know. It definitely doesn't know." Loki grunted, scandalized. Crow studied it a mite. "Hm. Good question, though. I'm not quite sure myself. Perhaps Loki is of a different manner of trickery altogether?"
     
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  7. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
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    Joker remained still as Loki studied him - smile still present on his lips; posture relaxed. He posed no threat to Crow, and Loki would feel that...in theory. Question non-hostile, softened with a compliment.

    "bECaUSsSssSe you'rE bAsssSSsSIIIIiIC!!!"

    He held his ground as the Persona threw...something at him. Arsene shifting behind him - but remaining non-hostile, even if he felt the pressure of him wishing to bite back. Nose scrunching slightly with a laugh, as the goop landed on his face - quickly accepting Crow's handkerchief to try to wipe it off...or at least get it out of his hair and eyes. Seemed to be staining his skin, gloves, everything. At least this was the cognitive world, so it was only temporary.

    "This a creative way of asking for something specific later, Crow," he smirked - winking as soon as he had it out of his eyes, "And don't worry about it. It's just harmless goop."

    Half-giving up, he stared down at the blackened handkerchief in hand - knowing the area around his eyes was stained black. Accidental smokey-eye...that overlapped his nose.

    "Hmm...maybe," he considered, offering the soiled handkerchief back, "Or just another piece to show how we're mirrors at our core," tone even - relaxed, eyes shifting back to Loki.
     
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  8. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    If there was any unspoken true fact about Loki, it was that it loved attention -- which Joker just so happened to be giving it a lot of right now. Appropriately, it wanted to bury him in a mountain of goop.

    Loki decided it should.

    "Don't goop," said Crow, blushing for some reason.

    Loki pouted.

    Accepting the soiled handkerchief and holding it by the thumb and forefinger, Crow mulled. "You may be right." It was by no means an unpleasant relevation. In fact, it put substance behind the kinship Crow felt upon their first meeting. "What are the chances that we both had to be wildcards on the same playing field?"

    But -- well, that didn't matter now, since Pandora decided to make wildcards a fashion statement. Crow knew at least 4.

    "Ah, you still have some..." he gestured to the general eye area on himself. "May I?"

    Come to think if it, Kohl would look amazing on Joker. Crow wondered if he knew that. (He probably did.)
     
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  9. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
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    Despite his best efforts, he could still feel it on his face. It...bothered him like Crow's blood did when it stained his fingers. A feeling of lack of cleanliness getting quite-literally under his skin. He would attempt to ignore it - put it out of his mind, until they left the Otherworld. Considering their plans, it likely wouldn't be long now. Perhaps stretch out their Personae a bit. Get a decent grasp on the feeling, before returning and attempting in reality.

    Having abandoned his efforts to clean it off - he quietly rose a brow at Crow's features growing warm and asking Loki to "not goop."

    Apparently he made a friend.
    He smiled.

    "I assume gooping is a sign Loki doesn't hate me?" he asked - giving the area across his nose one last wipe. It...just sort of moved it around, from what he could tell.

    "We're meant to be opposites not by our cores, but by our surroundings," he glanced back at Arsene, as he stretched his wings. Clearly interested in Loki - gaze fixed on the other Persona, "I don't think we were ever meant to talk. Or to be friends. Or," he glanced back over at Crow - expression gentle - a bit of heat in his cheeks, "Fall in love."

    His brow rose at Crow's words, before replying with a nod, "Of course. I...can still feel it. Help would be appreciated," Joker admitted - normal facade faltering a bit to give away just a touch of Ren.
     
  10. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    Producing another handkerchief, Crow tipped Joker's head so and began coaxing away the remaining bits of grime. It was a surprisingly filial gesture, and the look on Joker's face was absolutely endearing.

    Meanwhile, Loki's attention had moved on to Arsene. It smiled from horn to horn, as if to say long time no see, friend, but the sword swishing behind it like a cat's tail told another story. See, Arsene had bested it last time they faced, and that didn't sit well with ye olde God of Mischief. The only way to recompense was through death. Or greasing up Arsene's pretty feathers. Loki told Arsene as much, with sssssibilant punctuality.

    (Loki was probably gay for Arsene, but no one was going to point that out.)

    "Voila," Crow stood back, admired his handiwork. "You now have a face." He kissed Joker just for having a face. "So, what do you say, Joker? Are you ready to give summoning in the real world a try?"
     
    #10 Goro Akechi, Jun 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  11. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
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    Joker gently leaned into the touch - a quiet smile on his lips as Crow tended to him. It was such a simple gesture; yet Joker couldn't take his eyes off of the other as he worked. Little things always seemed to strike him the hardest. Strange - movies always made the big gestures the ones that made people feel the most. Yet it was in this moment that Joker's mind and heart were overflowing with tender affection for the other Wildcard.

    He was easy to please.

    Behind him, he could feel Arsene grow amused by Loki. The feeling similar to him watching Skull trying to figure out a complex puzzle. It was a surprisingly...arrogant feeling; likely because one had bested the other upon their last meeting.

    Joker smiled into the kiss he got for having a face - offering a nod at the question, "Sounds good to me. Think I have a handle on how it feels," he glanced back at Arsene - noticing him reaching for Loki, "Don't."

    He drew his hand back.

    "Alright - follow me."

    * * *​

    It didn't take long for them to arrive back into reality - Ren attempting to hold onto the feeling of Arsene blooming to life behind him. Eyes locking onto Goro, he offered a half-smile, "How...do we even start this?"
     
  12. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    Once outside, Akechi mulled their next steps.

    "We should be able to summon our personas the same way we do in the Metaverse, the only difference being that it will require more effort on our part." At least, that's what he'd gathered from Makoto's recounting. "I'll go first."

    Robin would be the choice pick, as introducing Loki to the real world didn't quite sit well with Akechi just yet. The peacoat-clad user breathed deep, held his hands out, and concentrated. At first, he could feel the faint light of Robin's presence beckon back, but it was hard to grasp completely, like trying to catch a fish with one's bare hands. Half-way, the effort showed.

    It took a while, but eventually, Akechi could feel Robin's presence materialize outside of him. When he looked over a shoulder, there was the venerated hero-arechtype standing proud. But...Akechi frowned. "Not quite there. It's still see-through." That besides, the exhaustion was sinking in quickly, but he wasn't about to make a bad example out of himself. He just gave Ren a smile that said 'see? nothing to it'. "Now you give it a try."
     
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  13. Ren Amamiya

    Ren Amamiya Persona
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    The shift of being back in reality was a subtle one. Like slightly losing focus after being in the zone with a rhythm game. If you weren't paying attention, it would be easy to miss; but it was there. Ren's hands slipping into his pockets as they walked to the roof of Leblanc. They had targeted an area with minimal Shadow activity to feel their Personae, knowing most of their energy would go into trying to summon in reality. And...neither of them was certain if there was anything bad that could happen with summoning a Persona inside. Ren had personally seen Futaba do it; but she also knew what she was doing.

    And they did not.

    So the roof of Leblanc seemed like a safe bet.

    Goro went first; Ren didn't argue. He took in all the little details for himself and his own attempt. Hand movement, expression. All of it. Futaba had done it with a thought. They...weren't quite at that level yet.

    There was strain on his features - but Ren didn't interrupt. Just sat down on the roof and watched; one leg pulled against his chest as the other stretched out. Cigarette lit since they were outside anyway, and the smell Goro was likely used to enough it wouldn't mess up his concentration.

    And...there it was. Ren leaned his head to the side as he watched the ghost of Robin Hood vaguely come into be behind Goro. He...did it. Maybe not specifically using the power, but physically seeing the Persona was honestly more then Ren was expecting to accomplish that night. He...almost didn't know how physically manifesting would work for Wildcards. Little Blue used a device to do it forced. They...both needed masks.

    "Should it be solid in reality?" he asked, genuinely not sure - pushing himself to his feet - and tossing the cigarette butt into a can he designated for this exact purpose.

    Taking a deep breath, he focused in on the feeling. That rush that came from pulling Arsene from his mask. He followed the feeling deep within him; hand rising to mime pulling of his mask. Maybe...the physical motion would do something within his brain. Muscle memory. He...could feel Arsene, but none of the others. It was strange and hollow; taking him back to when he first got his Persona. At first he thought that was just having a Persona felt, until he accidentally grabbed his first extra. Ren was always made to carry many. But in reality, he didn't seem to be able to even see them - just the space that was reserved.

    He didn't like it.

    For a moment he thought he had it. Grasped something that felt familiar. But it felt like...flooring a car that's gear was set to park. A lot of effort, but no movement. Mental wheels spinning, screaming. He grunted - the sound catching him off-guard; seeming far away and not coming from his mouth.

    The effort felt useless, but he glanced over his shoulder anyway.
    Nothing.

    Yeah, that was about what he expected.

    Letting out a frustrated sigh, he sat down.
     
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  14. Goro Akechi

    Goro Akechi Persona

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    "It should," Akechi frowned pensively. "I must not be channelling it properly." Frankly, he was surprised he could channel it at all on his first attempt.

    Ren was not so lucky. He didn't take it gracefully, likely having too many expectations for the first time. Akechi smiled something cynical, crossed his arms to look that much more imposing over Ren.

    "Don't tell me you're giving up already, Joker. Is that truly all you're capable of?"
     
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