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A splash of Faith

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Mitsuru Kirijo is a busy woman. Managing a company, a team of persona wielding colleges, most of which don’t seem to have changed all that much since they were SEES rather than the shadow operatives, and trying to figure out what exactly happened in Tokyo this year (right under her nose might she add) will do that to a person. She likes to think she manages it well, but sat in her office staring out at the Tokyo skyline, she’s starting to realise that she might not be handling the extra stress quite as well as she thought she was.

She missed Aigis already. Maybe it doesn’t affect the workload much, but she’s found that having somebody to talk to about it all helps. Even if that person is Aigis – she’d argue especially if that person is Aigis. Besides, Aigis had a lot of ideas that had saved her many headaches – though what she was most grateful for currently was the view, which was entirely Yukari’s idea.

Working in Tokyo became a mess the second the Phantom Thieves made a name for themselves, but at least it gives her office a lovely view. With the streaks of red hanging over the Tokyo skyline, and the crescent moon just starting to creep up where the sun was trailing away, it almost made up for the clear and obvious shadow activity that had been going on (and may still be going on for all she knows) down there. Almost.

She closes her eyes for a second, trying to enjoy the moment of peace before she has to go back to work. When the ringing of her phone disturbs that almost immediately, she doesn’t even try to hold back the sigh. Unfortunately, any calls that go through to her are normally important, so ignoring it is out of the question. Pinching her nose, she walks back over to her desk, flipping the phone off the receiver and sitting down on her chair, the only comfortable thing in the room in her opinion, in the same motion. “Kirijo speaking.”

“It’s me.” Yukari’s voice was the most welcome surprise Mitsuru has had all day. Almost unconsciously a smile worked its way onto her face.

“Yukari, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you today.” She stopped when she realised how that sounded. “Though it’s always a welcome surprise.” She hoped that hadn’t been misunderstood, she’d hope the warmth in her voice would make it obvious but, well… you can never be too sure.

Now that the initial shock of the call was over the questions started. Yukari wasn’t normally the type to phone with no advanced warning, in fact usually the opposite. Up until now, she’d always given warning – though whether this was personal preference or so Mitsuru could time her schedule accordingly she’d never been sure. So what could have possibly prompted-

“Minato is alive.” Her thoughts died there. That… that wasn’t possible. They watched him die. Aigis held him while he died. They were all there when the doctor declared him gone.

It wasn’t possible.

Regardless of that fact, the words opened a dam she’d managed to keep shut for a long time, the grief of a loss she thought she’d got over, and the memories of not only Minato, but another friend she’d never see again as well. Minato, Shinjiro, her father…

She knew the others sometimes thought her cruel for not visiting any of their graves. Had seen the look of disappointment when year on year she’d claimed to be too busy for the annual visit to the graveyard where Shinjiro and Minato were buried. Maybe they were right, but she couldn’t face it.

(Besides, they weren’t to know she’d visited all three and sobbed until she couldn’t cry anymore, desperate and afraid and already so lost even though she’d only just graduated. That she couldn’t go back to any of them without picking back up that grief she’d finally managed to learn to move on with. That she was scared that going to any of them would render her a child again, and she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to pull herself back from that if she was completely honest with herself.)

She knew deep down the others likely didn’t think she cares as much as she does. Still, this… this was a particularly cruel joke to play. It wasn’t something she ever expected from Yukari, not anymore, and it stung at some core part of her being.

“Goodnight Yukari.” Her voice shook as she said that and she hates herself for it.

“Wait, wait! I know how that sounds, but I’m being serious. Please just wait, let me…” Yukari sounded desperate enough to stay Mitsuru’s finger before she hit hang up. There was a sound like Yukari was covering the speaker, and then a muffled, “Minato, tell Mitsuru you’re alive!”

“What is that.” Her breath caught in the back of her throat, and the phone almost slid completely out of her hand. That voice… it was muffled, but unmistakable. Her hands started to shake as she tried to stomp out the hope building in her chest.

“It’s a phone, you’ve seen a phone before.”

“That’s not a phone.”

“Oh right, you still had a flip phone huh… Never mind that! Just talk to Mitsuru okay?” Only now did Mitsuru notice that Yukari’s voice was tight, almost like she’d been crying. Why didn’t she notice that earlier?

The sound of a phone changing hands, silence and then- “Hey.”

Clear, defined, completely and utterly deadpan. No inflection, no trace of emotion, speaking in the unmistakable, distinct manner she hadn’t heard in years. Minato Arisato was on the other end of the phone, there was no mistaking it. Suddenly it was much too hard to swallow.

“You’re alive.” There was silence again, before a soft sigh came through the revivor.

“Apparently.” The answer would be infuriating if it wasn’t yet another reassurance that this was the Minato she’d known. She tried for a more specific answer to that anyway.

“But… how?”

“I don’t know, but Ryoji’s here too.”

“Hi?” The ‘hi’ was much quieter, definitely a different voice and was in fact Ryoji (or, was more than likely Ryoji at least), as well as being followed up with the sound of a loading gun she assumed was Aigis and a very nervous sounding gulp.

…She was losing her mind. The stress had finally got to her and she was hallucinating the whole exchange. She was probably actually just talking into a turned off phone looking like she really needed some more sleep. That was the only thought that stopped her from having multiple consecutive breakdowns for several different reasons.

Despite that, she desperately hoped this was real. She’d take all the breakdowns in exchange for getting back a lost friend.

“Can you put Yukari back on?” Even to her own ears her voice sounded a little off, but from the flat hum she got in response you’d think this conversation wasn’t an earth-shattering revelation in itself.

“Do you believe me now?” Yukari was back on the phone after a moment, and despite having every right to sound smug, and usually she probably would, this time she just sounded the same level of shell shocked and hopeful Mitsuru felt. She didn’t bother to answer, instead immediately thinking of what they were going to do next.

There was only one answer she could think of.

“How fast can you get to Tokyo?”