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Persona 4: Closer
[P4] nothing coming in but static
chisotahn wrote in ikuzeaibou
Title: Closer
Fandom: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Characters: Yosuke/Souji/Shadow!Yosuke
Summary: As with the previous fic, there is no summary I could type that wouldn't be spoilery for December, so below the cut it goes! If you fear no spoilers, click on!

Also: Here there be decidedly NSFW smut!

Summary/Notes: One foggy evening in December, Yosuke spends the night with Souji. However, the stress of pursuing Adachi, the fog enveloping the town, and Dojima and Nanako's hospitalization have taken their toll, and Souji's coping mechanisms are less than ideal - at least from Yosuke's point of view...

This fic is a first in many ways! It's my first fic involving explicit smut, and my first fic collaborating with another author. Frigoris has been my beta for almost every one of my fics; this time, she's also my co-author! I couldn't have completed this piece without her invaluable foundation and revisions.

We hope you enjoy it!

The fog lay heavy and cold over the streets of Inaba, swirling only slightly in Yosuke’s wake. He sighed, digging his hands further into his pockets and casting occasional, furtive glances at his companion. They had spent a long, harrowing afternoon in the TV world, doing their best against the shadows and trying to fight their way towards wherever Adachi had hidden himself. They hadn’t made it, not even close, but that wasn’t what was bothering Yosuke the most right now.

Nope, what was bothering him the most was Souji. The other boy was silent, the only sound that of his footsteps, and even those were muffled by the fog. It was as if Souji were walking alone. After another furtive glance around to make sure nobody was watching - as if anyone could, with the fog blanketing everything - Yosuke reached out and grabbed Souji’s hand, tugging him a little closer. “Hey... you still want me to come over, right?” he said, his voice sounding oddly weird and out of place even to him. It’s just the damn fog, he told himself firmly.

Like he believed that.

Souji’s hand twitched in his, as if he’d only just realized Yosuke was present. “Yes, of course,” he said, absently, then squeezed Yosuke’s hand lightly before releasing it.

Yosuke resisted the urge to sigh. Even after a good four months of dating, he still couldn’t read Souji at all - not when he was like this. They’d already talked about his visit last night, when he’d thought he’d go nuts if he had to spend one more evening on the phone, awkwardly trying to think of something, anything to say that might cheer the other boy up. Anything that would rekindle the same ease of conversation they used to share, talking on the phone about nothing in particular late into the night. Even now, Yosuke couldn’t come up with anything good. “... You okay, man?”

Souji straightened, just a little. “Yeah. I’m fine.” For a moment, something that might have been a smile flickered on his face, but the expression was fleeting. “Just... tired, is all.”

“Heh. Yeah,” Yosuke replied, with weary sympathy. The fog seemed to hiss as they turned the corner, dropping strange echoes into Yosuke’s ears - a distant shout here, a clang of pots there. Souji stayed quiet, though, moving slightly ahead of the other boy as they approached the house. It would’ve been easy to miss in the gloom - the Dojima residence was dark other than the porch light, which Souji had probably left on for himself that morning.

Souji opened the door for them, and Yosuke let out an exaggerated sigh. “Man, feels good to be inside - that fog creeps me out,” Yosuke said, dropping his bag and stretching. Souji bent to pick up the mail before moving into the cold house, turning on a few lights. Yosuke kicked off his shoes and followed him. “So what’s for dinner?”

“Hm? Whatever’s in the fridge, I guess.” Souji thumbed through the mail, pulling out one envelope and opening it carefully, frowning slightly at the contents. “Sorry, there isn’t much... seemed kind of stupid to only cook for one person,” he added, distracted.

“Oh. Uh, yeah, sure,” Yosuke said, awkwardly. Putting the mail down on the couch, Souji flicked on the TV before wandering into the kitchen. Yosuke could hear the soft clink of containers as Souji poked through the fridge. He hesitated for a moment, then followed Souji into the kitchen and wrapped his arms around the other boy, idly looking over his shoulder at the depressingly empty fridge. “Hmm... looking kinda sparse in there, partner. You want me to bring you some stuff tomorrow?”

He’d been hoping for Souji to... to thaw a little, or at least lean back into the hug, or something. Instead, Souji merely glanced back, turning his head just enough to look at Yosuke out of the corner of his eye. “It’s okay. I’ll just go shopping.” He leaned forward, picking up a mostly-full container of instant curry.

“Wow. Instant?” Yosuke said, then regretted it. “Uh, I mean, not that there’s anything... wrong with that... um. Heh.” He quickly released Souji, stepping back and reaching up to grab the kettle. “I’ll, uh, make tea then. Sounds good?”

“Sure, that’s fine.” Souji replied, still poking through the fridge.

Yosuke filled up the small tea kettle and set it on the stove to boil, before turning and reaching for the container of curry in Souji’s hands. “Dude, go sit down or something. I can take care of this - even I can’t fuck up instant curry.” He grinned, hopefully.

“No, it’s okay - I got it,” Souji said, straightening and closing the fridge. Yosuke frowned but he let himself be nudged aside as Souji headed for the microwave, swallowing the irritated words that wanted to rise to the surface. It’s just the fog. It’s just the damn fog, he repeated to himself.

Calm down, Hanamura.

Once the curry had been reheated and the tea brewed, they settled down on the couch - but it wasn’t the relaxed, comfortable meal Yosuke had been hoping for. The instant Souji sat down, he picked up the mail, continuing to open envelopes between bites and leaving Yosuke awkwardly picking at his own curry, all too aware of the space left between them. “Hey, partner? Are you... you’re doing okay, right? With, uh, everything?” he asked, after a few minutes.

“I told you, I’m fine,” Souji assured him, not looking up from the bill he was studying. “It’s just been a long day.”

“Yeah... yeah, of course,” Yosuke muttered. The TV droned into the space between them, filling it up; Yosuke didn’t try again, finishing his curry in silence. It didn’t feel right to be getting annoyed at Souji, not when they were all tired and stressed. The shadows were brutal, and Dojima and Nanako were both in the hospital too. Of course Souji was exhausted.

But that doesn’t mean he has to be a dick about it.

Yosuke sighed then abruptly stood up, grabbing Souji’s empty bowl before the other boy could take it. “I got it,” he insisted, carrying the bowls over to the sink. “Geez, Souji, just... let me help you, stupid,” he said under his breath, half-hoping Souji would hear.

If Souji had, he gave no indication.

Yosuke flopped back down next to Souji, pointedly scooting closer to the other boy than he’d been before. He’d thought coming here in person would make things better, but it didn’t feel better - it felt worse. Way worse. At least Souji had put the mail down, now, and was looking in the direction of the TV, though Yosuke got the impression that the other boy wasn’t really watching it.

Yosuke reached out, tugging Souji into his arms. “C’mon, partner,” he said quietly, punctuating the word by kissing the soft skin on the side of Souji’s neck; that got a response, at least, a faint shiver. Good. “You, um... you still want me to spend the night, right?”

“I already said it was fine, didn’t I?” Souji lightly kissed the tip of Yosuke’s nose, then moved, breaking the embrace and getting to his feet. “Why don’t we go to my room? I’ll get the futons out,” he added, already heading towards the stairs.

“Um, sure - give me a second,” Yosuke stammered, scrambling to catch up. He grabbed his bag from the entryway, trying to quell the flicker of hurt that rose in his chest. It made sense to get settled upstairs instead, get Souji’s room warmed up and curl up in the futons... but he had been fine where they were, too, with Souji in his arms. Yosuke stared at Souji’s back as he trailed him up the stairs. Why did he feel so... so lost?

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Yosuke found Souji setting up the futons, side by side; it didn’t take Yosuke long to get ready for bed, not with hormones and that implied promise of closeness waiting for him. Outside, the fog licked at the windowpanes, turning the light from the street lamps into shifting shadows. Yosuke dumped his bag on the floor before flopping onto the guest futon next to Souji. The other boy hadn’t gotten dressed for bed yet, but... well, there were plenty of ways to fix that. Yosuke slipped an arm around Souji’s shoulders, pulling him close again. “Um, you still want to...?”

“You don’t have to keep asking.” That tired half-smile flickered on Souji’s face for a moment. “It’s fine.”

Yosuke smiled back, uncertainly, then leaned in and kissed him softly. He shifted, wrapping his arms around Souji and slipping a thumb under the edge of Souji’s shirt collar, drifting down to touch the first button. That little shiver and that kiss earlier, that small movement of lips - it was kind of sad to be excited about those things, wasn’t it? And yet that was the most responsive Souji had been to him at all in days. He shoved the thought away.

And yet, as they continued to kiss, punctuated with the slow unfastening of buttons as Yosuke worked Souji’s shirt open, there was still something... off. Souji was kissing him back, but something about the other boy’s responses lacked intensity, as if he were distracted, just going through the motions. There was still that distance between them, even now, even as closely as they pressed to each other, no matter how much they kissed. And Souji didn’t even seem aware of it.

Finally, Yosuke stopped, pulling away and leaning back so he could catch Souji’s gaze with his own. “Dude, are you even...” He paused, then shook his head. “Do you even want this? ‘Cause I’m not getting a whole lot of... of feeling here, out of you, y’know?” The frustration he’d been trying to bury crept out in his voice, and he winced. “I mean, um, so I’m not wasting my time, or-”

Shit. His words trailed off as Souji blinked, then sat up, shrugging his shirt back up over his shoulders. “‘Feeling’?” Souji repeated, the word oddly clipped. “What kind of ‘feeling’ are you worried about? Am I doing something wrong?”

Souji’s voice was level, but Yosuke could hear the faint, cold undercurrent to his words. It didn’t help. “You- I... ugh.” Yosuke scrubbed a hand through his hair in frustration. “Dude, I know you’re tired, hell, we’re all tired, but... this whole time, it’s like... like it doesn’t even matter to you if I’m here or not!”

Souji just shook his head. “You know that’s not true,” he said, dismissively.

“Yeah? Could have fooled me, the way you’ve been acting lately,” Yosuke shot back, folding his arms in front of him. All the frustration he’d been bottling up all damn day, all damn month, was more than ready to overflow. “You could at least pretend to care, damnit, instead of just... just hiding.” The last word came out almost triumphantly.

Souji rolled his eyes and started buttoning up his shirt with quick, sharp movements. “I’m not going to cater to your insecurities, Yosuke.”

“Damnit, Souji - I’m not asking you to!” Yosuke snapped, his hands balling into fists. “Why the hell would you even say th-”

“Then what?” Souji interrupted, looking up at Yosuke, his grey eyes cold. “What do you want me to do? What will finally make you happy?”

“I just...” Yosuke met his glare for a moment, then looked away. “I don’t know, okay? But it sure as fuck isn’t this!”

Souji stared at Yosuke a moment longer, then shook his head in irritation. “Of course you don’t know. And yet you expect me to fix it. Fix everything. Just like everybody else.” He turned away. “Maybe you should just go.”

The cold dismissal stung, and the frustration and hurt Yosuke had been feeling suddenly coalesced into sharp anger. “Fine. Fine. Have it your way.” Yosuke surged to his feet, barely resisting the temptation to chuck his pillow at the back of Souji’s head. “Who cares? I’m only-”

And then a wave of dizziness hit him, and he wobbled, his breath catching in his throat; the next moment he was down on the futon again as a strange, sickening feeling surged through him. Fog flickered at the edges of Yosuke’s vision as he tried to remember how to breathe. Souji stared at him-

Something reared up behind Souji, something dark and cold that seemed to pull the fog in around itself, swirling and solidifying into a shape that wrapped its arms about Souji’s torso. “I’m only worried about you, you ungrateful prick,” it said, voice thick with amusement.

“Souji!” Yosuke yelped, scrambling backwards, because fuck, he recognized that voice - how could he not, when it was his damn voice? The other boy acted immediately, driving one elbow backwards and then twisting, tearing free and rising to his feet. For a moment they both stared, panting.

“Aww, leaving so soon? I thought the fun was just getting started,” the Shadow on the futon crooned, yellow eyes bright with malice. It looked exactly as it had in the TV world all those months ago, a perfect mirror of Yosuke except for those damn eyes. Except it wasn’t in the TV world now, not anymore...

Yosuke felt sick as Souji slipped into a defensive stance, glancing from the Shadow to Yosuke and back again. “What are you doing here?!” the other boy demanded.

The Shadow just grinned, completely unconcerned. “What, haven’t you gone outside lately? The fog, dipshit. The the longer it hangs around, the easier it is for us to get through. Surely you noticed?” It gestured at Yosuke, dismissively. “It was so simple to come when he called.“ Yosuke flinched and the Shadow chuckled before turning its full attention back to Souji. “Better stop taking your dear sweet time, or we’re all going to come out to play...”

Souji ignored the Shadow’s taunts and closed his eyes, taking a deep steadying breath. “Yosuke,” he grated, his voice just a little shaky. “Get a hold of yourself.”

“I’m trying!” Yosuke hissed back, focusing on his Shadow. Alarming as it was for a Shadow to suddenly manifest here, it didn't seem intent on attacking them... and, in any case, he knew how to deal with his Shadow. He met its disconcerting yellow gaze and concentrated, feeling for the place in his mind that held Susano-o. “I’m you and you’re me. You’re me, damnit!”

Nothing happened. The Shadow leaned back on the futon looking positively smug.

“Focus, Yosuke!” Souji insisted. “This is your fault!”

Yosuke whirled away from his Shadow and glared at the other boy. “Damnit, Souji,” he snarled, that anger flaring again; out of the corner of his eye, he saw the Shadow’s grin broaden. “How can you be so fucking cold about everything? I didn’t even know this could happen!”

“And yet it did,” Souji shot back, his cool composure starting to crack. “That’s how it always is with you! You just do things without thinking of the consequences and expect me to bail you out!”

“Like hell I do!” Yosuke retorted. “I don’t-”

Without warning, Souji reached out and grabbed the front of Yosuke’s shirt, pulling the fabric taut. “Damn it, Yosuke, will you shut up and listen to me, for once? I've been going crazy trying to keep everything all together and everyone alive. And that still isn't enough for you?!" He tightened his grip and jerked Yosuke closer, the Shadow utterly forgotten. “What more do you want from me? I’m trying as hard as I can-” His voice wavered and cracked before falling silent, his shoulders shaking with barely-contained frustration.

Yosuke stared at him in shock. This was the most animated he had seen the other boy in days, but... “W-what? I... Souji, that’s not-” he stammered, only to be cut off by a low chuckle and a slow clap.

“Oh, very nice,” the Shadow laughed, smoothly rising to its feet and moving disconcertingly close to the pair. It wrapped an arm around Yosuke’s shoulders. Yosuke flinched away from the touch automatically, though he couldn’t escape entirely thanks to the hold Souji still had on his shirt. “What, still not happy? Isn’t this what you wanted, me?” Its voice was slow, mocking. “Just a little crack, something to show you he’s still in there?”

“No!” Yosuke retorted, automatically, but his heart wasn’t in it - he knew his Shadow couldn’t lie. It never had. Not before... and not now. “I just...”

“I just want to know you still care, partner!” The Shadow drawled, finishing the sentence for him. It slipped its arm off Yosuke’s shoulders and leaned towards Souji instead. “But no - you’re so damn busy keeping everything together that everything goes to hell! You won’t let anybody help, won’t let anybody in - Mister Perfect has to bravely lead us to victory all by himself! Isn’t that right, me?

“Just... just stop it,” Yosuke whispered, feeling frozen in place yet unable to deny the Shadow’s words.

His Shadow ignored him and leaned in even closer to Souji. “Just a little crack,” it cooed, punctuating the sentence by drawing its tongue over the edge of Souji’s ear. Souji twitched, swallowing hard, but he made no move to dodge the Shadow’s advances. “I’ll do anything, anything to get in, make him respond to me... I’m so fucking desperate. I - ha, I miss him.” It ran one hand up Souji’s side, dipping under Souji's open shirt collar to trace its thumb along his collarbone. Souji shivered and closed his eyes. “Even though he’s right here... maybe if I just...”

“Stop it-”

The Shadow snaked its free hand behind Souji’s neck and jerked him forward, capturing his lips in a rough kiss. Souji made a low noise, but he didn’t resist, even as the kiss deepened. The Shadow shifted its other hand from Souji’s shoulder to his shirt buttons, deftly undoing them one by one. It tugged the fabric free, baring Souji’s shoulders, then leaned down, nipping and sucking at bare skin. Souji gasped.

That was enough - more than enough. “Stop it. Stop it!” Yosuke shouted, lunging forward to tear his Shadow away from Souji as hard as he could.

Caught off-balance, the Shadow staggered, releasing Souji from its grasp - but it was still grinning when it recovered, its eyes sharp and knowing. “That’s it,” it said, voice low and pleased. “That’s what we wanted, isn’t it?”

Without warning, it shoved Yosuke right back; Yosuke stumbled, knocking into Souji and bringing them both down in a tangle of limbs. For a moment they just lay there, stunned. “Ow... damnit,” Yosuke hissed, shaking his head. He’d ended half on top of Souji, the other boy looking up at him as if dazed. “S-sorry,” he mumbled, twisting to the side, trying to get enough leverage to push himself up-

-and Souji’s breath caught in a small, unmistakably aroused noise, his hips jerking upward just slightly.

Yosuke stared down at him, incredulous. “Dude, are you serious?

Cheeks flushed, Souji glared at him as if daring him to comment further. “Yosuke... I...“ Souji began, but he paused as his voice wavered. He cleared his throat, then tried again, clearly struggling to regain his composure.. “Get... get off me.”

“Now, that’s no fun,” the Shadow laughed, startling them both; it shifted, laying down next to the pair. Yosuke tensed and glared at it, aware of Souji’s sharply indrawn breath at his movement. Fuck. Fuck.

His Shadow took advantage of his distraction, rubbing a teasing hand along Souji’s inner thigh; Souji squirmed underneath him, making a horribly indecent sound that sent a jolt through Yosuke’s entire body. “What have we learned about being true to ourselves? Hmmm?” the Shadow whispered.

“I...” Souji licked his lips and turned his head away from both Yosuke and his Shadow.. “Please...” he breathed, so quietly that Yosuke could barely hear him.

“What was that? I can’t hear you.” The Shadow’s eyes were bright with malice and mischief.

Yosuke glanced worriedly from his Shadow to Souji. “Partner, I don’t-”

And then Souji was lunging up towards him, wrapping his arms around Yosuke’s neck and pulling him down, kissing him hungrily. When he broke the kiss, they were both breathing hard. “Please,” Souji repeated, swallowing thickly before meeting Yosuke’s gaze. “What it - you - said. About cracks...” His breath was ragged. “That. What you wanted - do it. Please.”

Yosuke felt as though he could barely breathe; he could feel Souji’s hardness, insistently pressing against his thigh, impossible to ignore. “B-but there’s kind of... m-my Shadow-” he managed, though it was increasingly difficult to care about that right now.

Souji cut him off with another kiss, clinging to Yosuke and arching up to grind against Yosuke’s thigh. Yosuke gasped and held on tight as Souji’s hands slipped under his shirt and ran along the bumps of Yosuke’s spine. “I - I don’t care,” Souji panted. “I... I don’t want to think. Just... please, let me...”

The Shadow’s fingers stroked over Souji’s cheek, coaxing him to turn his head before kissing him and shoving its tongue into his mouth. Yosuke’s grip on Souji tightened possessively as the other boy moaned against his Shadow’s lips. It was fucking surreal watching himself kiss Souji. And yet... it was oddly hot.

He swallowed, hard.

His Shadow broke the kiss, sucking at Souji’s lower lip before turning to grin at Yosuke. “Well, me? Think we should give him what he wants?”

“U-uh...” Yosuke stammered, then looked down at Souji - and the expression on the other boy’s face was enough to make his own breath catch in his throat. They’d had sex plenty of times, but he’d never seen Souji look anything like this, so... so needy, so desperate. Just the sight of him, like that...

“Damnit,” Yosuke groaned, giving in; he ducked his head, pressing kisses along the side of Souji’s neck, then shifting to trail his tongue further down, skating lightly over Souji’s chest. The entire situation was ridiculous... but the movements Souji was making, rocking against him, sent a hot jolt of arousal knifing through him that easily wiped out coherent thought. He paused at Souji’s belly button, circling it with his tongue as the other boy squirmed, then moving lower. Yosuke shakily lifted one hand to cup the now very obvious bulge in Souji’s pants.

Souji shuddered. “Wait - let me-” he began, trying to sit up, one hand reaching for his pants, but the Shadow intercepted his movement, shoving him back down and grabbing his wrists.

“That’s not how this works,” it murmured, roughly forcing Souji’s arms above his head and pushing his wrists to the floor. Its yellow eyes seemed to glow in the dim room as it shifted its grip, pinning him with one hand. “You’re not in charge. Not now.” The Shadow gripped Souji’s jaw with its free hand, tipping his chin back and brushing its index finger along his lips. “Understand?”

Souji nodded, letting out a long, hissing breath. He licked the tip of the Shadow's finger before closing his eyes, dipping his head to suck on it. Yosuke made a startled, needy sound at the sight, pausing as his Shadow glanced up at him with a knowing smile. Of course it knew what he wanted... it was him, after all.

Shakily, Yosuke sat up and tugged his own shirt off, then kicked off his pants and boxers, tossing them away as quickly as he could. He knelt over Souji once more, carefully unzipping the other boy’s pants, bending down to mouth Souji’s cock through the fabric of his underwear. Souji moaned around the Shadow’s finger, struggling briefly against its hold before falling back. Carefully, Yosuke pulled Souji’s boxers down, allowing the other boy’s erection to spring free.

“That’s right,” the Shadow breathed. “I’m not going to let you push me away this time.”

Yosuke felt dizzy as Souji rolled his hips upwards and making hungry, needy little sounds in the back of his throat. “Fuck, Souji,” Yosuke gasped; he was achingly hard, and every tiny, desperate sound Souji made was a fresh jolt right to his cock. Yosuke leaned forward again, desperate himself to keep Souji this way as long as possible.

Taking a steadying breath, Yosuke gripped the base of Souji’s cock before dipping his head and licking up the length of the other boy’s shaft in slow lazy strokes. Souji squirmed beneath him, moving a little more than was comfortable. Yosuke paused and slipped his hands under Souji’s hips, grabbing Souji’s ass to firmly hold the other boy in place. Souji stilled, panting, and Yosuke dipped down to take the head of Souji’s cock into his mouth, sucking and teasing with his tongue before completely enveloping it.

Souji cried out, trying to writhe, but he was effectively pinned. Dimly, Yosuke was aware that his Shadow was speaking again, even as Yosuke himself continued to lick and suck at Souji’s cock. “All these cracks... I’m going to open you all up,” it whispered, voice thick with pleasure. “Show me how you really are, partner...”

It must have moved, releasing Souji’s wrists, because a moment later Souji’s hands were desperately threading through Yosuke’s hair. Yosuke’s own grip slipped, and Souji rocked against him, thrusting into his mouth. One thrust went a little too deep, and Yosuke sat up, coughing. “Fuck - sorry, I-”

Movement to the side caught his eye; the Shadow, now unclothed as well, had crawled over to paw through Yosuke’s bag. It was hard too, Yosuke realized. “Here,” it called out, wickedly, lobbing something in Yosuke’s direction. A condom landed on the futon next to him, followed shortly by a tube of lubricant. “This is what you want... right, me?”

Yosuke let out a long, shuddering breath. His Shadow was right, of course. “U-Um...” he began, then stopped, his mouth suddenly dry as he stared down at Souji. The other boy met his gaze, and Yosuke felt his cheeks burn anew as the reality of what he was doing sunk in. Holy shit. “Um. Souji...”

Souji shifted, kicking his legs up to rest on either side of Yosuke's hips. "Do it... do it, please,” he whispered, and Yosuke's cock twitched at the bare need in Souji's voice.

“Okay. Okay, partner,” Yosuke managed, fumbling for a pillow with one hand. He quickly shoved the pillow under Souji’s hips, bracing him, then grabbed the lube and squeezed a generous amount into his hand. Souji closed his eyes, breathing raggedly.

For a moment, Yosuke just sat there, stroking his free hand along Souji’s hip. He looked over at his Shadow; it had crawled back again, kneeling next to Souji, its cock rock-hard. It stared hungrily down at Souji before glancing up to meet Yosuke’s gaze. The Shadow nodded, just once, grinning widely.

Souji picked just that moment to buck his hips upward, breathing something incoherent but unmistakably needy. Yosuke swallowed hard and moved at last, bringing his lubed fingers around and trying to remember how Souji did this to him. Souji whimpered and hitched his hips forward as Yosuke’s fingers slipped into him.

Yosuke wrapped his free hand around Souji’s cock and began to pump, trying to move his lubed fingers in rough counterpoint. Souji’s breath came out in a hiss, and he moved his hips along with Yosuke’s fingers, tension rippling through his frame. Next to Souji, the Shadow moved, sweeping its hands up Souji’s sides, nipping and sucking at the sensitive skin at the base of Souji’s neck.

Finally, Yosuke prodded Souji, getting the other boy to roll over onto the futon; the Shadow directed his movements, guiding Souji onto his hands and knees. Shaking, Yosuke prepared himself, sliding on the condom and slicking more lube over his own cock. He was actually going to...

The thought alone nearly pushed him over the edge. Quickly, Yosuke shifted to kneel behind Souji, the head of his cock pressing against the other boy’s ass; he could feel Souji trembling with need. One more stroke and twist of his fingers, and then Yosuke was pushing himself into Souji, the other boy gasping and moaning and so tight and hot around him-

“That’s right, partner,” the Shadow breathed, stroking its own cock as Yosuke struggled valiantly to keep his hips still and give Souji time to adjust. “Just like that... how does it feel, giving up? Not the leader now, are you, so high and mighty and determined to fix everything all by yourself? Does it feel good?”

The expression on Souji’s face as he shuddered was answer enough. He bucked against Yosuke, and that was all the encouragement Yosuke needed to start thrusting in earnest. They moved together in a frantic tempo of thrusting and panting, sliding, slick skin on skin. Blindly, Yosuke fumbled for Souji’s cock. “Come on - come here,” he moaned, leaning back, shifting and pulling Souji into his lap once more.

Souji shuddered and moved with him, only to gasp as the Shadow reached out, roughly grabbing Souji’s hair and tugging his head up, kissing him deeply. A surge of utterly irrational jealousy stabbed through Yosuke’s haze, and he tugged at Souji’s shoulder, pulling the other boy back against him. As soon as Souji turned, Yosuke cupped his cheek, kissing him possessively. The angle was more than awkward, but Yosuke didn’t care; the Shadow snorted derisively, but made no move to prevent him. Instead, it dipped its head to kiss and suck Souji's turned neck, moving close to sandwich Souji between them, its hand finding Souji’s cock..

“Come on,” Yosuke - or perhaps his Shadow - groaned, as he buried his head against Souji’s back. Souji trembled and began to move, riding Yosuke’s cock as the Shadow continued to stroke its hand over Souji’s own erection. Yosuke hung on as Souji rose and fell, letting the other boy move up and down, clinging as sensation threatened to overwhelm him. “Come on, Souji- just let go, partner, come on-”

Yosuke punctuated his words by thrusting his hips upwards, hard. Souji shuddered, crying out as he finally came, and that was more than enough to push Yosuke over the edge too. He pressed his forehead against Souji’s shoulder, holding the other boy so tightly that it almost hurt.

They fell back onto the futon like that, sweaty and sticky and tangled around each other. Yosuke rolled onto his back, breathing hard as he tugged Souji against him, stroking his fingers through the other boy’s thoroughly tousled hair. “Partner, I-” he began, but stopped as he realized his Shadow was leaning over Souji. Yosuke quickly sat up, worried what his Shadow might do next. Their eyes met, and his Shadow smirked at him before turning its attention back to Souji.

Souji lay still, watching warily as the Shadow reached out, brushing its fingers over his cheek, wiping away a small splatter of cum. The gesture was oddly tender. "He loves you, you know,” it said, rubbing the pad of its thumb along Souji's lower lip.

Yosuke stopped breathing, his grip on Souji tightening convulsively, but his Shadow ignored him. "That dipshit doesn't want to admit it... but I know." It kissed Souji then, a surprisingly gentle brush of lips and tongue, and when it pulled back its smirk had softened into a small, self-deprecating smile. "I'm him, after all.”

And, with that, the Shadow faded back into the darkness with a soft exhale.

Relief flooded Yosuke, followed by a sudden sense of terror that eclipsed any lingering pleasure. He’d just - they’d just - and his Shadow had - and oh god. He shrank away, arms going limp as he tried to untangle himself from Souji. “Partner, I- fuck, I’m sorry-”

Slowly, Souji pulled away from him; the implications made Yosuke’s stomach twist unpleasantly. Yosuke looked away, unable to meet Souji’s eyes as the other boy pulled himself up to his knees, wincing a bit. For a moment, the room was silent other than their breathing.

Then a featherlight touch brushed Yosuke’s cheek; he started and glanced up to see Souji looking at him, a small but genuine smile on the other boy’s face as he cupped Yosuke’s chin. “Yosuke, I... I’m sorry,” Souji sighed. “I didn’t realize... I guess I’m not dealing with all this, with Adachi and my family... I’m not doing as well as I thought I was, am I?” He looked down for a moment before meeting Yosuke’s gaze again. “Mister Perfect, huh?”

Yosuke’s cheeks flushed. “Stop it,” he protested, before Souji silenced him with a soft kiss.

“It’s okay. I... I’m scared too,” Souji admitted, quietly. “Scared of what’s going to happen, if we can handle this - there’s so much riding on us. On me. And I’m scared of letting other people know I’m scared.” He smiled wryly. “I didn’t mean to hurt you, or push you away... but I did. I’m sorry, partner.”

Yosuke let out the breath he’d been holding. “You’re not... you’re not mad?” he asked, hesitantly. When Souji shook his head, Yosuke slumped with relief. “Good, I...” He paused, trying to gather his thoughts. “I guess I’ve always been kind of shitty at reading you, y’know? And... ah, fuck, I don’t really know what I’m doing...”

“I don’t make it easy,” Souji said, dryly. “It’s okay, though. I don’t really know what I’m doing either.” Gently, he leaned in, kissing Yosuke again, more firmly this time. “I’ve never been in love before.”

Once again, Yosuke forgot to breathe, staring at Souji as if he’d grown a second head. But Souji just grinned, brushing a thumb over Yosuke’s cheek. “Yeah. I love you, Yosuke,” he repeated.

Yosuke wrapped his arms around Souji, brushing his fingers down Souji’s spine almost disbelivingly. “I... well, fuck. I guess my Shadow stole my thunder,” he said, sourly. “Me too?”

Souji chuckled, the sound low and gentle. “I want to hear you say it. All of you.”

“Geez, partner,” Yosuke protested, then buried his face into Souji’s shoulder. “I love you too. Stupid,” he mumbled.

“Well, now that’s all figured out,” Souji said, dryly; Yosuke looked up and met the other boy’s sheepish grin with his own. “And, uh. That was... that was good. Really good,” Souji admitted, then winced again. “Though maybe without all the dramatics, next time?”

“Oh, yeah, definitely,” Yosuke said fervently. “That is not going to happen again. Uh, not the Shadow part, anyway.” He quickly reached into the part of his mind where his Persona rested, and found it settled there, waiting for his call as it always was.

“Maybe some of the other stuff, though,” Souji added, a bit of mischief creeping into his smile - which only got broader when Yosuke blushed. “Come on - I think we’d better get cleaned up.” Souji got to his feet, then offered Yosuke a hand, which he took without hesitation. “Shower, and then... sleep?”

“Yeah, definitely sleep,” Yosuke said, grinning. “I don’t think I could do anything else if my life depended on it.” He took a step through the door, then stopped as Souji lightly tugged on his hand, pulling him close once more.

“And tomorrow we’ll push on,” Souji said quietly, catching Yosuke’s gaze with his own. “We’ll catch Adachi, and we’ll bring him to justice. We’ll settle this together. Not just me... all of us.”

“Yeah,” Yosuke agreed, entwining his fingers with Souji’s, happier in that moment than he’d been in months. “I’ll be right there with you, partner.”


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